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Web Page Quality Wins Over Quantity

The site with the most web pages doesn’t automatically get the win when it comes to search engine rankings. Search algorithms award for web page quality over quantity.

Quality pages:

  • Get visits
  • Generally earn time spent on the page
  • Lead to return visits

To accomplish these things, your page needs to be found by people who are looking for the content you offer. That’s where search engines and SEO comes in. You need your page to be visible when people use search.

SEO is not just about using the right keyword a few times. Search engines look at many factors to determine what people are actually looking for. The best matches rise to the top of the rankings.

Determine Web Page Quality

Search crawlers pay attention to traffic. So, a quality page has to get visited. Google Analytics can help you understand which pages visitors access as well as get a general sense of the most valued content at your site.

Google Analytics tells you which pages are being visited most and how long people tend to stay on each page. All of this helps you determine the quality of your individual pages.

Any page that you think should get more visits and time than shown in your analytics needs attention to improve the page quality. You can’t argue with the numbers.

As you look at low-performing pages, consider these common issues:

  • Is the page slow to load? People are impatient.
  • Is the content unique? When the exact content can be found on different pages, that negatively affects search rank.
  • Does the page make sense? Does the title of your page – in the navigation, on the page and in links from other places – accurately portray the content of the page or is it misleading?
  • Is the page easy to read online, with text and images that convey the main point?
  • Is the page outdated or no longer needed?

How to Improve Page Quality

Your goal is for every web page to be worth visiting. Each needs to share content and information that the web visitor will value. Make each page worthwhile, or consider deleting the content. If you delete the content, be sure to set up a redirect to the most relevant remaining page and remove any links to the removed page.

When you want to improve the quality of a web page, make sure you understand why someone would visit the page. Then, make sure your content delivers what they need or want.

Hallmarks of the right content include:

  • Uses the keywords that people are currently likely to use when looking for the content.
  • Has valuable information, sharing content not found elsewhere or pulling content together in a useful way.
  • Offers your unique, insightful, useful look at the topic of the page.
  • Written in a way that is easy to read online.

Establish Your Expertise

There is a lot of content out there. Frankly, a lot of it is not worth reading. It is important to rise above the clutter and show readers and search engines that you are an authority in your field. This doesn’t just help your pages show up in the search results, it also helps users reach the level of trust they need to do business with you online. Share thoughtful details about your business and your expertise.

Focus on Site Performance

The best content will still fall flat if it is slow to load or access. People won’t wait in hopes of getting to great content. They will move on.

The speed of your website is a factor that impacts your Google rank. Google and other search engines know that users don’t like slow websites.

User experience, also called UX, is all about how users experience a site or product. Search engines want to provide their users with the best result for their question or search query. The best result doesn’t only mean the best answer, it also means the best experience. So even if you’ve written an excellent answer in a post, but your site is slow or has complicated navigation, Google won’t consider your post the best answer.

Your site also needs to function well on small screens. Mobile searches are growing, and many sites get more traffic from mobile devices than desktop computers.

How Google Ranks Page Experience

Google has defined a new set of metrics to measure the speed and user experience of websites. These metrics will be used in the Google search algorithm to rank sites based on the page experience they offer. This update is expected to happen in May 2021.

What Is Page Experience?

Google’s ideal is that users click a link in search results and the corresponding page appears instantly. Even with high speed internet connections and fast devices, loading a web page is still not that instantaneous.

Loading times are only part of page experience. According to Google, “Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply; in contrast, a bad page experience could stand in the way of a person being able to find the valuable information on a page.”

Web Vitals Defined

Google Web Vitals are a set of metrics to help determine opportunities to improve the experience of sites. Within those new metrics is a subset of metrics called Core Web Vitals. These are intended to be real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience.

Each Core Web Vital looks at a specific piece of the page experience to rate the perceived experience of a site. Core Web Vitals are available in all Google tools that measure page experience.

Core Web Vitals are:

  • Loading
  • Interactivity
  • Visual stability

These focal points correspond with three new metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):  how long it takes for the largest visible content element to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): how long it takes for a browser to respond to an interaction first triggered by the user (such as clicking a button)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): the percentage of the screen affected by movement — i.e. do things jump around on screen?

Page Experience and Search Rank

Google is going to use these metrics combined with existing experience ranking factors to rank page. Other factors include:

  • Content quality
  • Mobile-friendliness: is your site optimized for mobile?
  • HTTPS: is your site using a secure connection?
  • Interstitial use: does your site stay away from pop-ups?

How to Structure Your Website for SEO

Structure your website for SEO and usabilitySite structure is an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). The structure of your website shows Google and other search engines what articles and pages are most important. It also signals what your business is about and therefore which searches you should rank for.

Site structure also helps your users navigate your site. Especially when you have a lot of content, it’s important to keep an eye on the structure so that your most important content remains easy to find and access.

Keep the Most Important Front and Center

Your most important content should be the featured, easy to find content at your site. Even if this content is older than other information, make sure it does not lose prominence.

As you add new content, be sure to link to this foundational content. The more links that point to content, the more highly it is ranked by search and more likely users will access it.

Content that has one or a few internal links is harder for search engines to find. Therefore, Google will regard these articles as less important, and rank them accordingly.

Be Intentional About Usability

Visitors want to be able to find stuff on your website with ease. Your main navigation should give clear access to the information visitors need most. It should also reflect the structure of your site.

Usability means that users can easily find and access what they want most. They don’t have to guess through a series of navigation choices. Content is in HTML format (not PDF, Word, Excel, etc). And content is presented in a way that is easy to scan online.

In addition to the main navigation, use breadcrumb navigation. Breadcrumbs are important for user experience and SEO. They show how a page fits into the structure of your site and give users another way to easily navigate your site.

Focus Tags

If you have a blog, be mindful of the tags you create. If every post receives one or multiple new unique tag(s), you’re overdoing it. You’re not adding structure, because posts don’t become grouped or linked. Create tags that will help users (and search engines) find similar content.