What is DA? :
DA or Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score, from one to 100, the higher your score the greater your sites ability to rank in searches.
Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, such as linking root domains and number of total links, into one single DA score which can then be used to compare websites, which if you are a blogger will be really important how you fair against other blogs.
Last year my DA was 45 and I was feeling pretty smug, however gradually over 6 months it dropped to 30 and didn’t seem to be stopping. I just couldn’t work out why this was happening. Thankfully it seems to have been a yoast plugin bug which I have now rectified and my DA appears to be rising again (35 at the moment.) Whilst I don’t understand the technicalities of it at all I do know a few handy tips to help increase DA and ultimately improve your website.
Top tips for increasing DA :
SEO : Basic SEO is really underrated but ensuring you have good meta descriptions (should be 150-160 characters long), meta tags, alt tags (never leave uploaded images without keywords rich titles and alt tags never leave them as img_1234), URL structure and site navigation is a good place to start.
Content is King :
- Evergreen content : This is content that doesn’t date and is always popular for me every school holiday I re-share my posts on running a business around children.
- Topical content : Content that reflects what is happening at the moment – World Cup, Heatwave, specific days you have identified in your content calendar (International Day of Happiness 20th March, National Freelancers Day 28th June)
- Update old posts : Things change (like social media!) make sure you update content when this does, also remove competition factors in posts over a year old and ensure the post is still relevant to anyone happening upon it. If like me you started off using stock images and now have some of your own you might want to update these and streamline your branding.
Domain Age : If you are one of these people who can’t stick to a name and is constantly rebranding this can have an effect on your DA. Websites that have had the same domain name for a long time are rewarded.
Broken links : As DA takes into consideration your total number of links and linking root domains it’s vital to keep them updated. You should however check for broken links regularly as this affects SEO also google penalises dead links. Make it part of your monthly routine as this way you reduce the overwhelm of 100’s of broken links. Broken links can occur for many reasons, you might have linked to a business or product that nolonger exists, or sometimes comments contain broken links. If you are using wordpress then use the plugin, if not Free Broken Link Checker website is easy to use.
Getting Links : The more backlinks to your website the better your DA however easier said than done! Back in the old days many websites and blogs had a link page or blogroll but this practice has diminished some, but it’s worth checking out sites for free listings.
- Guest blog posts, write a post with a specific website in mind and send it to them, craft yourself a good author bio with a link to your site.
- Look out for content round-ups, many bloggers will write round-ups and be looking for content check out Content and Round Up Requests for UK Bloggers or Britmums. Also check out #journorequest on Twitter for opportunities.
- Comment on other blogs especially those that allow you to add your website or link back to your latest content.
- Sharing content on social media helps develop backlinks too.
Inbound Links : Link back to your own content too. This is a really good habit to get into making reference and drawing readers attention to other posts you have written, keeping them on your site for longer.
*LINK TIP * Ensure all external links (even those to your own content) open in a new window this reduces the chance readers will open up a new site and forget to come back to finish reading/engaging with your content.
Load Time : Keep an eye on how long it takes to load your website, load time is a contributing factor in calculating DA.
I like to make my blog posts actionable and I hope you think this one is. Start by finding out your current DA using MOZ then start working your way through my suggestions above. After 3 months check your DA again and hopefully you will start to see a gradual increase. Leave a comment below and let me know how you get on.