Companies know that cutting corners when it comes to quality isn’t usually something you can usually get past readers. Search engine bots, on the other hand, seem to have a different reputation. Websites are constantly trying to get around the algorithm and figure out ways to manipulate content in order to rank better; however, these days are just about over. You have to ask yourself: How can I improve my quality for both users and search engine bots?
How Website Quality Affects SEO
Google is starting to put more and more emphasis on quality and making sure that quality directly affects SEO efforts. SEO is designed to be completely about quality and relevance, and while a few websites still slip through, it’s just about impossible to find yourself on page one of a SERP if you do not have a quality site.
For example, your website might have quality content, but if the design of your site is incredibly hard to navigate, Google is going to knock you. If you’re content isn’t up to par, then you are going to have a high bounce rate and Google will notice and knock you once again. In other words, the behavior of readers will affect the way that Google sees your site, so simply optimizing for search engines isn’t going to get you far.
The moral of the story: Google wants to see an all-around quality website. In fact, a website that doesn’t have all of the components of quality simply isn’t going to be look at as “quality.” Quality isn’t about the parts; it’s about the whole.
Back to the Basics: How to Get Your Website Back to Top Quality
Improving quality should be the same for search engines as well as readers. There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your website:
- Engagement. You content has to be engaging, not just well written. Engagement means that your readers should want to comment and share your content. Try ending your blog posts with a question to get people to interact. If people do interact, be sure to respond to comments and keep it going. Finally, infographics can also be made interactive, so consider putting that type of content into your mix.
- Load Times. Your page should have an appropriate load time, which means an appropriate amount of video and other media. You will want to make sure you use a content delivery network, decrease your HTTP requests, and optimize all of your images.
- Navigation. It must be easy to navigate around your website. Plain and simple, you must not have too many internal links that can get someone deep into your website and get confused. A great way to improve your navigation is through breadcrumbs, creating categories and sub-categories, and make sure all of your links actually work.
- Cohesiveness. Everything on your website should make sense. In other words, you don’t want to have an image of a pizza on one side of your website with an article about financial planning on the other and a video about the latest news story in the middle. It might look great and all pieces might be quality separately, but put together the website doesn’t make any sense. This goes back to relevancy, and this will surely confuse your readers. It might sound obviously, but websites that try to be a one-stop-shop tend to fall into this trap more often than you’d think.
- Layout. The layout of your site has quite a bit to do with navigation, but more than anything it just has to be appealing. Make it look nice. There is no one way to make this happen
Creating a quality website should go back to your instincts. You know quality when you see it, so if you don’t feel your website is quality, revert back to some of the basics. Your SEO will suffer if you don’t, so your website wouldn’t be fooling anyone anyways because no one would see it, so don’t even bother.