Backlinks and Domain Authority: How Important Are They Really?
Published on 28th October 2022
A lot of aspects are considered to determine your website's success. Links, particularly backlinks, are a key element in improving your domain authority (DA). The better your website’s DA, the higher you will feature in SERP's (search engine results pages).
There’s one SEO ranking criteria that few people think about or even know about: domain authority. Part of the reason for this is that most don’t know what it is, what it means, how important it is or how much it can affect search results.
What do we mean by domain authority?
They rank your website and web page's success rate in search results and apply a DA score between 0 and 100. For Google and other search engines, the higher your DA score, the more ‘authoritative’ (trustworthy) your website. Therefore, you are more likely to appear higher in SERPs
On average, most websites that appear on the first two pages of search results have a DA score between 40 and 50. A score over 50 is considered good; over 60 is excellent, making those websites stand out.
It’s easy to confuse DA with PA (page authority) because it uses the same metrics, and this score is often delivered simultaneously with the website’s DA score. However, there is one key difference between the two scores. PA measures the trustworthiness of single web pages; DA measures the entire website. That doesn’t mean your PA score isn’t important; it is because it helps to determine which pages on your website are working. This can be particularly relevant for landing pages for marketing campaigns.
A website's DA score helps to determine how trustworthy and authoritative a whole website is. The higher the score, the higher it will appear in search results. Now that you understand what domain authority is and how it works, you can see why having a high DA score is essential.
Why are backlinks important to your domain authority?
Whilst SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques are important to increasing your DA score, the key method is incorporating backlinks into your website. Research by Ahrefs revealed that 55.24% of websites don’t have any organic visitor traffic because backlinks aren’t included.
The thing is, backlinks – in fact, all good links – are a major ranking factor in Google (despite other search engines like Bing, Google is still number one). You could even look at your DA score as a measure of how strong or not your link profile is. So, your link profile should be top of the list when looking at ways to increase your DA.
How to increase your domain authority score?
But how do you go about improving your link profile? There are several tried-and-tested ways that will help towards increasing your DA score.
Grow links from other websites with a high DA score – getting links from high DA websites significantly impacts your own DA score. There are a variety of ways you can do this, including your referral sources (the websites linking back to your content), look at your competitor websites and see where their backlinks are coming from, but the best way is to create high-quality content that is link-worthy, i.e. high DA websites want to link back to.
Boost your internal links – internal links help improve user experience. So, when you include links to other pages on your website in your online content, be it blogs, social media posts or other high-quality content, you are potentially keeping visitors to your site more engaged. In addition, when search engine bots crawl the website, internal links help them index and rank your web pages.
Get rid of bad links – run an audit of your website and get rid of the bad links. This could be links that no longer work, i.e. links that go to an error or ‘404’ page or spam links. Whether they are your internal links, spam links or links to other websites, leaving them there reduces user experience and will seriously impact your DA score. If there are too many bad links on your website and Google’s bots discover them, your website may be penalised by Google. Bad links can be removed manually, but you can also disavow them, which means bots will ignore them when crawling your website.
Optimise user experience and website structure – criteria also used to determine your DA score are how user-friendly the website is and its structure. The better the website structure, the easier it is for bots to crawl the web pages, find relevant information and index it for search results. Ensure your website incorporates a site map containing all your web pages so search engines can navigate your site quickly. Regarding user-friendliness, ensure your website is optimised for and performs well on any mobile device, i.e. all content, including images/videos, loads quickly. Also, ensure your website is safe, particularly if you run an e-commerce website. Get SSL certificates, move it to ‘https’ and add a web application firewall.
Also, check for fake or no longer active websites when link building. The internet is full of websites set up just to create high DA scores but little else. There are also plenty of websites that had a good link profile but are now inactive. These sites may register a high DA but receive very little, if any, traffic; do not link to these sites.
Here at it’seeze, we make website design easy, flexible and cost-effective. Not sure if your website is working for you or want to audit the link profile of your website? We offer a free Website Health Check that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made and identify harmful links to your website.
Read another one of our blog posts covering LSI Keywords, Search Intent and how to implement these into SEO. In simple terms, with LSI, you’re helping the super clever bots identify similar meaning words in the content and understand more about the topic. Click here to head to another blog and read further.
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Tagged as: search engine optimisation (SEO)
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