There are so many metrics that get thrown at you when thinking about the performance of your website. The last thing you need is another one. Thankfully, domain authority is a relatively simple one. It’s also one that you don’t need to drive yourself crazy about right away. If you have a brand new website for your law firm, then your website is too new for domain authority to matter. However, if you have an established website for your law firm that you’ve been updating and managing for a while now, it’s time to give your law firm’s domain authority a check.
So what is domain authority, and why should you care?
What is Domain Authority(DA)?
There are many ways you can check the performance and status of your website. Domain Authority rating is just one of many metrics that contribute to search engine optimization (SEO). When you enter your legal website into a domain checker, it will return several pieces of information, but the main one being a number. It is a numerical ranking between 1-100. Every brand new website starts at 1. The most influential and top-performing websites on the internet are in the 90-100 range.
Your website’s domain rating is a comparison of your website to all of the websites on the internet. This can make it almost impossible for a local law firm to get a super high domain authority. However, you don’t need to worry about getting the highest domain rating on the internet. Instead, focus on having a better domain authority than your competitor law firms. Keep in mind that the more prominent your law firm is, the more chance you have at developing a higher domain authority.
For example, Morgan & Morgan has a substantial presence across the country, making it possible for the website to earn a higher domain authority rating. Check out their score. The law firm’s site receives organic search traffic from potential clients all over the country and is consistently high in search engine rankings.
How is a Domain Authority Score Calculated?
Several ranking factors get considered in a domain authority calculator. Depending on the service you choose to use, they can vary slightly. Moz’s domain authority calculator uses 40 different factors when calculating its score. That’s why it’s helpful to run your website through a couple of them to get a clearer picture and a more accurate domain authority number. Here are some of the more common metrics used when calculating a domain authority score.
What is the Use of Domain Authority?
Don’t solely base the performance of your website on domain authority. Instead, it should be just one of many metrics that you evaluate to determine your website’s value, strength, and performance.
However, the domain authority for your law firm’s website won’t be a factor in Google’s algorithm for search ranking. Improving your website’s DA number won’t automatically improve your standing in search engine results. However, the actions you take to improve your domain authority can also improve your SEO performance. So, working on improving domain authority could also indirectly improve your law firm SEO performance.
How Can I Check My Domain Authority?
You can look up your website’s backlinks in the Google Search Console or an online SEO tool that offers backlink checking. Popular ones are ahrefs, Neil Patel, and SEMRush. There’s also the original domain authority developer, Moz. A word of caution, don’t take any of these sites as gold. They will all come back with different information for the same metrics. The domain authority score for my website varied up to ten points when I tried them all. I like to run all of them and then compile the information to get a better and more robust picture.
What Is a Good Domain Authority Score?
There is no single number short answer for what is the ideal domain authority score. Any Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans? Wouldn’t it be nice if the answer was simply just, 42? Sadly, domain authority ratings aren’t quite so simple. Depending on the type of law firm you have and its size, a good domain authority could be 20, 40, or even 60. Instead of trying to get to 100, focus on achieving a better score than other local law firms that you consider a competitor.
Create a list of law firms that you consider your competitors. Then run them through the domain authority checkers I previously listed. This will give you a good idea of where everyone’s website stands in terms of DA and backlink status. Now you can use this information to improve your website.
Tip: Don’t forget to look through their backlink portfolio. Target high-value domains and work to get a backlink from them to your website. Look for blog posts or pages with a high number of backlinks. Create a better version of this content for your website.
Law Firm Domain Authority Case Study
To give you a working example of how domain authority works in the real world, let’s look at a well-known personal injury lawyer’s website. Morgan & Morgan is a firm that I grew up with. It started in my home state of Florida, in Orlando, just two hours away from my hometown. The firm was founded in 1988, just two years after I was born. Today, they employ hundreds of attorneys, thousands of support staff, and are in all 50 states.
So what do we learn from all of this data? First, you can see that the domain authority ranking has a ten point range. So don’t focus solely on the number; it’s more of a guide. Second, the referring domain total has a 3,000 range. Each of these sites offers the ability to access the full list of referring domains, but you’ll likely need to pay for it.
Let’s focus on the law firm’s domain score. A national law firm that’s linked to by major publications with about 10,000 other websites linking to it has a mid-range score of about 60. Don’t get discouraged if your law firm’s website isn’t close to this.
How Can I Improve My Domain Authority?
If you want to improve your law firm website’s domain authority, it’s time to go back to basics. You need to know how your website currently performs to know what you need to improve. Remember quality over quantity. The first step is choosing the right law firm domain name. Legal marketing experts will tell you to choose a domain name that related to your legal service. However, choosing one that matches your law firm name is also acceptable.
Check Your Link Portfolio
Your link portfolio is the list of backlinks that are pointing to your website. You need a balanced mix of dofollow and nofollow links. You also need links from websites that already have a high domain authority and are relevant to your website. Once you have a list of referring domains and links, you can sort through the list. Work towards fixing or removing bad or harmful links and increasing the number of good links.
The links pointing to your website should also point to more than just your law firm’s homepage. You want to have PageRank for more than just the homepage.
Generate Better Content
Because organic traffic volume, bounce rate, and engagement are all factors in your domain score, improving these can positively impact your law firm’s website performance. One way you can improve the performance of all of these is by creating better content. Look at your previously produced content and identify the best performing pieces. Why are they the best? How can you create more content that’s similar? Did you have content that resonated strongly on social media?
Improve Your Backlinks
Link building is essential for improving your website’s domain authority. There are several ways you can go about this. One method is to create better content than your competitors. The skyscraper method is a commonly used approach. Look at the content that other law firms are creating. You know the firms you typically interact with in a professional capacity, so start there. Now take their content and make it better. When you have the best content and website design, it’s more likely to get linked to than your competitors. Depending on your area of practice and firm location, this could be a fairly easy or a challenging approach.
Another common method is manual outreach. Find websites with high domain authority and then reach out to them. Ask about writing a guest post that you can link back to your website. For law firms, you can look for web pages geared towards your area of practice, directories, or for prominent websites in your local area. This approach is time-consuming and can be a bit hit or miss. However, it’s a good way to develop personal relationships and networks.
A third link-building strategy is a bit easier. You can use the website HARO to submit answers to queries that reporters submit. The website sends out a digest email three times a day, Monday through Friday. You can scan through it and find relevant queries to respond to. Submit your answer and hope that the reporter chooses your submission for inclusion in their article. It may seem futile at first but stick with it. Over time, you’ll discover you have built a healthy backlink portfolio that’s full of high quality links. I’ve found that I got a better response rate when I paid for the service versus using the free version.
Boost Your Law Firm’s Domain Authority
Hopefully, I’ve answered the question of what is domain authority enough for you to apply it to your law firm’s website. Just like you need to establish your reputation within the legal community, you need to develop your law firm’s website in the online community. Improving your domain authority can be a lot of trial and error, but stick with it, and you’ll start to see the positive effects. It won’t happen overnight, but with dedication, you can give your law firm’s website a competitive edge over the competition.
Let’s chat today about how I can help you improve your domain authority score through the production of high-quality content.