What is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important to Your Website?

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What is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important to Your Website?

Domain Authority makes up one of the ranking factors determining where your website winds up on search engine result pages (SERPs). SEO consulting firm Moz developed Domain Authority. And it works with Google’s algorithm called PageRank.

Your small business website’s backlink portfolio makes up one of the biggest measures of a good domain authority.

Why Links Matter

Domain authority involves a scale and scores that rank from 1 to 100. Higher scores highlight a website’s ability to rank better. If you’re a startup with a brand-new website, your Domain Authority (DA) score is always one.

The relationship that you need to pay attention to is between the DA and links. High-quality external links to places that are relevant to your goods and services and are credible rank high on the scale. Websites and small businesses that don’t have a corresponding number of good inbound links to balance things out score lower.

Low quality websites and buying a high number of links both need to be avoided if you don’t want to be penalized by Google.

DA is important but it’s no the whole story when it comes to driving traffic to your small business website.  Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist, Moz, explains in an email.

“Keep in mind, Domain Authority is a comparative metric. DA means very little on its own. When looked at through the lens of a competitive set, against competitor domains, DA is a very powerful metric,” he writes.  “That said, don’t get too distracted by DA on its own. Marketers still need to keep on eye on other metrics, such as Page Authority, rankings, CTR, keyword-specific metrics (such as Difficulty and Volume), and local search best practices, to maximize their website’s ranking capabilities.”

As a small business owner, here’s a few more things you need to know.

How to Influence Your DA

Basically, influencing your domain authority is about practicing what’s often called White Hat SEO technique and focusing on your links. On the surface, this looks easier than it actually is because all you really need to do is get rid of bad links and get good ones.


You need to start by looking at your backlinks which are the ones that are pointing to your site from other small businesses or websites. One of the best ways to accomplish that goal is through using Google Webmaster tools and clicking on Search Traffic.  Moz has another tool  that looks at websites and their links to sort the bad ones out.

You need to keep in mind a lot of low-quality links that will harm your domain authority come from obvious sources like porn sites or even companies that aren’t relevant to your goods and services. Getting rid of these is the first step. Most of these tools will have a method to disavow bad backlinks.

Good Links

On the other side of the coin is getting good links. One of the best ways to do that is to make your site attractive with fresh readable value-added content. A lot of what you will need comes under the banner of content marketing.

One of the more traditional sources is blogging and articles. However, video can also play an important role. However you decide to get your message across, it’s important to have a content strategy that’s value added and not driven by what’s called the hard sell.

Answering your prospect’s questions and addressing their pain points will help you to build a loyal following and the number of links you get. This is one of the tried and true methods of getting relevant links and good domain authority.

Internal Links

Linking from one page to another inside your website is also a good way to boost your DA. Internal links are another good way to help boost Google’s Page Rank as it crawls your site.  Here’s an important tip about using internal linking.

If you make sure that the pages you linked to internally are related by topic or theme, your users will have an easier time navigating through your website. That in turn boosts your domain authority.

How to Check DA

Getting started is about knowing where you stand as far as domain authority goes. As you might have already suspected if you haven’t done this before, there are lots of tools on the Internet to help you. Here’s a link to some trusted sources from an industry leading ezine.