There are so many aspects of blogging that are useful to keep up to date with now. It feels like so long ago that it was sufficient to write something, throw in a quick snap and be done. There's Google Analytics to think about (vom), tweet scheduling, media kits, and what we're here to talk about today: DAs. I personally love this side of blogging, but I know most people hate it, so let's get down to business.
What does 'DA' mean?
Honestly, this baffled me for so long, and I just totally avoided looking it up because #scary. DA stands for Domain Authority. A domain authority is a figure from 1-100 that indicates how well your blog will turn up in search engines. The higher the number, the better your score is.
How do I find my DA?
Firstly, you ned to have your own domain, i.e. one you've bought, not a blogspot.com one or something similar. I didn't realise this at first and was so disappointed that I couldn't find mine, though it makes sense now that in order to have a domain authority you need a domain. Whoops. I've got a lil post all about sorting out a domain for a 'blogger' blog here.
Moz is the name of the site that you can find your DA on. If you follow this link, you'll reach a page with a big URL box. Pop in your blog's URL, hit search and you'll see your domain authority appear.
Why do I need to look into it?
Having a rough idea of what your DA is is useful in terms of considering how high up your blog is appearing in search engine rankings. It sucks to find out that when somebody searches a topic that you've written a post on, they're never going to see it because you're four pages down the list of suggested sites.
Also, sometimes brands will request that your blog has a certain DA in order to collaborate with them. Anyone can search the DA of any site, so you can't bluff figures, as the brand will always be one click away from finding out the truth.
How can I improve it?
Links from other pages. In effect, Moz (and Google) views your site as a more 'trustworthy' site if other sites have placed a link to yours on it. So, for example, advertising on a blog with a DA of 40 can actually help to in turn boost your DA. Alternatively, if you wrote an article for a well-established site with a high DA and it included a link to your blog, this could give it a boost too. It's not necessarily the number of links that give your DA a greater boost, but the quality. One link on a site with a DA of 60 is much better than three links on sites with DAs of 15.
Internal links. Earlier, when I was talking about getting your own domain name, I linked the post that I wrote on it. Creating internal links to relevant posts is likely to encourage people to hop on over to a second post and thus reduces your bounce rate, which in turn boosts your DA.
Improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plays a massive part in improving your DA. A particularly critical area is ensuring that your blog has no duplicate content to another webpage or site. This basically means don't copy anyone else's work. If a good chunk of a post matches that of a post already on the internet, your page authority (like DA but for each page) will drop massively.
Avoid thin content. Thin content basically means a page that has under 300 words on it. It suggests that you're not writing good quality, well thought out articles, and you can be penalised for it, especially if a large portion of your site is made up of thin content.
Avoid keyword stuffing. In the past, ensuring that you repeated your keywords over and over again was a simple way of boosting SEO. Now that's not the case. Google has become wise to this and actually penalises posts that repeat the same few phrases over and over again. I.e. if I said 'what is a DA' in every paragraph of this post, it would drop way down in search engine rankings. Keywords are still useful, but only if they're used in a much more natural way.