When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), chances are you’ve heard a few buzzwords tossed about, like search engine results pages, link building, keyword stuffing, and many more. One term you might not be as familiar with, however, is domain authority.

Developed by the SEO company Moz, domain authority is a ranking score that’s generally a pretty good indicator of how well your domain will rank against comparable competitors. Now, before you look up your site’s score and puzzle out what it means, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Comparative, not definitive

If you have a relatively young website, haven’t done much link building, and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to SEO, there’s a high possibility that your domain authority is fairly low. However, don’t panic. Even if your site’s around a 30 on the 1-100, Moz themselves have advised users not to view their scores as the definitive answer on how well their site might ranks. Instead, it’s advisable to see your score as a comparative tool. But what does that actually mean?

For starters, you need to do a bit of comparing. To gain insight into how well you’re likely to perform, begin by looking into the scores of your direct competitors. Once you’ve done that, assess where in the average score range your domain falls. If you’re lagging behind the competition, you might want to put in some SEO efforts to improve rankings. If your score is higher, it’s plausible that you’re already outstripping your local rivals. Also, since a domain authority score is comparative, that means that there’s really no “good” or “bad” scores as long as you’re generally keeping pace with your industry competitors!

Determining factors

Now that you understand how domain authority works, it’s time to dig a little deeper into the meat of how it’s calculated. Above all, domain authority is reliant on how many quality links your site receives. Note the word “quality.” Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for site owners to purchase spammy links from less-than-reputable companies. It was a quick, fairly effective method for rapidly boosting ranking positions and increasing site visibility.

But link spamming is now known as a “black hat” tactic which means that search engines, especially the global giant, Google, frown upon this practice. Worse yet, if you’re caught using black hat ranking methods, your site may get penalized or de-indexed altogether. That’s why quality is important above all else.

So how can you get quality links for your website and boost domain authority? This is where SEO, link building campaigns, and content creation for shareable pieces that naturally attract inbound traffic come into play. If that all sounds a touch intimidating, you’re not alone. In fact, depending on your available time and resources, you should consider relying on professional assistance to get the job done.

Call in the cavalry

Whether you need to allocate resources to other aspects of managing your site or don’t want to invest in an in-house SEO expert to help you boost your rankings, it’s time to investigate external help. Companies like Link Laboratory work with Fortune 500 powerhouses, Silicon Valley startups, and many more growing businesses to help them with their link building, content creation, and technical site analysis needs.

If you’re tired of lagging behind your competition or simply want increases in search engine rankings or your overall domain authority score, don’t be shy about calling on industry experts for aid. With the help of professionals, you’ll learn more about how link building and content creation can provide your business with a much-needed boost, and start crushing your site’s marketing and development.

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