Domain Authority (DA) is one little number with big implications for your site. One of the most interesting things about the DA rating system is that is wasn’t created by some central governing body, and it wasn’t created by Google.
It was actually developed by the SEO research organization, Moz, in an effort to give any online marketer a better idea of how likely their site is to rank highly in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), so that they can then organize their SEO strategy accordingly.
This is one of the reasons that it’s extremely beneficial for you to know your site’s DA rating. Let’s go into a little more detail about how it works, and how you can take the most advantage of the information.
What is Domain Authority, Exactly?
First, let’s look at the literal definition. As defined by Moz on their website, domain authority is “a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages. A domain authority score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.”
We already briefly went over this, but beyond what the score actually means, you also have to understand what goes into it. Your DA score is determined by a number of factors, and you have to stay on top of those factors to maintain a good score.
Things like the number of backlinks your site has, the number of your site’s articles that have already achieved a good rank in Google (the rank of all your site’s pages, good or bad, also come into play), and how many articles you have submitted in total, are all factors used to calculate your DA score. It’s not like there are analysts sitting at their desks somewhere, looking at all of those metrics to come up with a score for you; it’s calculated logarithmically through machine learning.
You Don’t Want to Fly Blind
This number is more important than you probably think. If you are either new to online marketing or just never cared to learn more than the basics of posting blog articles and getting a decent rank in Google search pages, then you should at least learn about this one thing.
Even if you don’t proceed to teach yourself about SEO, DA is the single thing you should become familiar with because, at the very least, it will give you a compass to point your efforts with SEO in the right direction. DA is a key metric to understanding how and what you should be writing in your business blog and how well it will perform in SERPs.
Just putting out whatever content you want for the business blog may seem like it’s working, or you may just assume that it has to be, but that’s amateur hour. When you have no idea what your site’s DA is, you’re basically just blindly writing content with no clue how well it’s going to do.
The far better way to approach it is to be deliberate of what you’re writing, when and how often you’re posting, and what keywords you’re targeting based on who your target customers are. That’s how you build up your DA score, and that’s how you have success with your blog.
DA Tells You Which Keywords to Target
Keyword research and optimization is one of the primary uses of knowing your DA score. Your score essentially tells you how much power your site has to rank highly in SEO, over other sites trying to do the same; so, if you already know the potency of your site to rank highly, then you can plan your strategy carefully and with a lot more accuracy.
Knowing this gives you a huge advantage because you will be concentrating your online marketing efforts in the right areas, instead of just throwing content at the wall and waiting to see what sticks. Content marketing is a competition in every sense of the word. The whole thing is a huge competition that you have to know how to play very well if you’re going to be able to win.
You want to choose the keywords that you know you can win or that you’re more likely to win. If your DA is pretty low, then you’ll want to go after keywords with a lower difficulty, keywords for which fewer sites are competing. The difficulty of a keyword not only depends on how many other sites are competing for it, but how many heavy-hitters are competing for it, that is, sites with a high DA.
Most businesses want to go for the first keywords that come to mind, those are generally going to be high-difficulty keywords because it’s also the first thing that comes to mind for every other marketer. That would of course be great to rank for a high-profile keyword, but only the sites with the highest DA will be able to rank for it. You have to resist the temptation to target those top keywords.
Target the Keywords for which You Know You Can Compete
No matter how good they are, if your articles cannot achieve a page #1 rank listing, no one is ever going to see it. Just because it’s brilliantly produced content that everybody wants to read doesn’t mean that it will automatically rank well; you only get that by beating all the other sites that are competing for that particular keyword.
Take into account what your current DA score is, decide how much pull you have with that score, and then select the keywords or phrases very carefully based on the difficulty rating. This gives you a big advantage over other sites who are also trying to rank well, but without considering this at all.
You can have great success if you target attainable keywords; that’s the name of the game. Write content based around second or third-rate keywords, and since you can successfully compete for those, you’ll have a much better chance of getting a page #1 rank in Google.
Then, once you do start getting those level of ranks and improving SEO all around, that, in turn, increases your DA score. Make it a habit to follow this strategy as often as possible.
Monitor Your DA Score to Guide Future Content
With content marketing and SEO, the only way to really do well is to be deliberate about every move you make and to use targeted strategies. Then, just keep doing that for a long period of time. DA is a key element that will allow you to create the right content, in the right way, at the right time.
DA is very much like your credit score. First of all, if you don’t know your credit score, you will have no idea what items you qualify for; the same is true of your DA score. So, the first thing anyone trying to get approved for something credit-based needs to do is find out what their credit score is, and then they will know what kind of resistance they can expect and what sort of loan they can pursue.
When you’re attempting to secure an auto loan, for example, the bank is going to have a minimum required credit score in most cases. The higher your score is, the better car you can finance. If you think about DA in that way, then you understand how it works because the better your DA score is, the more highly-searched keywords you can rank for.
It’s also important to monitor your score as you progress because you may have a higher DA and not even realize it, enabling you to rank for better keywords, but you’re still targeting the lower-profile keywords. Keep in mind that this process takes a good deal of time. There’s no real way to rush it besides simply publishing more content and learning SEO faster, so just keep creating and publishing content regularly, a few times per week if possible without any breaks. That’s how you’ll build the integrity of your blog.
Whatever level you may be at with SEO, your blog can perform better if you only go after the keywords that you know you are more likely to win and be deliberate about everything you do.
Check out all of the articles in the series, Building Your Business Blog 201:
Greetings from the Talkroute Content Team!
Want to get in touch? Email Us
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.