Websites are not the same. Some rank high on search engine results pages, while others barely appear on the first few pages. Website authority refers to the probability that a domain will appear in the priority search engine search results. But is this the same as domain authority? Not at all. The latter concept only examines whether a site would appear in search engine search results and where it would rank. The higher its ranking, the higher its authority. Website authority looks beyond these ratings and also considers a site’s backlink strength to other websites. It thus encompasses the following:

  • Whether a site would show up high among the search engine search results, i.e., can garner organic results.
  • Whether a site has a high number of quality backlinks from reputable sites, i.e., offers value to other sites.

The better your website authority, the better your overall rankings, and the easier it is to garner traffic and use your website to convert leads into sales. Thus, your website authority is an important aspect of your marketing campaigns.

What Factors Affect Rankings

Factors Affecting Rankings

As a website owner or manager, you may wonder why one site would have high authority while another barely shows up on search results. Well, here are the most common determinants of where your website falls:

  1. The content you make: Websites that offer valuable content attract more visitors. For example, if your site provides fitness insights that people cannot easily find elsewhere, people looking for such content would consider your website. Over time, other websites would start linking to your pages as they always follow where the traffic goes. As such, you would hit the twofer, which results in a high authority.
  2. The links you get: Inbound and outbound links are integral in SEO campaigns. But people don’t link their websites to just any other site. Instead, they focus on the sites that can offer value to their audience. Again, this comes down to the value of your content and the kind of traffic you get. The better these aspects are, the more links you will get, including from reputable sources that can build your image. Besides the number of links, the variety of domains linking to you also matters. The more sites that link to you, the better you look.
  3. The site’s features: Good content is a great pillar for a high-performing website. Even so, people can still avoid using your site if it does not meet the ideal user experience. Websites with attractive graphics, fast loading speeds, simple menus, and mobile-friendly access often win. After all, people can access their content without any hassle. The better your site features, the better your rankings. Of course, you should have content that people want to view.
  4. The social media influence: Do people share what you post? Do they like it? In this age of user-generated content and real-time sharing, people perceive a site’s authority based on how often they see it mentioned on social media. For example, if you sell clothes and influencers usually share links to your site, this implies that your site is trustworthy. Moreover, algorithms pick up on this engagement and use it to rank you even higher.
  5. The age of the site: While newer things often get the attention of the audience, people usually trust older sites. For example, if a site has been selling shoes for three years, people consider it more trustworthy than one that has been operating for six months. Of course, they consider other aspects, such as customer reviews and user experiences. But all things held constant: the longer you maintain your website, the more traction you will get.
  6. Security: Data security continues to be one of the most important aspects of a website. People want to know how you will use their data. Sites that are clear about their data policies are seen as more trustworthy, which prompts more people to access them. Visitors also consider factors such as encryption, the security of the payment gateways, etc. The more you assure your audience about your data protection guidelines, the higher you can rank.
  7. The SEO properties: How often do you tag your pages? Do you use metadata? How about sitemaps? The more work you put into ranking your pages and making them visible, the easier it will be for you to establish your website authority. It’s thus important to look beyond the content and user interface and instead use technical SEO to help you work your way to the top of the list. Those extra minutes make a lot of difference.

Boosting your rankings comes down to working on all the factors that play a role in your rankings. You can start by working on your on-page SEO, including more internal links in your site, ensuring the pages load fast and are easy to navigate, engaging your audience on social media, and disavowing backlinks that can damage your website’s authority.

Where Does Your Site Fall

Is your website authority good? Are you perfoming as well or even better than your competitors? Here are some ways you can monitor where you lie:

A. Conduct an SEO analysis

The results will enable you to know where your domain falls compared to other websites in the same niche. Since it gives you a metric, it’s easy to tell whether your performance is excellent, good, fair, or below par.

B. Perform a backlink analysis:

Which sites link to you? Are they reputable? How varied are the links? This review will help you understand the quality and quantity of the sites that link to your domain. Like with the SEO analysis, you will get a figure you can use to assess your overall authority compared to similar sites.

C. Complete a website analysis

Visitor insights help you understand the kind of audience you attract and how this affects your ranking. For example, if people barely ever visit your site twice, this can result in a dip in your overall standing.

With these numbers, you can figure out what is helping or hurting your site, allowing you to make changes to boost your rankings and grow your business.


Your website authority affects the traffic your site gets, how much people trust it, and how easily you can sell your products. Luckily, you can improve it by making practical changes, such as providing valuable content, optimizing your site loading speeds, and improving your SEO.