When reading about SEO or when speaking to SEO consultants you’re going to hear a lot about making sure you’ve got a high quality website. But what exactly makes a high quality website and what do you need to do to ensure your website is high quality?
Well, there are a number of different ways to look at what is a high quality website, but the long and short of it is a high quality website is one that delivers the best content at the right time to the visitor and offers a good user experience.
Of course, this is a very subjective thing, but Google users a number of factors to determine whether your website fits the criteria and it then uses an interpretation of that understanding to help rank your website.
Many businesses spend a small fortune on building and creating their websites, however, that’s no guarantee that it’s going to be a high quality website. You can create a high quality website for as little as a £500 or £600, whilst some websites cost tens of thousands of pounds. Websites costs are generally worked out by the time spent on developing them.
As discussed a search engine such as Google uses a number of factors to indicate whether a website is high quality or not, the core factors we look at to determine how Google will perceive your website are:
- Bounce Rate
- Time of site
- Pages per session
That being said, that’s a little bit simplistic. There are so many different factors you should look into when considering whether your website is high quality or not. So here’s a list of questions that you should ask yourself about your website to determine if your website is likely to be considered high quality by a search engine:
- Is the domain name the same as the brand?
- Does your website include your business’ physical address?
- Does your website include your email address?
- Does your website include your company number?
- Does your website include your VAT number?
- Does your website include your telephone number?
- Does your business have active social media accounts that link back to your website?
- Do you have an about us page?
- Are the objectives of your business clear throughout the website?
- Does your website feature testimonials?
- Does your website feature indepth case studies?
- Would you trust a website like yours with your credit card details?
- Does your website looked professionally designed?
- Does your website look like a standard template or has it been modified?
- Would you bookmark a website like yours?
- Is your website consistent throughout?
- Is your website easy to read?
- Is the copy on your website grammatically correct?
- Is the copy on your website free from spelling errors?
- Are any statements you make on your website factually correct?
- Are the images used on your website high quality?
- Are any videos used on your website of professional quality?
- Are the graphics well aligned to your website’s content?
- Is your website easy to navigate?
- Are there any broken links on your website?
- Does your website generate 404 reports?
- Is your website free from hidden text?
- Is your website free from doorway pages?
- Is your website free from malware?
- Is it easy to understand the topic of your website?
- Does your website comprehensively cover your specialism?
- Is your content written or checked by an expert in your topic?
- Is your website trustworthy?
- Is your website’s content written in an objective manner?
- Is your content written by a native speaker of your website’s language?
- Is your website free from duplicated content?
- Is your website free from redundant content?
- Is your website regularly updated?
- Is it easy for a visitor to see that your website is regularly updated?
- Is your website visually engaging?
- Is the content on your website of a standard you’d expect to see in a newspaper?
- Is your website’s content of equal value or more valuable than your competitors?
- Is your website linked to from other high quality websites?
- Does your website link to websites of equal or high quality?
- Does your website provide more information than simple sales messages?
- Are any ads on your website clearly distinguishable from the rest of the content?
- Does your website collect data only when it’s necessary?
- Does your website load quickly according to Google’s page speed test?
- Do your visitors visit more than one page on your website?
- Do your visitors remain on your site for minutes because they’re reading the content?
Your website is often the first thing your customers and potential customers are going to see about your website. It’s their first touchpoint and as such it will set every expectation they have about your business. If that wasn’t enough, the quality of your website also has a huge impact on the SEO of your website. That’s because Google only wants to send visitors to websites that offer a good user experience and that deliver content that’s relevant to the queries the searcher has made.
As discussed Google activity favours high quality websites. If that wasn’t a good enough reason to ensure your website is high quality for your users, Google activity demotes poor quality websites in its rankings. It’s been doing this via various updates including the almost legendary Panda update – I say almost because I can assure you it happened and I was there to witness the devastation it caused to some businesses.
When thinking about the user signals remembering not only to look at the website as a whole but remember to look at pages individually, because a handful or low quality pages can have an impact on the ranking of the other pages on the domain, even if their user signals appear to be doing OK.
And why wouldn’t you be interested in this? It’s not only the first place a visitor is going to go to get an understanding of your business and this isn’t just about how well your website is going to rank in Google, ultimately it’s about how your website is going to perform. So if you want your website to generate quality leads or drive sales you’re going to want to make sure search engines such as Google consider it to be high quality.
This is going to be an ongoing process of improving and making changes and then assessing how your visitors are reacting to the changes that have been made. Some will improve performance and some changes will reduce your website’s performance.
I once removed three words on a website’s product page. It didn’t impact the number of sales that went through the website but it dramatically increased the number of customers choosing a certain option, this meant revenues grew dramatically.
And whilst you are going to want to go through the list above and check it yourself always bear in mind that you are not the best person to work out if your website is high quality or not. So you’re going to want to ask a few people to review your website on your before.
As part of our SEO auditing process, we’ll assess the quality of your website and determine changes that can be made to increase the perception of its quality in the eyes of your users and the algorithms of search engines. So get in touch if you’d like us to take a look at your website.