What is Domain Authority and Why Does it Matter?

When it comes to consumers searching online for a product or service, the question you’re always asking yourself is – Is my business showing up in the search results? And is it showing up ahead of my competitors?

That’s because you know that where you show up on the search engine results page (SERPs) can make or break your small business. So you invest in SEO. You run targeted marketing campaigns and encourage customers to leave positive reviews for your business online. That’s great!

But you might be overlooking a key metric in your quest to climb the search rankings – Domain Authority.

What is Domain Authority?

You can think of Domain Authority (DA) as a way to grade a site’s relevance and overall quality in the eyes of search engines. It’s a score from 1 to 100 that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages – the higher your score, the better your chances of ranking in search results.

Domain Authority was developed by the SEO company, Moz, and considers more than 40 factors in its algorithm to determine your score. Some of the most important include:

  • Inbound Links: The number and determined quality of links from another website to yours. More links = better DA.
  • Quality Content: The perceived quality of your content based on how well it fulfills the user’s intent. Content that is seen as useful and valuable – it answered the user’s question and/or gave them the information they were looking for – will increase your rank.
  • Social Signals: Interaction metrics from popular social media sites, such as likes, comments, shares, etc. Content that is being shared a lot on social is perceived as being high quality and therefore helps you rank higher.
  • Domain Age: How long your domain has been registered and active. Older sites are trusted more, so they rank higher.
  • SEO: How accessible your site is to search engines. Obviously the better your SEO, the better your chances are of ranking.

A DA score between 40 and 50 is considered average, while between 50 and 60 is considered a good score. Any score over 60 is considered excellent.

Why is Domain Authority Important?

You might have heard that Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google to determine your search engine rankings and that is has absolutely zero effect on SERPs. And guess what – it’s true. Moz says so right on its website.

So why does DA continue to get so much talk in the marketing and SEO world? Why should you or anyone else bother with it at all? It’s important to remember what DA is – a predictor. DA doesn’t drive success, but it can be an indicator of success. And it’s a pretty darn good one.

Domain Authority’s power comes in how you use it.

Comparing your DA score to another small business in the same category as you is a great way to determine where you stand and how much work you may need to do on your site to be competitive. Review your scores over time and see if the margin between you is getting smaller – that means your tactics are paying off!

Even looking at your own score and how it changes over time can be incredibly useful. If you see your DA decreasing over time, that can be a sign that you’re not up to date with the latest changes and trends in SEO. Maybe that encourages you to do a quick SEO audit that turns up some problem areas that you can fix, and you soon see your site is back on track. Talk about a win!

Domain Authority should not be looked at as some be-all end-all metric. It’s simply a tool that you can use to better understand your website, your search ranking results and how you compare to competitors in your field. Keep fighting the good fight with SEO and you should see your ranking improve over time!

If you’re not seeing the results you want, we can help. Higgins Marketing Group is highly experienced in Search Engine Optimization and will work 1-on-1 with you to improve your site’s ability to rank on SERPs. Get in touch with us today!