One essential part of managing a website or blog is ensuring that your content is up to par with Google’s standards. Now, you can go ahead and read the Google Webmaster quality guidelines, but there is a layman’s approach to this as well.
Here are three things to ask yourself before publishing any content online, to make sure that its quality is on par with what Google is looking for:
- Page Quality
- Site Quality
- Content Quality
When Google scans the web to see if a page matches the searcher’s query, they look at the quality of the overall website attached to that content. This means checking to see if the content is found elsewhere on the web or if the content is unique to this site only. If it is duplicate, Google will likely choose a single version to show.
The bots are also looking for valuable content, which typically means that it thoroughly answers the search query and all images or content on the page adds value to the text. You could be a long-time leader in your field but if you’ve got a brand new website and haven’t appeared anywhere else on the internet, Google doesn’t consider you to be much of an expert right away. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
Last but not least, you need quality links on your page that lead people to other authoritative and quality websites or other sites linking to your page.
In addition to page quality, search engines are looking to see how your page and site perform. Are the pages able to load quickly? Gyi wrote a great post on this (and more) a while back.
In addition to load speed, search engines look for accessibility and quality of the user experience. To pass this test, all images should have proper alt-tags and headings. A screen reader should be able to ‘read’ the images and understand what the image is made of. If you need more reasons to do this, I’ll refer you to my post on SEO and Accessibility.
Search engines are looking for good content in addition to the page and site quality. This seems like a no-brainer, but your content should be well-written with no spelling errors. You need to reign in overuse of keywords, making sure that your posts and pages are coherent. Saying “best Houston divorce lawyer” 10 times on one page adds no value to your pages, potential clients or your bottom line. It also negates to do the thing Google wants your content to do most, which is to answer the search query.
Bottom line, make sure all page and post content is easy to understand, well-organized and includes links to resources that makes sense and adds to the validity of the page content.
How can you tell if your content is working?
Looking at engagement metrics should give you some indication. Additionally, are your posts getting links, shares, likes or comments? All of the things listed are indicators that your content is doing its job.
If there’s anything important to end this post on, it would be that before you click publish on any posts, pages or websites, you ask yourself one thing: “does this add value for my current or potential clients?” If the answer is no and you realize the post serves only yourself, rethink it and rework it. Your content isn’t there for you, it’s there for your clients.
This post was inspired by Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday post on creating high-quality content.