If you have a website and want to rank it well on Google using SEO, then you’ve probably heard of domain authority at some point.
Domain authority, or website authority, is a measurement of a website’s overall quality.
The SEO software company Moz originally developed the domain authority metric to help website owners learn about how Google viewed their websites and where they could improve things.
If you’re new to SEO and have no idea about how to interpret your website’s domain authority score or even what to do to raise it, the experts at LSEO have compiled this guide to help you out.
Below, you’ll learn all about domain authority, the factors your score is based on, and what you can do to make your website more likely to rank highly on Google.
We have also included a domain authority checker widget below so you can find your domain authority right from this page!
Okay, let’s get going.
Calculate Your Domain Authority Before Reading On
*Please ensure to put your full URL in the checker including https/http protocols*
What Is Domain Authority?
First, it’s important to state what domain authority isn’t so there’s no confusion.
Domain authority, or DA, is not a ranking factor for Google.
Google does not actively take your domain authority score into account when deciding how to rank your web pages.
Instead, think of domain authority as nothing more than an indicator of where you already stand as far as your organic ranking strength.
When you use a domain authority checker like the one on this page and get a numbered score back, you’re just seeing a numeric representation of how Google currently views your site.
And that’s why domain authority is still a useful number to track as you work on your SEO.
The issues that determine your 0-100 domain authority score are the exact issues that Google is looking at to rank your pages.
So, while it’s true that Google isn’t using the DA score that you see for your domain, you can still get a lot of use out of that number.
How Do You Find Your Domain Authority Score?
While Moz was the first to develop domain authority as a score, you can find tools and widgets on a multitude of sites now that use their own criteria to check your domain authority.
If you’re using a legitimate site such as LSEO.com, Moz, Semrush, or Ahrefs to do it, you can take those numbers to the bank.
They are reliable scores that you can use to strategize on the future of your SEO.
What Is a Good Domain Authority?
Now for the question everyone wants to know: what is considered a “good” domain authority?
And here’s the unsatisfying answer: it depends.
That’s actually true.
Domain authority checkers typically run from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best.
It’s too simplistic to say that all you have to do is keep aiming for a higher and higher DA score if you want to succeed (even though that isn’t a bad idea).
What’s really going to help is if you compare the DAs of your search competitors and try to get a DA in their vicinity or that’s better than theirs.
That’s why we can’t tell you what a good DA is. Is it 25? Is it 47? How about 85?
Those numbers are either good or bad when you put them into the context of other websites in your market niche.
Say you run an ecommerce site that sells turntables and stereo equipment.
You have 10 main competitors that you want to beat in the rankings. Their average DA score is 40.
So what do you need to do?
Get 40 or higher.
Now, compare that scenario to one where you run the website of a multinational corporation that’s been in business for decades.
Let’s say its DA is 75, and its competitors are in that area, too.
Well, 40 compared to 75 is pretty bad, but 40 compared to 41 or 42 is just fine.
So, if you want to know what a good domain authority score is, find a good checker, and then input the root domains of your main competitors plus your own site and compare them.
Of course, none of this will make sense to you if you don’t know the specific site issues that have determined your DA score.
How Is Your Domain Authority Determined?
Dozens of factors go into your domain authority score.
More than anything else, though, a website’s DA is calculated based on the quality of the site’s content and backlinks.
If the content across your site is relevant to what you do, if it offers useful information about your industry and services, and if it’s set up in a funnel and cluster structure, then you’re probably strong in your content game.
The other major factor in determining domain authority is the relevance of your domain’s backlink profile.
Doing SEO link building is a whole topic in itself that we have written about extensively on the LSEO blog.
Here, it’s enough to say that the number and quality of your backlinks go a long, long way in determining your DA.
In the same way that Google itself does this, a good website authority checker will look at how many unique referring domains you have in your collection of backlinks.
It will also judge how relevant and authoritative those backlinks are in relation to your own site.
The general wisdom on backlinks in the SEO world is that quality trumps quantity every time.
You can get excited about having 5,000 backlinks in your inventory, but if only 20 of them come from high-quality, expert sources, then you might as well disavow most of the other 4,980.
None of the classic link-building strategies are easy to put into practice; building natural links to your website is an arduous and time-consuming endeavor.
However, because relevant backlinks from authoritative sources act as trust signals for Google, having a lot of high-quality links will tell Google that you are a site worth ranking.
That’s why websites with a lot of strong backlinks will tend to have higher domain authorities.
That shows the importance of link building in 2022 and beyond.
Good backlinks lead to higher DA scores, and higher DAs indicate that you are more likely to rank well on Google and earn more organic visibility.
How to Improve Your Domain Authority
Since you now know the major factors that go into your domain authority score, you’re halfway there with understanding how to improve a low score.
If the authority scores of all your competitors average out to 30, and you’re lagging behind at 10, then you know you have some work to do when it comes to your website’s content and backlinks.
Build Out Your Content
Just like building links, writing website content that is of expert quality and designed for the sales funnel takes time.
You can’t do it overnight.
But if you focus on the funnel as well as the search intent of your content’s keyword targets to make every page and post count toward nurturing leads from awareness to conversion, and you do it all while linking internally to your related pages, you will have built a content web with perfect SEO.
Continually Build High-Quality Backlinks
In SEO, you’re never finished with backlinks.
There should never be a point where you say that you have enough backlinks and can stop acquiring them.
Just remember as you go that you don’t need or want links from spammy and unrelated websites.
Far from helping your efforts to build up your domain authority, those kinds of backlinks could harm your website’s standing with Google.
That’s why those types of links are called toxic backlinks.
Keep doing natural link building. Keep getting links to your content from relevant and authoritative websites.
It takes time, but that’s what will help to improve your domain authority.
Google will notice your efforts, too.
Through a combination of content and backlinks, steadily over time, you can start to surpass your competition on the result pages.
Build Up Your Domain Authority with LSEO
You can check your domain authority here on this post using the free tool above.
The real work of improving your DA, though, comes through content and backlinks, and that’s where LSEO can really help.
Our content marketing services are second to none. We understand the sales funnel and the need to align content with keyword search intent to get you ranking for what matters.
We also manage a robust profile of link-building clients who rely on us to improve their DAs gradually over time, which is exactly what we’ve done for some of the biggest names in dozens of industries.
If you want to start building your domain authority and get ranking on Google, hit up our experts at LSEO.