KPI ExamplesDomain Rating

Domain Rating

Domain Rating (DR) is a metric that gauges the strength and authority of a website's backlink profile on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating greater website authority. A website with a high DR increases visibility on search engines like Google. That means more visitors, more trust, and a better chance of high search rankings.
Domain Rating

Backlink Strategy Development

Helps to identify and target high-authority websites for backlink opportunities.

Site Health Monitoring

A sudden drop in DR may signal lost backlinks or other potential issues.

Content Partnerships

Pursuing content partnerships with websites that have high DR elevates brand reach.

Competitive Analysis

Compare DR across competitors to create a backlink strategy and identify areas for improvements.

Gauging Website Authority

Why Domain Rating Is Important

Think of DR like a book's reputation in a vast library. Just as a book with many references is deemed more authoritative, a website with a high DR has earned trust through a robust backlink profile.

A website with a high DR attracts incoming links from other authoritative sites and boosts the website's chances of ranking higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). A strong Domain Rating is often perceived as a sign of a website's longevity and commitment to providing value.

Why KPIs are Important for Client Reporting

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The Web of Metrics

How Domain Rating Relates To Other KPIs

DR gains more significance when assessed alongside other performance indicators. Metrics like Page Authority (PA) and Referring Domains have a reciprocal relationship with DR. The more high-quality referring domains a site acquires, the more its DR increases. Simultaneously, individual pages with high PA boost the overall DR. 

While DR gives an overall view of a site's backlink strength, URL Rating (UR) is more specific, assessing the strength of a single page's backlink profile. A high DR combined with strong URL ratings across numerous pages indicates a robust, well-linked site. 

How Marketing KPIs Impact Each Other

How To Track Domain Rating

Domain Rating is generated through Ahrefs' complex algorithm. While it's not possible to replicate the exact Ahrefs Domain Rating formula, it focuses on analyzing the strength and trustworthiness of a site's backlinks. The more authoritative and relevant these backlinks are, the higher the DR score. Domain age may also be a factor here, as older domains are often seen as more trustworthy due to their longevity on the web.

What Is a Good Domain Rating?

A good average DR typically ranges from 50 to 60, while anything from 60 to 100 is considered excellent for well-established websites with a strong backlink profile. Sites in this bracket have garnered links from reputable sources and have maintained a consistent backlink acquisition strategy over time. 

What Is a Bad Domain Rating?

A below average DR typically falls between 30 to 40, with anything below 30 considered bad unless a website is relatively new. Websites in this range either have a sparse backlink profile, or rely on links from untrustworthy sources. To fix a low DR, acquire high-quality backlinks, produce relevant content, and use a domain authority checker.

How To Set Domain Rating Benchmarks

To create internal benchmarks, agencies typically rely on historical data and assess how DR has grown over time and how that scores correlate with search performance metrics, including keyword rankings, traffic, or conversions.  Another approach involves back-calculating — understanding the required domain authority that helps clients reach specific campaign, search traffic,  or revenue targets. This blended approach results in unique data and relevant benchmarks.

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Your Client’s Compass

Why Domain Rating Matters to Clients

From an investment perspective, clients often allocate significant budgets toward improving online visibility. Monitoring DR provides a tangible measure of the returns on such investments, indicating whether their brand's online reputation is growing or waning.

A high DR indicates that reputable websites vouch for your client’s brand. This could directly affect customer trust and more tangible outcomes (like conversions).

Why Marketing KPIs Matter to Agency Clients
Demonstrating ROI

Why Domain Rating Matters to Agencies

DR represents the accumulation of successful outreach, content placements, and partnerships. A favorable DR may also demonstrate that reputable, unique domains link to a client’s site, which further demonstrates an agency’s capabilities.

Achieving a solid DR also amplifies other marketing efforts, further demonstrating an agency’s capabilities. For instance, with a robust DR, outreach becomes easier, and prospective partners are more receptive to collaboration.

Why KPIs Matter to Marketing Agencies

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Best Practices for Analyzing and Reporting on Domain Rating

Offering a comprehensive reporting analysis helps clients understand the importance of DR and its impact on their campaigns.


Set a Realistic Goal

Use a domain authority checker to document a starting point. This makes it easier to set a realistic growth goal and show progress over time.


Contextualize Domain Rating

Correlate Domain Rating with related metrics from other platforms (e.g., Moz Domain Authority and Page Authority), which shows how website authority impacts an overall marketing strategy.


Provide a Visual View

Transform Domain Rating from a number to a visual. Use a graph, scale, or any appropriate data visualization to communicate insights clearly.


Look for Domain Rating Patterns

Track historical data to identify any trends, explaining any rapid spike. Use a bulk domain rating checker to monitor a large number of websites.


Link Domain Rating to Client Goals

Highlight how improvements in Domain Rating contribute to broader client objectives, including increased brand visibility or lead generation.


Campaign-Specific Domain Rating Insights

Compare the achieved DR across various campaigns, which helps to identify the activities that contribute most to website authority.

Domain Rating Reports Made Easy

Ahrefs Dashboard Example

To understand what Domain Rating looks like in action, take a look at the Ahrefs dashboard on AgencyAnalytics. Right away, DR is visually displayed at the top of the interface, alongside related insights like the total number of backlinks and referring domains. In addition to this Domain Rating checker, extra tabs offer more granular insights into backlink profiles (like top anchor text and a list of referring domains). To provide more clarity and context, add annotations directly to dashboards.
Ahref DR, UR, Referring Domain metrics in AgencyAnalytics Dashboard
Practical Advice

How To Improve Domain Rating

To elevate a website's domain rating, it's essential to implement strategies that foster authority and trust. Here are three steps to kickstart that upward trajectory.


Quality Over Quantity

Focus on quality backlinks from a website's root domain, which are more effective than subdomain links.


Diversify Backlinks

Use a combination of reputable backlinks to boost DR, which avoids reliance on any single backlink.


Monitor Backlinks

Regularly audit backlinks, fix broken links, and disavow spammy links that could put a dent in DR.

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