Before we get into the details of how to increase domain authority, lets find the reasons why website owners are so obsessed with this metric and understand whether the excitement over Domain Authority is worth it.
Ask any SEO practitioner about their career goals and their answer, regardless of experience and specialization, will be to rank on the #1 position of Google SERP.
This is why they become exuberant and go overboard after finding a keyword that ranks on the #1 position of Google.
The excitement is not the result of a fluke; it’s the outcome of days and months of toil to ensure the webpage earns the quality signals that Google cares about.
For SEOs, the #1 Position on Google is like getting a prime location through auction in the heart of New York City.
However, unlike a traditional auction, money is not a factor here (if you want to buy out the positions above #1 position, invest in AdWords).
The only thing that stands between the winner and the loser of the #1 organic ranking is the “QUALITY SIGNALS.”
The impact of ranking on #1 position surpasses any other achievement for an SEO as it has the potential to get thrice as much Click Through Rate when compared against the ones that rank on the top two and three positions.
Why is Domain Authority Important?
We all know that Google’s trump card to beat the rest of the search engines is its algorithm. The secrecy kept behind the factors that it considers has been the talk of the town for quite some time.
A few years back – before 2014, to be precise, Google used to update the quality score of each website using the PageRank ToolBar that was available as an Internet Explorer extension.
However, this tool got fewer updates and was finally scrapped after Chrome became the default browser for internet users.
To check the quality of a website in SEO terms became hard as there are a number of factors other than keyword optimization and backlinks that determine the position of a page on Google’s Search Results Page.
Here is what Matt Cutts, the Former Head of Google Web Spam department said while answering one of my queries back in 2014.
This was when Moz came to the picture with its advanced rank tracking metric called Domain Authority (DA).
What is Domain Authority (DA)?
DA is an authority score that Moz developed based on the factors that they believe Google considers as their primary ranking factors.
Over the last many years, Moz metric has become a standard for analyzing the quality of a website and also for predicting its chances of appearing on the top of the SERPs.
The DA metrics ranging from 1-100 is used to analyse the Domain Authority of websites.
The higher the metric, the better the chances of the website generating organic traffic and rankings on Google SERPs.
Is Low DA Bad?
Low DA is “not an indication” that the website is worthless. There are times when a newly launched website may have a DA of just 1, but it may be already ranking on the first page due to lack of competition or because of other trust factors that Google considers.
It may take some time for Moz to reflect the score as it follows the logarithmic scale. As the DA score increases, it becomes harder to achieve higher DA.
For example, your site can reach 1-30 DA quite easily by following the best practices; however, it becomes more challenging to raise DA from 31-40 and even more difficult to improve it from 70 to 80 DA.
However, if you see a website with a very low DA despite having spent quite some time on the web, it’s an indication of low quality and less traffic.
Even though you can trick Google (using black and gray hat techniques) to rank higher in a short span, advancing with higher DA may not be that easy.
DA is a score that is accumulated over a long period of time. I would say the domain age plays a critical role in improving the DA score.
So if you try improving the DA of your website from 1-50 in a week’s time, the result may reflect only after a few months. A few changes here and there will not make your DA skyrocket.
If you want to improve the DA systematically without lagging behind your competitors, you have come to the right resource.
How to Know the DA of a Site?
Before we start off with the steps to improve the DA of your website, let me give you an example of how to analyze the Domain Authority of your website.
Don’t confuse DA with PageRank. The score that you see on the DA is not a metric that Google uses to rank websites on the SERP.
Google easily has more than 200 different ranking factors, and higher DA does not directly impact the rankings on Google SERP.
However, there are some common factors that Google and Moz share while ranking websites and giving a higher score, respectively.
This is why a higher Domain Authority website is usually found on the top of the SERP. Additionally, this is one of the reasons why DA is considered as a standard by SEOs across the world.
How to Check Your DA?
DA is a Moz metric that is currently part of their Link Explorer tool, which you can find on the Moz website. Earlier, this tool was called Open Site Explorer. Enter a domain name that you want to check and search for.
Another easy way to check the DA of a website is by installing MozBar. However, if you are an SEO who uses so many extensions, there are chances that the Moz Tool Bar may not work.
How is Domain Authority Calculated?
The Domain Authority of a website is calculated based on many different factors, which are not yet revealed by Moz. However, Moz has confirmed that root domains and the number of total links pointing to a website are key factors for deciding the quality score.
Since Moz has also confirmed that it uses 40 different factors for checking the Page Authority, it’s more likely that an aggregate of these factors might be determinant in the Domain Authority of a website.
Here are some of the widely accepted factors that Moz uses to calculate the DA of a website
- The number of inbound links pointing to a website from different domains
- Contextuality of the link and the website linking to a domain
- The quality of the web content and its ranking on Google SERP
- The on-page SEO score of the website
However, the Moz Domain Authority is not a score that has to be looked at separately. There are many websites that have a DA of 90+. That said, this shouldn’t be a factor that demotivates sites with lower DA.
The DA score has to be always compared to your immediate competitors.
For example, you have shortlisted 4 top competitors out of which 3 have less DA than yours and 1 with higher DA. Chances are the 1 with the higher DA has a better chance of ranking higher on the SERP.
Check out this official video from Moz to understand how to use Domain Authority correctly.
What is the Difference Between Moz Domain Authority and Page Authority?
The terms Moz has come up with are self-explanatory for this question. Domain Authority refers to the overall score assigned to a website, whereas Page Authority refers to the quality metric of an individual page within the site.
Domain Authority and Page Authority are relative in nature. The higher the aggregate Page Authority of a website, the higher will be the Domain Authority.
Can Moz Domain Authority Score Decrease?
In SEO, nothing is constant unless you make consistent improvements. Likewise, Domain Authority is also subjected to changes.
However, this depends on a few factors, including how the machine learning model of Moz treats the quality of the links coming to the website.
So, let’s say your website has a DA of 50, and this is based on the DA of 900 different domains that are linking to your website. If the Moz algorithm finds a high spam score for 400 of these websites, there’s a chance that your DA may fluctuate along with theirs.
This happened in 2019 when Moz decided to revamp the core algorithm that determines the DA score. A lot of websites felt a fluctuation in their DA, and many complained of a massive drop. When analyzed, the sites that lost the DA were mostly getting link backs from low-quality sites.
Here are reasons why the Domain Authority Might Reduce according to Moz
- Your link profile growth has not been captured in the web index.
- High-authority sites experienced significant link growth, skewing the scaling process.
- We crawled (and included) more or fewer of your linking domains than we previously had.
- You earned links from places that do not contribute to Google ranking.
- Your Domain Authority is on the low end of the scoring spectrum and is more impacted by scaling fluctuation.
How to Increase Domain Authority?
Now that you understand what Domain Authority is, how DA is calculated, and the importance of Domain Authority in assessing the quality of a website, let’s check out some of the practical steps to increase domain authority of your website.
Before we start with the tips to improve Domain Authority, here is a quick video about the same uploaded by John Lincoln – Co-Founder, CEO – Ignite Visibility.
DA Ranking Factor 1: Improve the Off-Page SEO of Your Website
From the time DA came to existence, it has been widely used by the outreach team to understand the quality of a website. Websites with high Domain Authority usually have a host of referring domains that are of very high quality.
If you’re trying to improve the DA of your website, make an effort to acquire high-quality links from domains that have higher DA than that of yours. This will accelerate the growth of your DA.
In addition to this, ensure that you’re not getting links from websites with higher spam scores. A high spam score might result in the website losing authority.
By making sure that your site is getting links from high-authority websites, you give a positive signal to the Moz algorithms about the quality of your site.
Always keep a tab on the links pointing to your site. If you have a higher number of spammy linking domains pointing to the site, the DA can be hit badly. Always do a thorough backlink analysis and make an effort to remove any link with a spam score of more than 30%.
You also have to ensure that the external links on your website are not pointing to spammy domains.
If you’re not sure about the quality of the website that you’re linking back to, use the “nofollow” link attribute to be on the safer side.
Disavowing the links using the Google Disavow Tool may also help in the long run for improving the DA of your website.
Different Ways to Get Quality Inbound Links to Your Site
1) Natural Links
The best way to acquire high-quality links to your website is by publishing content that is worth linking to.
As more people notice the content that you published, they may be interested in linking back to it as a useful resource. This is the ideal scenario that Google recommends, but it’s hard to come by.
There are many ways to publish content that is link-worthy. It could be either a content that is research-based or a linkable asset like an infographic or a graph.
This is a time-consuming process, but the links that are earned naturally have more worth than any other link that you build.
2) Blogger outreach
This is one of the best and most successful ways of link building. If looking to build authority and you’re time-bound, blogger outreach is the best link building practice to follow.
Get in touch with bloggers and webmasters who manage websites that cater to the same niche as yours.
Reach out to them with a guest post opportunity or ask them to cover your product or services that you offer. You will receive a quick response, and the links will be placed naturally.
3) Broken Link Building
This is another link building strategy that’s definitely worth trying.
Conduct a broken link audit of websites with high DA and check if you can provide them with better content to link back.
This strategy opens win-win opportunities as the website can fix the issue with the broken link, whereas you get a quality backlink from a contextual website without putting much effort into writing a blog post.
4) Unlinked Mentions
You may come across websites that may have mentioned your brand name. However, they may not have linked it back to your website.
Do an audit for the brand mentions you have received using SEMRush and shortlist the high Domain Authority websites. Approach them and ask for a link to the brand anchor text.
5) Link Reclamation
There are chances that you may have lost some of the links that you earned.
By using Moz, SEMRush, and Ahrefs, you can find the lost links. Try reaching out to the webmasters of the high DA website, asking them to get the links fixed for you.
6) Link Reclamation
Try doing PR for your website as well. A lot of publishing websites have a very high Domain Authority, and getting a magazine quality link back from such sites is worth the effort. You have the option to do paid PR and Organic PR.
Organic PR activity happens when the press finds that you’re providing some value that’s worth mentioning. This usually happens with big corporations, but you can also do this if you have a well-crafted strategy.
Paid PR activities can also get you high-quality links from high DA sites. However, some sites may charge you.
DA Ranking Factor 2: Optimizing On-Page SEO
Improving the on-page SEO quality of your website is critical not only to improve the rankings on Google but also to grow DA score on Moz.
However, the on-page factors do not directly affect the DA score, but if you do things wrong, it can impact the rankings on Google and indirectly reflect in your DA score.
Moz has confirmed that its machine learning capabilities allow making intuitive changes to the DA based on fluctuations that happen on SERP. So, when a new Google Algorithm Update is rolled out, the chances are that sites that lose positions may also witness a decrease in their DA score.
If you intend to improve the DA by optimizing the on-page SEO factors, it’s highly recommended to use the On-page Grader tool provided by Moz.
Using the On-Page Grader tool, you can check the on-page SEO strength of a page. All you have to do is feed in the URL you want to check along with the focus keyword that you want to rank for.
Once Moz processes the on-page report, you get an overall on-page grade for your page, depending on many factors that Moz considers.
Meta Title, Description, Alt Text, Internal link, etc., are some of the factors that Moz considers while checking the on-page SEO score of your webpage.
The tool also displays areas that require the immediate attention of webmasters and also the best practices to follow for optimizing them.
I’ve covered an in-depth article on On-page SEO Techniques in which I have tried to include all aspects that Google and Moz consider while ranking a page based on the on-page strength.
Here is an overview of the thing that you must consider apart from writing quality and engaging content to improve your chances of increasing the Domain Authority of your website.
1) Keyword Optimization: Before you start writing the content for your website, ensure that you have a set of keywords that you want to rank for. Getting the keywords right also means you’re aligning the content with that of the target audience. Writing content that nobody reads doesn’t add value to your website and also to the target audience.
2) The Freshness of the Content: Your content can become stale after a few years or even months. This can cause your organic rankings and DA score to go down. Since DA is also calculated based on the number of keywords that are ranking on the Google SERP, the moment a chunk of keywords loses the position, you might see a reduction in the DA score. To ensure that the keywords remain on the top positions of Google SERP, you have to keep on updating the content that’s driving the most traffic to your website.
3) URL Optimization: The URL is sometimes the most ignored on-page factor. Most of the time, the URL of a website is auto-generated by the CMS and is not SEO friendly. An SEO friendly URL must follow some best practices. Check out this post to know more about URL optimization best practice.
4) Meta Title: This is the most important aspect of on-page optimization and is considered one of the most important SEO ranking factors. Failure to optimize the title can result in your pages not ranking on Google SERP and can result in your Moz Domain Authority not improving. Since the On-Page Grader tool considers the Meta Title as an important component, there is a high chance that the DA of a website can fluctuate if the title is not optimized.
5) Meta Description: Meta Description is not a ranking factor for Google. However, when it comes to Moz, it considers the meta description as an integral on-page grading factor. Failure to optimize the description with the focus keyword can reduce the overall ranking of your web page.
6) Heading Tags: Google has confirmed that the H1 and other heading tags used within a page gives a clear indication about the different topics covered in the page.
7) Image Alt Text: Another important factor that Moz uses to understand the quality of a page is the alt text used in the images. According to Moz, using the focus keywords and the LSI keywords makes a “positive correlation” when it comes to better rankings on Google and also when it comes to improving the Domain Authority.
8) Internal Links: Internal links are also an important on-page ranking factor for Moz. According to them, an optimal number of internal links will help in better crawling and also helps users to navigate through the different pages within the website. Moz recommends not more than 100 internal links within a page. This number is relative to the number of words within the page.
9) Fix Technical SEO Issues: One reason why Google Algorithms penalize websites is because of their failure to follow the technical SEO best practices. Too many 301 redirects, duplicate pages, lack of canonical links, etc., can lead to a drop in the rankings of websites. In addition to this, you must also consider checking the Robot.txt, .htaccess file, the error codes, schema markup, and http status code.
10) Page Load Speed: After Google announced the mobile-first indexing, one of the most important factors that Google considers while ranking websites is the page load speed. Any site that falls behind the competitor when it comes to the site speed can potentially see a drop in organic keyword positions. In addition to this, any site that has failed to make the transition to a mobile responsive version may also see a blackout from Google SERP. All this can indirectly impact the Domain Authority of your website.
DA Ranking Factor 3: Increase Your Social Signals
Although there is not much talked about the impact of Social Signals on DA, since Moz considers a lot of external factors before deciding the DA of a website, we believe that social signal is one of the factors.
Even though Google is yet to confirm whether Social Signal is part of the algorithm, the pages that are ranking on top positions on Google SERP usually have a high social share.
The way to increase the social signal of your website is to make sure that you actively share interesting posts through the official channels. In addition to this, you can also add social media icons to the website so that Google can easily understand the signal.
Your Answer to “How to increase Domain Authority in 30 Days”
Let’s come to the crux of the matter. How to increase Domain Authority of your website within 30 Days?
As I already mentioned, unlike the immediate changes that you see on Google SERPs after making a few tweaks to your content or through building backlinks, DA is hard to come by.
It takes a little time for Domain Authority to reflect in the effort you have put in. However, there are a few must-try methods to increase DA of your website.
If you implement these best practices, you can make sure that the DA of your website increases in a matter of 30 days or less. So, here is the plan that you can swipe from us. Fear no charges.
Step #0: Create High-Quality Engaging Content
Before kick-starting the on-page and off-page SEO optimization, make sure that you have content that’s worth linking back to. Invest your time in writing long-form content.
It’s proven that long-form content has a greater chance of attractive natural backlinks.
In addition to this, these types of content can rank for a higher number of keywords on search engines.
A content that attracts natural backlinks usually has a high on-page SEO score. This, in turn, means that the page is highly optimized for the target keywords and have all strength to rank high on Google Search
As more and more keywords start to rank on Google, Moz’s Machine Learning Algorithm will start picking up the keyword from Google SERP and begins indexing. At this point, you will start seeing minor improvements in your DA score.
Step 1: Link Audit
As you create link-worthy content, get your team to do a complete link audit of your website. This step is specific to websites that are at least 3-four months old.
Using the Moz Link Research, you can identify the links that are pointing to your website. You can also see the number of links gained and the number of links lost over the period of time that you select.
With the Link Research tool, select “Linking Domains” to get the list of domains that are linking back to your website. You can also find the same in the Search Console report. However, since we are striving to improve the DA of your website, it’s ideal to use the data provided by Moz.
Check for the spam score of each domain linking back to your website. One of the key reasons why the DA of websites reduces is due to the increase in the number of spammy domains.
Find a website with Spam Score higher than 30%; these are websites that can potentially impact the DA of your website. However, this is relative. If you have a website with 90+ DA, 85% of the links that you have will be of very high quality in such circumstances, a few high spammy backlinks will not hurt your DA.
That said, if you have just started your website and have received less than 100 backlinks, you must consider removing the links that have a very high Spam Score as they have the probability of affecting the DA and SERP rankings of your website.
Create a list of the links that you want to get rid of by exporting the spammy domains from the Moz tool.
Step 2: Spammy Backlink Removal
Before you disavow the spammy domains, try to reach out to the individual bloggers and website owners of the sites and ask them to remove the links. Since Moz is no way associated with Google, the disavowed links cannot be detected. The impact will come into effect only when the positions and the number of keywords ranking on Google increases.
Step 3: Disavow Toxic Backlinks
Create a list of domains with high spam scores and use the Disavow Tool to request Google not to consider the backlinks from these domains for ranking considerations.
It has to be noted that the Disavow is not an instant process, there is a lot of crawling and indexing that Google has to perform before all links are disavowed. According to Google, this process can take as long as six months to complete.
For smaller websites with fewer referring domains to disavow, this process is going to be much faster-paced, and the visible changes in organic rankings will happen within a few weeks.
Step 4: On-page SEO Audit
Showcasing a website without errors is as important as building backlinks from high Domain Authority websites. However, there are a lot of on-page SEO errors that your naked eye cannot detect.
If you’re running a website with very few pages, it is recommended to use the Moz On-page Grader.
Find the on-page SEO issues lurking within the site and find the solutions that are important for improving the Domain Authority of the website.
Step 5: Technical SEO Audit
Even though the lines that differentiate on-page and technical SEO is slowly getting blurred, we are listing it as a step because of the importance it plays in building Domain Authority.
A website with technical snag has no chance of making it to the top positions of Google SERP. This means the natural backlinks that you get will be considerably reduced, resulting in your Moz Domain Authority not increasing.
To ensure your website is technically sound, try using the Moz Site Crawl tool. This tool does a great job of analyzing the things that really matter to improve your DA. This includes a list of redirect errors, errors within Robots.txt, slow load time, canonical errors, and a host of 5xx errors that are critical to ranking on Google.
Apart from listing the errors, this tool also provides ample solutions to fix each of these errors.
Step 6: Fix On-page and Technical Issues
In this stage, you have to ensure all the on-page and technical SEO errors are addressed and fixed.
Once you’re certain that all the errors are fixed, run another round of auditing as a reassurance.
Now that you have a perfect website at hand, people will love linking back to you.
Step 7: Start Link Building Activities
It’s time to start the most critical step in building the Domain Authority of your website.
Identify at least 6 the long-form content within your website that people will love linking back to. Find the low hanging keywords (the ones that are in the second and third pages of Google SERP) with high search volume.
In the meanwhile, have a team lookout for the prospective websites that you can reach out to. You can follow the steps mentioned here to do successful blogger outreach.
You can also try doing other link building strategies such as broken link building, link reclamation, unlinked brand mentions, etc. to build high-quality backlinks.
However, if you’re doing blogger outreach, which is the most successful link building practice nowadays, make sure you have a series of well-crafted outreach emails ready.
The success of blogger outreach campaigns depends largely on the outreach emails that you send to the prospective website owners. Ensure that the most relevant long-form content is used as the reference within the email.
Also, make sure you send follow up emails to the prospects whenever required.
NB: For a fairly new website to earn 100 high-quality backlinks, you have to send a minimum of 500-800 outreach emails.
Step 8: Create Outreach Content
Once you start getting positive replies for your outreach email, you may find resource crunch to fulfill all the content requirements. However, to improve the Domain Authority in a month’s time, you have to make the links live ASAP.
To ensure you keep up the pace, outsource the content writing requirements. Ensure that you give clear guidelines for the content to be written by the freelancers or outsourcing agency.
Most of the websites that accept guest posting will have a pre-set guideline. It’s best to share the same with the writers so that there is very little chance of content rejection.
In addition to this, some websites have clear guidelines regarding the link placement, try to acknowledge this.
The best practice to improve the Domain Authority is to build links to the high-quality long-form articles that you have already built. Use the low hanging keywords as the anchors for the backlinks that you are going to create.
This will ensure that the blog stays top on Google from high search volume keywords, and more people will come to the page. This way, you can also earn natural backlinks, which again will increase Domain Authority of your website.
Step 9: Share Content Via Social Media
As soon as the content goes live on the outreach website, share it within all your social channels. You can also request the publisher to do the same and also ask him/her to use the article in the upcoming newsletter so that more people may find it interesting and give you a link back.
Day 26-30 and Beyond
Step 10: Repeat the link building and content activities for the next few months and try to earn 200 + high-quality backlinks within 2 months. You will start noticing improvements in the Moz Domain Authority Score of your website within the first 30 days, and the DA score will continue to increase as you do more blogger outreach.
Note: Reaching DA 100 should not be your priority. Your priority must be to get a DA higher than your closest competitors. If you’re able to get a Moz Domain Authority higher than that of your competitors, this is a clear indication that you are ranking above them on Google and other search engines.
Now you have it all. You have just swiped all the information required to increase DA of your website within 30 days.
However, these tips are most effective when you implement it on your website. We also understand that you may be facing a resource crunch to deal with these activities.
Don’t worry! We can always help you to put this plan into action. Just ping us using the live chat, and we are all here to help raise the DA of your website.
Before signing off, always remember that DA has to be looked at as a long-term SEO goal, and it’s a relative metric that works only when you compare it with the right competitors.