A website should have a variety of content pages including static content, landing pages, form pages, thank you pages, and blogs. The top goal for a web content strategy should be to help improve the visibility and user experience of important pages to ensure organic SEO is maximized. If you note that a particular page or series of pages on your website are underperforming, then it is time to investigate. Before deleting, redirecting, merging multiple pages into one single page, evaluate the importance of the content and consider better options.
What Does Google Look For in a Web Page?
If you have tried all the technical SEO tricks in the book to improve page performance, and they still underperform, then the problem may be due to the quality of content. Some of the things that Google is thought to rank web pages for are noted below such as visible/robust content pages that reflect expert information which is detailed, relevant and trustworthy. I say “some” and “thought” in this first sentence because the true value of a page to search engines is complex and not always stated as fact. Most experts agree that E.A.T. is a strong factor in the Google algorithm configuration, especially if you’re business is considered “YLYM.” (Your Life, Your Money) The items below are related to E.A.T. After reading this article, I would recommend searching for and viewing Google’s “Quality Raters Guidelines.” The pdf will provide a broader look into what the tens of thousands of Google quality readers are instructed to look for.
Website Performance and Content Evaluation
Your website should indicate to Google bots that you are the expert, authority in your field, and you provide high-quality and trustworthy material. Websites with detailed optimized pages which are specific about one service or product rank better than a page that has merged a bunch of varying or related products or services together. Fast loading websites outperform slow ones; and sites that keep content fresh are going to be more appealing to both new and repeat visitors. Naturally attract a wider variety of traffic by answering some starter questions about the content in question:
Some initial questions to ask regarding quality & authority:
- What are your competitors doing differently?
- When did the page performance take a turn? (Possibly due to a Major Core Algorithm Update?)
- Is the page on your sitemap?
- Is the page slow to load?
- Are your pages outdated or no longer relevant?
- Are your pages overlapping with material/duplicate content?
- Are your pages providing enough detail/word count?
- Are your pages bouncing?
- Are your pages targeting & attracting the correct audience?
- Are your pages displaying content which positions you as the expert?
- Are the referring domains to this page authoritative?
- Is there a clear call to action on every page?
Use the following tools to assist in your evaluation: Google Search Console, ahrefs, MOZ, SEMRUSH & Majestic.
Fresh Quality Content CAN Get More Leads
There is a known correlation between the depth of your content and Google rankings. Back in 2010, Google Caffeine was launched to rebuild an older indexing system. It has since been updated and to current day continues to emphasize the importance of fresh and updated content. The magnitude of content updates and frequency of content updates do also have an impact on this indexing system.
Google and other search engines clearly prefer websites full of detailed, robust, and fresh material. Some studies say a good goal is 2000 word count per page. The caveat here is that you don’t want to create pages just to create them because it can backfire. Google can easily give up ranking your website if pages are too similar, too short, have too many focus keywords, are not supported by quality links, or are not on-page optimized. Do websites that outrank yours have more in-depth authoritative content?
Improve Visibility of Current Web Pages
You may find that some underperforming pages appear on desktop but are not visible on mobile. Content only found on desktop and missing on mobile will not perform very well for you. In order for the content to be fully visible and have an opportunity to be indexed, it needs to be on both mobile and desktop. The same goes for content which has been “hidden” behind mobile tabs. Although the content exists on mobile, it may be difficult to find or use. If this is the case it also will not indexed as well as fully visible content.
Due to mobile first indexing and the improvement of mobile delivery and display of content, most businesses have seen traffic on mobile content surpass desktop. Even so, do not forget about your desktop audience! Content on your desktop may still provide more conversions, better bounce rates, and more opportunity for in-depth research.
Quick 10 Content Performance Maintenance
There are ways to salvage underperforming web pages, and the strategy is fairly simple, but it’s going to take some investigation and action on your part. Knowing what your top competitors are doing differently is a really big deal, and a great starting point. Then, you can address pages which have minimal traffic, low conversions, or low visibility on mobile first…then desktop.
- Check your online reviews & monitor your reputation. Get a handle on what are people saying about you. Even if you think there would be no reviews in places like Yelp or BBB, look anyway. Also, ensure that you respond to negative reviews!
- Ensure content is authoritative, relevant, in-depth and understandable.
- Ensure that the page you’re focused on is being noticed and understood by search engine crawlers. This means it should be found on a sitemap.
- Check for duplicate/similar content. If there are competing pages, tell Google which one you prefer to rank using robots.txt / canonicals.
- Your web page should be easily found & formatted for the mobile device & also found on desktop.
- Your page must load quickly on all devices. (First mobile interaction 1-3 seconds.)
- Add updated, fresh content to existing page; reach 2000 words per page if possible & ensure there’s a call to action.
- Revisit & revamp your on-page SEO- never “set and forget it.”
- Support your pages with links, social mentions, comments & multi-media. (If you’re a local business who can’t get referral links from high authority sites on a national level, then try to get some on a local or social level.)
- Ensure images are not copy write and also have alt tags.
One last thing that is important to mention. If you’re trying to boost a local business landing page, review or testimonials page, Q&A page, video or media page, social profile page, be aware that there is specific structured data available to enhance them! It could also help get other pages noticed, including in SERP’s such as Google Answers and featured snippets.
Beyond the initial launch of a new website, developers won’t go that extra mile to ensure your content continues to have peak performance. If your website content needs some attention, contact Leaning Tree Digital.