This is a sponsored post written by Botify. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
Search Engine Optimization is about making search engines aware that your website’s pages are interesting and relevant—and more so than other websites.
You are well aware of how important providing high-quality content is – “The single most important thing to do” says Google, but how do you measure it?
Here are suggestions of meaningful metrics and how to use them:
Remove the Template From the Equation
First, it is necessary to remove the “noise around the signal”: ignore all that is not directly related to the page’s core content – the page topic – that is to say, disregard the page template.
Typically, the template will include generic elements such as a header, footer, and main menu. Other elements may also qualify as a template, when common to a large number of pages: for instance, a Reuters feed on a news website, or the latest arrivals on an e-commerce website.
The example below shows that the template can easily represent a significant portion of all words found on a page:
Template weight may also prompt an action point. Is it overwhelming? It may deserve to be reduced. See these examples of two publishing websites:
Look at the Size of the Actual Content, in Words
Once templating is put aside, we can look at the size of the actual content, in words. This accurately reflects the user’s perception: how much is there to dig their teeth into, how much corresponds to what they came to the page for?
Pinpoint Thin Content and Define Content Size Goals
Each website will be able to assess the situation and define goals, by page type. A publishing website may aim at 500 to 5,000 words for article pages; an e-commerce website could estimate that 250 words are acceptable for product pages, while another with very specialized products may want more.
Here are examples of content size distribution on two publishing websites:
Check Pages’ Added Value
Taking on the task of assessing how valuable a page’s content is requires more than identifying near-duplicates.
Rather, the question is how much unique content, found nowhere else on the website, does it contain? This is about information, ‘information’ being a sequence of words (n-gram, for the tech-savvy). Many pages will have *some* information in common, as they belong to the same website, the same semantic universe. But the more there is in common, the less added value each page has.
How Close is the Most Similar Page?
Which proportion of its actual content – template excluded – does a page share with the page that is most similar?
In the example below, most internal search pages provide very little added value, as they share most of their content with other pages. It turns out that some are very similar to category pages, others to search results with similar queries. Action point: consolidate.
How Big is Each Cluster of Similar Pages?
The additional metric to look at is how many pages each group of similar pages contains. Like everything with SEO, your task is now to look for the biggest wins and prioritize.
These metrics are also very useful to:
- Analyze a website you are not familiar with, as an SEO consultant approaching prospects
- Compare your website to the competition
- Monitor content changes on your website
Check how your website performs according to these criteria. Try Botify!
All images by Botify. Used with permission.