Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process that attempts to increase a site’s listing in traditional search engines. Specifically, the goal is to ensure that said site is a top result to increase traffic. Typically, this just applies to unpaid, or “organic,” placements. This can be done in a variety of ways, but one of the most important factors in a site’s placement is its overall domain authority. DA is one of many scores developed by Moz to evaluate websites and predict their placements. It is a site’s overall score that determines its likelihood to appear in search engine results. A few different factors contribute to the calculation.

How is domain authority determined?

Domain authority is calculated on a scale of 1-100. Both entire websites as well as individual web pages receive a score. The higher the score, the more likely the site or page will get a high placement in search results. A site’s overall score is determined by things like its amount of backlinks and the DA of said backlinks. How unique each backlink is will generally be the biggest factor in determining their score. Naturally, the amount of other sites that link to your content will have an effect on your DA score, as well. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of content you link on your site, the higher your own DA score will increase.

Fortunately, you don’t have to view your DA score as an absolute measure of your site’s quality. Rather, you should view it as a comparative metric. You don’t necessarily need a near 100 score to receive a top placement. Rather, you simply need your score to be higher than that of your direct competitors. Because of DA being determined by a multitude of factors, it’s significantly easier to improve a lower score than a higher one.

Influencing Domain Authority

Considering the importance of domain authority to your site, you’re probably wondering if there are ways to directly change it. This is a somewhat tricky task since there are so many factors that determine DA, but improving your overall SEO practices is your best bet.

One of the best ways you can do this is by improving your link building. This is generally considered the hardest part of SEO, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Linking to other sites related to yours, for instance, can be a great way to reach out to other influencers and establish relationships where you help each other out. This can also increase the odds of your site getting backlinked on others which will both improve your traffic and make your site appear more trustworthy.

Try not to get frustrated if you aren’t quickly seeing the results you want. Improving any site is a significant time investment. Your DA is also only a measure of your placement on search engines; it really says nothing of the overall quality of your site. A high placing site can be littered with annoying popups, and a low placing site could be a new one full of great information that just isn’t popular yet.

Contact the pros

If you aren’t comfortable with your own SEO skills yet, or if you’d just rather an experienced hand take care of it, there are plenty of services available. Link Graph is one such service that promises better link building and effective SEO campaigns. Multiple tiers are offered depending on desired results, so it can be a good option for both sites just starting out and giants looking to expand influence. It’s important to remember that, even with professional help, results won’t be seen overnight. SEO is a long term game, and it can often be many months before it pays off. Just be patient and keep realistic expectations if you want to succeed.