With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, constant waves of new technology and shifting design trends, it can be difficult to figure out what your website needs and what it doesn’t. And because your website is the online face of your business and brand, it needs to reflect the same high quality standards.
Therefore, if you have an impressive website, people are more likely to think highly of your business—and are more likely to make a purchase. Think about it. If you visit a website full of spelling errors, poorly rendered pages, and pointless information, are you more or less likely to buy?
To give some pointers, SEO company Quick Sprout has created the following infographic. It outlines the 10 key elements to keep in mind when building a website. By putting time and effort into your website and making it read well, you can dramatically improve conversions and create a high-quality website that Google will love. Take a look at the ten elements to improve your website below:
10 key elements of a high quality website
What is high quality content?
Quality content is original, purposeful, and correctly optimizes information that people and search engines are driven to read, view and share. It also helps you rank better with search engines and delights your customers.
1. Relevance and context
Google analyzes topics and content, not just keywords. The search engine understands the meaning of words and how they relate to each other. According to SearchMetrics, Google’s algorithm recognizes high quality, relevant content, and rewards it with higher rankings.
Tip: Focus on developing content for users, not search engines.
2. Content length
Top ranking websites have 900+ words of content per page.
- Ideal blog post length from a SEO perspective is between 2,000 – 2,450+ words long
- Sites with more words in the copy occupy higher-ranking positions
- An ideal blog post length from a reader’s perspective is 1,600 words long
3. Images and video
An image must be at least 32 x 32px to be counted as such.
- Blog posts with images and video are more engaging to visitors
- Web pages with more images rank better (according to SearchMetrics)
- Top ranking web pages have an average of 7 images
Tip: Include an image or video for each chapter of a blog post.
4. Grammar and spelling
Grammar and spelling mistakes make you look bad in the eyes of your customers. In fact, 42.5% of customers are turned off by poor spelling and grammar. And Google, Yahoo and Bing might penalize you for for those mistakes. Flawless copy, however, makes you look professional.
“Why would an engine show a page with errors on it higher in the ranking when other pages of error-free content exist to serve the searcher?” Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager at Bing.
Tip: Always read your copy at least 2 times before you publish it. Hire an editor to proofread and edit your posts.
Readability is the ease in which text can be read and understood. High ranking texts are easier to read, so make sure to use the Flesch reading ease formula to determine the readability of your text.
Tip: Use shorter sentence, paragraph and active verb forms. Remove all clutter, unnecessary words and limit the use of adverbs/adjectives.
High quality content is easier to read and suitable for scanning and skimming. Especially since 79% of users always scan web pages. And visitors are less likely to read a post with poor formatting. Google, who can also detect page layout, can penalize your website for poor formatting.
Tip: Use H1/H2 tags, number lists and bullet points to break down the content. Keep paragraphs and sentences short. Use bold and italics to highlight important parts.
“High quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic.” Leaked Google quality guidelines.
The expertise of the author is a critical factor for any content to be considered high quality. People want to read posts from experts that can dig into a topic and explain it. In fact, Neil Patel managed to increase sales by 185% using case studies.
Tip: Focus on writing detailed, well-researched posts. Link to other posts and give examples to support your points.
8. Social media shares
High quality content tends to be shared more, and high quality websites have social share buttons present on their pages. More social shares correlate to higher search engine ranking. In fact, content that’s been extensively tweeted about can cut indexation time by 50%.
Tip: Place your social media sharing icons visibly on the page and include call-to-actions for people to share.
9. Google internal and external links
9/10 sites at position 1 in SERPS have at least one internal self-referencing link.
- Pages that rank better generally have a better internal linking structure with more links
- The URL that you link to and the anchor text need to be relevant to your content
- Linking to valuable external resources delights your readers
Tip: Focus on building a nice internal link architecture. Never link to unrelated pages, or you’ll get penalized by Google.
10. Quality of comments
- Web content with a high number of comments is perceived as high quality
- Spammy unrelated comments might hurt your ranking and make you look bad in the eyes of your visitors
- Quality thoughtful comments help you rank better and engages your readers with the content