Just like the Quality Score in AdWords for your ads on Google, there seems to be an equivalent for website pages.
When you create an ad in Google AdWords, you are assigned a Quality Score based on how well you have constructed your advert. It is then more likely to show up at the top or bottom of search results when people are typing in related words and phrases.
Studies have found that this is also happening organically (i.e. without paying for ads) to the pages on your website based on a handful of metrics.
Google is Lying to Us
Google is denying this, but it wouldn’t be the first time it has done so with parts of its algorithm. They have lied before about other things which contribute towards the ranking of your site and its pages.
Presumably because they’re not ready to make the information public because they’re still working on it.
Those at the top of the SEO industry have conducted experiments on their own websites by removing pages with a low Quality Score. They found the scores of their other more popular pages increased, which results in a higher position in Google and therefore more visitors.
Measuring the Quality Score of your Pages
So how do you find out the score of a page anyway?
Well, it takes some work to find out but if you have the time then it’s worth it.
Firstly, you’ll need to have some kind of analytics software running. Google offers a free version called, rather creatively, Google Analytics. It supplies you with some code which you will need to add to each page of your website, and then you can just log in to Google Analytics after a few days to view the statistics of your pages. You may need to wait a couple of weeks or months to see some decent statistics depending on how popular your website is.
To calculate the Quality Score, you will need to find out the following for each page:
- Pogo Stick Rate: Visiting your site from Google and then quickly returning in under 10 seconds.
- Bounce Rate: The visitor consumed the content on your page by staying for more than 30 seconds, but may still have returned from where he or she came from.
- Deeper Click Rate: Arriving on one page but continuing to look at other pages before leaving.
- Average Time on Site: Find the average time for the length of their stay on your site.
- Direct Visit Per Month: A direct visit is from someone who has typed in your web address specifically to visit your website.
- Search Impressions/Clicks: How many times did your website appear in Google (impressions)? And how many times did someone click on the link to visit your site?
Dealing with Low Quality Pages
Once you have this information, you will know which pages are performing well, and which ones need to be dealt with.
You can add up the results to find that some pages have a higher final number than others. The pages with a low score will need to either point to a more popular related page, be removed entirely, or removed from being indexed by search engines with the ’noindex’ tag placed in the code of that page.
Improving the Quality Score
For the pages which aren’t performing badly, there are ways you can improve the score even further with these actionable tips:
- Add more popular pages: Find out which pages people are spending the most time reading, and then create more pages or blog posts with related content.
- Improve the score of existing pages: Think about the content you have produced and try to improve it in some way – adding more to it, improving the quality of research or images and videos etc.
- Remove low-quality pages: If you find that some pages have a lower score than others, create a 301 redirect to a similar page, or remove it altogether and make sure you have a good 404 page.
So if you would like to appear higher in Google and have more visitors, then improve the Quality Score of your pages and remove the offenders.
Do you already have analytics set up for your website? Have you looked in to finding out the bounce rates and time-on-site etc.?