If you’re a blogger, chances are you’ve heard of a blog DA score before. And if you haven’t and don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, stick with me. It’ll all be clear soon, I promise! I’ve seen quite a few people mention DA on Twitter recently. Either wondering what it is, wondering how to improve theirs or mentioning how difficult it is to get blogging opportunities when you don’t have a DA above a certain number.
And they’re all extremely valid points and questions. DA can seem like a minefield at times. If you’re a new blogger, you’re probably wondering, “what the hell is a DA score” but don’t worry, I’ll cover everything as simply as possible within this post and explain what it is, why it’s useful and how you can improve it.
So, what is a blog DA score?
DA stands for Domain Authority. Developed by a website called Moz, it’s a handy tool to see where your blog will be ranking in search engines. The Moz scoring system goes from 1-100 and it’s important to remember that only blogs with their own domain will have an accurate DA score.
So that means if your blog has .wordpress or .blogspot at the end of the URL, a DA won’t apply to you. Websites such as Google will have the highest ranking DA scores and most blogs fluctuate between 1-50. Of course there will be some higher than this but that’s the general ballpark.
The higher your DA, the higher your blog will rank on search engines and your DA can determine how trustworthy your site is for potential users and readers.
Where can I check my DA score?
You can check your own DA score directly on the Moz website. It’s incredibly easy and totally free. You’ll have to create an account, which involves entering your email, a display name and password the you sign in, enter your blog URL and find out your DA from there.
You can use Moz 10 times a month to check your DA before you have to pay for premium features. But you shouldn’t ever have to check it that many times anyway. It’ll rarely fluctuate that much within just one month.
Why is a DA score important?
Well, it’s only important if you need it to be important. So if you blog as a hobby and have no interested in working with brands, building your own brand or progressing your blog to anything more than your hobby, then I really wouldn’t worry about your DA much (if at all).
But if you’re a blogger who wants to work with brands or started to work with brands and want to progress in that direction, then a DA can be important for you. If you search the bloggers wanted hash tag, you’ll often see PR’s or brands looking for bloggers with a certain DA, usually +20 or +30. Or websites like Get Blogged work in this way too.
Obviously this means that they’re looking for bloggers who’s blogs will rank higher in search engines, therefore their clients or products they’re promoting through your blog, are more likely to get seen. From a PR stand point, it’s quite straightforward and logical. Although it may seen unfair on the surface, it really is just how the industry works.
So if you’ve got this far and realised that actually, you don’t need to worry about your DA because you blog as a hobby, you have no intention of working with brands and are just peachy as you are, that’s absolutely gravy. Don’t waste your time reading any more.
If you are in a position where your DA score matters, let’s move on to how you can improve your blog DA:
How can I improve my DA score?
So you want the chance to apply for more blogging opportunities but your DA just isn’t quite high enough. It can be incredibly frustrating, I know but there are plenty of – relatively simple – ways you can improve it. These aren’t super quick fixes. You won’t see your DA shoot up over night. But with good practice and regular care taken on your DA, you will see an improvement over time.
Please note that Moz have semi-recently updated the way they measure DA slightly. If you’re interested in finding out more, head over to this post. But the information within this post still applies.
Time is of the essence – sometimes
This one is important to mention first as it’s one of the elements of calculating a DA score that Moz changed in their update. So stick with me…
So, as long as you have your own domain name, you’ll have a DA score. But if you’re a super new blogger, your DA won’t be very high. You can’t expect to buy your domain, wake up tomorrow with a DA score of 47. It just doesn’t work like that. YOU need to work at it.
HOWEVER, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the longer you’ve been blogger, the better your DA score is either. For example, there could be a 7 year old blog which doesn’t focus on SEO, has 0 quality back links from other sites, a ton of broken links and generally not a very user-friendly blog.
And then there could be a 8 month old blog which nails their SEO on every posts, gets quality back links etc etc. Basically what I’m saying is the second blog will have a higher DA despite the fact it’s a newer blog. Anyway, moving on.
Fix broken links
This is an important one and for full transparency, my DA would be a lot higher had I known about broken links sooner. I’ve been blogging 6 years and have built up thousands of broken links in that time. Which I’m slowly working through (and also paid someone to help me with) but it’s an incredibly daunting task.
Basically, get on those broken links sooner so you don’t end up in the same pickle!
A broken link is what it says on the tin. A link that is broken. Say a year ago, you wrote a blog post featuring a product from a small business you were enjoying. But since then, that business has shut down and closed their website. Any readers who click through to their website from your blog will end up at a dead end, a 404 or an error page. Because their website doesn’t exist anymore.
There’s free broken link checkers you can use which are a good place to start with this one.
Related read: A Beginners Guide To Broken Links
This is one of the simplest ways to boost your DA over time and that’s by internally linking your own content within your own content. So kinda like how I linked to my SEO for beginners post earlier on in this post. It’s incredibly effortless but effective and it’ll also help readers stay on your site for longer and improve your bounce rate! And make sure all links open in a new window!
Related read: Why You Should Be Internally Linking In Your Blog Posts
Backlinks from other websites boost your blog DA score
This may be easier said than done but getting backlinks from other high DA websites to your blog will end up helping your own DA. Because it shows Google that your site and content is relevant. There’s a few ways you can get quality backlinks:
- Guest posting: Guest posting on other high DA blogs and linking back to your own content within those guest posts.
- Comment on other blogs: This will help by leaving your URL at the end of your comment. If you’re going to do this, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t always help to leave your comment on every single post you comment on. Especially those which are irrelevant to what you write about. And note that Google considers comments of 9 words or under spam. So make sure your comments are genuine and not just the old, “great post!” that we all know and love.
SEO optimize your blog posts
SEO and DA can go hand in hand and a lot of things apply to both. I find the Yoast plugin absolutely invaluable when it comes to the SEO of my posts. So if you can download plugins, I’d highly recommend that one and watching the tutorials for it. For the sake of this post, you should focus on the following to optimize the SEO of your posts and improve your DA:
- Make your blog posts longer than 300 words: Content rich blog posts show search engines it’s professional and more useful to the reader.
- Key words: Your key words should be in your title, your slug, your introduction, meta description and sporadically throughout the post. When done right, readers won’t notice the key words. But search engines will.
- Use headings where possible: This breaks the text up and makes it more reader friendly (H2 tags!)
- Start your posts with text, not an image: As this is an important place to have your key word and gives you the chance to create a catchy introduction.
- Make your posts as shareable as possible: Not only will easy sharing options encourage people to share your content more, the more it’s shared, the more search engines will recognize it as useful content.
- Name your images and add alt text: When your images are sitting in your folders on your laptop, make sure you rename them, ideally with your key words. Then when they’re uploaded onto your blog, be sure to include alt tags, which also mention your key words and describe what the image is. This also improves the reading experience for visually impaired people.