5 ways to improve your domain authority

5 ways to improve your domain authority

In this post, I’m going to cover domain authority – what it is, how to check yours and how to improve it.

Please be aware that this post contains affiliate links, which are marked with an asterisk. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase the product through my link (yay!). If you would like to know more, please read the full disclosure policy.

What is domain authority and why does it matter?

In simple terms, domain authority (DA) is one of the key factors which determines how your site performs in search engines. It is scored between 1 and 100, and every site starts at 1 when it is created. As your domain authority increases, so does the ranking in search engines, which means there is a better chance of your site being seen.

From a blogging point of view, some opportunities are dependent on having a higher domain authority. You may have seen requests which state DA20+ which means you need a DA over 20 to be considered.

If you want to check your domain authority, you can do soย here.

“Help – my domain authority is 1!”

If your site is new, this is normal, and it’s nothing to worry about. You are just starting out and there are plenty of ways to increase this. If your site is a few months old, and still have a low score, it could be you haven’t given domain authority much thought and therefore wouldn’t have taken steps to improve it. You’re here now, and we’re going to do something about it!

You should also know that the number doesn’t matter in comparison to all sites, just to those you may be competing with. For example, your number is bound to be much lower than a site like Twitter. This doesn’t matter. You need to pay attention to how it compares to others in your field – in this case, other bloggers.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to give it a boost.

1. Create good content

It all starts from this point. If you are creating strong content that people enjoy, they will be more likely to share it. You will have the respect of the community. In turn, you are likely to receive more opportunities, for things like guest posts (more on this in a sec!)ย I covered a little bit of what I consider good content at the end of this post.

2. Put effort into SEO

The whole reason for the existence of SEO is to help you do better in search engines. If you’re doing this, it’s likely your domain authority will reflect it in some way. Due to part of a role in a previous job, I have a very basic understanding of this. However, thankfully for all of us, there are plugins to help.

The one I – and many other people – use is Yoast. It takes a lot of the stress and hard work out of optimising your posts, believe me. It can still seem quite overwhelming if you know nothing about SEO, so here is a beginner’s guide to using the plugin.

3. Check your speed

You can use this site to check how quickly your site loads. Alternatively, you can use PageSpeed Insights from Google. With PageSpeed Insights, it is logical that the higher the score, the better, but what matters is that you are in the green. You don’t need to get a perfect score.

If your site is slow to load, people won’t hang around to wait for it.ย A high bounce rate can have a negative impact on your score. I believe the optimum loading time is less than 3 seconds. If it takes longer than this, it’s time to take a look at ways to reduce your loading time.

Here are some stats for my blog:

GT Metrix Screenshot

As you can see, I’m not doing too badly! However, it hasn’t always been this way. I had to use a few tips and tricks to get to this stage.

There are several things which can affect your speed, from your choice of web host to the number of plugins you are using.

A few suggestions:

  • Is your theme created with SEO in mind? I have a paid theme from Pipdig so it was part of the package for me. However, you might be able to find a free one you like here. These themes are usually mobile friendly, too, which is becoming increasingly important in optimising your site.
  • Review your plugins. Do you need all of them? If there’s any you can get rid of, do so. Plugins can significantly reduce your loading time, so if they’re not essential, I’d suggest getting rid of them.
  • Are there a lot of images on your homepage? The file sizes of your images can be much larger than you think which prevents your site loading as quickly as it could. I use the Smush plugin to reduce the file sizes while retaining their quality.
  • In terms of hosting, it is much better to be self-hosted. For my blog, I use SiteGround* and I’m more than happy with them. They consistently came up as one of the better hosting services when I was doing my research and have lived up to their good reputation so far.

As you can see from the screenshot, GT Metrix offers WordPress Optimisation tips which are here. I followed these steps and it made a big difference to my loading time! If you are not using WordPress, it may offer something similar for your platform when it has assessed your site.

4. Do guest posts

One of the most influential factors on your DA is the number of links back to your site. So, when you guest post on another blog, they usually include a link back to your own blog and this helps your DA. It’s particularly helpful if this site has a higher domain authority than yours.

To do guest posts, you can ask other bloggers you know, or look on Twitter. There are sometimes requests shared under the #bloggerswanted hashtag. You can also use this hashtag to request to do a guest post. #bloggerrequest is another hashtag you could include. Here’s an example: “Mental health/lifestyle blogger looking for guest post opportunities. Please get in touch if you have any available. #bloggerswanted #bloggerrequest”

Another way is to consider what your speciality is and search it alongside “write for us” in Google. In my case, I am passionate about writing about mental health. I searched “mental health write for us” and discoveredย A Lust For Life. I submitted an article to them, which they featured on their site, including a link back to my blog. Their domain authority is 32, so it reflected positively on my site. My current domain authority is 15, but would have been much lower at the time of submission.

5. Interlink your posts

You have probably noticed bloggers will sometimes end a post with “if you enjoy this, you might like this” and link to another of their posts. Alternatively, they may link to different posts throughout where they are relevant. An example of this would be in the “create good content” section above where I linked to my post about boosting traffic. The reason for this is it strengthens the link profile of your site. This is another factor when scoring your DA.

If you don’t have a lot of content right now, this can be difficult to do. In my first few posts, I would include links to my contact me or about me page instead. When you have created more content, you can go back and edit your posts to add more appropriate links.

Bonus: Give it time

I know, it’s not what you want to hear, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while to build up your domain authority. Yes, the first four points will help but it’s not going to suddenly shoot through the roof. As you get higher up the rating system, it becomes more difficult to improve your domain authority. So, it’s easier to go from 1-20 than it is to go from 40-50. However, if you remain aware of the things you need to do and consistently implement them, you should continue to do well.

5 ways to improve your domain authority

5 ways to improve your domain authority
What is domain authority and how can you improve yours? Click through to find out!

46 Comments

  1. 30th May 2018 / 11:52 am

    Wonderful tips as always! I will have to spend some time checking out my site to see how it’s doing using some things you’ve mentioned!
    Thank you!
    Menna x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 11:55 am

      My pleasure! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  2. 30th May 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Thank you for this! My blog is currently at a 12, so can definitely use advice!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 12:19 pm

      No problem! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 30th May 2018 / 1:01 pm

    This is a great post and super informative xx Itโ€™s important to note that a DA rating of 1 also means that your site hasnโ€™t been indexed at all. Once indexed (can take anywhere from a month to 5 months – or anywhere in between) youโ€™ll get your first score which will definitely improve over time. Itโ€™s taken me 7 months to get my DA rating of 22 and Iโ€™ve put little effort in since Feb / March ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™ˆ (My bad). Will be interesting to see what happens when Moz changes the SEO checker completely…
    great post as always sweetie ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    Shevy
    http://moonsomnia.com
    #bloggerclan

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 1:03 pm

      That’s true – thanks for mentioning that, lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 30th May 2018 / 1:18 pm

    Great post! At the moment I am riding the wordpress’ DA, don’t have the courage to go self-hosted yet. But a lot of great ideas here like interlinking. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 30th May 2018 / 5:46 pm

    Ruth this is such a great post! I had no idea about the speed thing. It’s so important because I include so many photos. I’m going to work out how to make mine faster now. I feel like I might need to upgrade my blog so that I can get plug ins too, I would need to pay more though. Should have just gone self hosted from the start!!

    Sammy – Seekingsammy.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks, lovely! You can always do it when youโ€™re ready. I think a lot of people end up wishing theyโ€™d gone self-hosted to begin with but on the other side of things, itโ€™s good to try it before spending money! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  6. Ellie Phillips
    30th May 2018 / 7:00 pm

    I’ve been learning more about DA when mine randomly went form 1 to 12! I’ve heard about interlinking posts and find it does help a lot!! Some good tips here x
    http://www.thediaryofellie.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      31st May 2018 / 11:15 am

      Thanks lovely x

  7. 30th May 2018 / 7:18 pm

    This is such a helpful post for someone like me who has no clue what they are doing ๐Ÿ™ˆ Hopefully Iโ€™ll be able to improve my DA now! Some really amazing tips here so thank you for sharing!

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Thanks, lovely! Iโ€™m glad you found it helpful. Good luck improving your DA ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  8. 30th May 2018 / 7:55 pm

    Thanks for this Ruth ๐Ÿ˜ƒ youโ€™ve made it nice and easy to understand, my DA was only 10 last time I checked so I will print this off if I can and refer to it, Iโ€™ll also click on some of the links above and see how I get on. Thanks again!
    Fiona | https://sunraintea.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 8:05 pm

      No problem! Happy to help ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  9. Emma
    30th May 2018 / 7:57 pm

    It took me 2 mo the to go from 1 to 9 so Iโ€™m aiming for a DA of 20 by the end of 2018! Thank you for the tips ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ll definitely bare them in mind

    Emma | http://www.lifeofemmax.co.uk

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 8:05 pm

      No problem! Good luck getting your goal ๐Ÿ˜€ x

  10. Vicky
    30th May 2018 / 9:32 pm

    This is so helpful great tips ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Glad to hear it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 30th May 2018 / 10:11 pm

    This is the nice simple post I have been dreaming about to teach me to up my 1 DA score! Ruth you are always so generous with your info and I just love you for it! Thank you so so much! x

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      30th May 2018 / 10:33 pm

      My pleasure, lovely! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  12. 1st June 2018 / 5:47 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve been wondering what DA is, and your post explains it beautifully. Also, thank you for including the tips, those help a lot as well.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      1st June 2018 / 8:44 am

      No problem at all! Glad I could help ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. 1st June 2018 / 11:47 am

    Another excellent post, Ruth. Great tips here too. You’re doing so well despite being fairly new to the scene; you’ve got so much promise and you’re a great example to anyone who wants to blog but isn’t so sure what to do! Keep up the hard work. You’re a star!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      1st June 2018 / 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 2nd June 2018 / 10:52 pm

    This was such a great post. I was needing all the help I could get after my DA dropped right down when I took a break from my blog. Never thought about doing a guest post but Iโ€™ll definitely be keeping a look out for anyone wanting someone to do one so I can jump right in xx

    queensapphire.co.uk

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      2nd June 2018 / 11:41 pm

      Yay! I’m sure you’ll have it up there in no time. You are fantastic, afterall! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  15. 6th July 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Never even heard of this before.Thank you! I was only familiar with Google PageRank. I checked mine and I’m at 11, so I have some work to do. But at least it’s something.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      7th July 2018 / 12:17 pm

      11 isnโ€™t bad! Iโ€™m sure you will see an increase soon enough ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 13th July 2018 / 6:35 pm

    This is so well written even a total novice like me can kind of understand it.
    I just have one question, I presune da will only increase if I have my own domain. I only presume this as I have guest written twice with links back to my WordPress free plan account and my da is still 1.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      13th July 2018 / 11:02 pm

      I’ve checked your DA using the toolbar and it’s apparently 9. ๐Ÿ™‚ It may be you are using the old link checker on Moz.

  17. 14th July 2018 / 8:03 am

    Oh Holy crap. Yeah I must have been. What an idiot i am. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š made my day!!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      14th July 2018 / 8:08 am

      Donโ€™t worry, it happens a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad I could help!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      1st August 2018 / 9:39 am

      Hope they help. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 1st August 2018 / 10:51 am

    God thank you, I’ve just bookmarked this post for future ref. I’ve only just purchased my domain, so I’m still v new at the whole game, but figured it was worth getting ahead before I fall behind!

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      1st August 2018 / 10:59 am

      No problem at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. 15th August 2018 / 3:30 am

    Super informative post! I already knew some of the things but the GTmetrix link you provided was especially helpful. I will definitely use it to find ways to improve the site speed.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      15th August 2018 / 10:10 am

      Glad it helped!

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      22nd August 2018 / 6:35 pm

      No problem! So glad it helped!

  20. 23rd August 2018 / 5:38 am

    Thanks Ruth! I am working my way through #3 now. Your tips are very helpful and GTMetrix gives a lot of detailed information for what to fix.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      23rd August 2018 / 10:20 am

      No problem! Glad it was helpful!

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