Why would you want to do a content quality check on your website? Let’s imagine a page that you haven’t checked for quality after publishing it.
The page contains typos and grammatical mistakes. You were oblivious to them as you wrote the content but they stand out to your readers.
Large images in the article results in the page taking a long time to load which frustrates your readers.
Your article gets almost no traffic, a consequence of you not using keywords properly and not placing them correctly.
Your article is poorly formatted and with long winding paragraphs that take forever to get to their point. It’s difficult to read the article.
Any article like the one I described above is not going to get much attention or engagement from your visitors. If you get any visitors at all.
That’s why it’s important to check the quality of your content during, and after, you have published it.
Table of Contents
- Check for duplication
- Check title and description length
- Check URL length and keywords present
- Check keywords are present in headings and text
- Check the word count
- Check the readability of your content
- Checking spelling and grammar
- Check the page loads quickly
- Check your website is secured
- Check your images for size and SEO issues
- Check your page is indexed by Google
- Check you have internal links
- Check you have external links
- Final Thoughts
Check for duplication
Google checks content to ensure it’s original. Low uniqueness could cause Google to reduce your ranking position or remove your article from it’s index entirely.
Recommended uniqueness of your text content should be 90%. A high score means your content is not found in other pages on the internet.
Read more here: How to check for Duplicate Content on your website.
Check title and description length
Your title should be around 20-65 characters and include keyword(s) you want to rank for.
The description appears underneath the title of the page in Google’s search engine results page. It should be around 120 characters long. Include keywords you want to rank for in the description.
Check URL length and keywords present
Good URLs (URL is the link to the article) should be readable, contain keywords, not contain underscores (_) or uppercase letters (A-Z).
Size can be up to 2000 characters but are typically around 50-150 characters.
Check keywords are present in headings and text
Keywords should be included naturally in various different places within your content. Including:
- Main heading (H1)
- Sub-headings (H2-H6)
- Image description (alt tag)
Google considers keywords in the title and headings to be an important signal about the topic of the article. So important keywords you want to rank for should be placed there.
→ WordPress tip: You can easily see the outline of your article including heading by clicking the i button at the top left of the WordPress editor (as shown below)
Notice how the sub-headings (H2) line up and a subsection in a H2 section uses the H3 heading. Don’t mix up the headings incorrectly, e.g. H2 under a H3.
Keywords should be present in your header and sub-headers (H1-H6)
For Google the most important headers for ranking are H1, H2 and H3. Keywords you want to rank for should be present in those headers.
For WordPress users: You can change the heading from the tooltip bar hovering above the block you are currently editing.
Check the word count
Low word count is considered thin content and will rank poorly. When crawling a website thin content may not be indexed for a while.
Aim for at least 1000 words and, for competitive keywords, you should expect to need to write 2000+ words to rank on the first page of Google.
Check the readability of your content
How easy is your content to read?
You are not trying to win a writing contest, you want to make your content as easy to read as possible. People have low attention spans and will not spend time reading difficult to understand content.
→ Don’t frustrate your reader, make your content easy to read.
Checking spelling and grammar
It’s easy to misspell a word and mess up grammar when writing an article. That’s what editing is for. Make sure to proofread your content before publishing. Typos reduce your credibility which is the opposite of what your want to do.
→ Spell check your article before publishing
Check the page loads quickly
Slow loading pages will cause people to “bounce”, that is leave your site and maybe go to a competitors website. Google monitors for bounces and will likely reduce your ranking position. Google wants to show relevant pages so a visitor “bouncing” from your website is a sign your content wasn’t relevant for them.
→ Check you have a fast website (for WordPress users check this review of a Fast WordPress theme)
→ Check your hosting account to ensure the server can deliver web pages quickly
Check your website is secured
If the URL of your website starts with https:// then it is secure (the s means secure). The browser will display a padlock next to the URL to show the page is encrypted.
Google prefers encrypted websites so make sure your hosting provider supports SSL (the technology used to secure websites) and you have configured your website correctly.
Customer support for your hosting provider can assist you with this setting if you are not sure how to do it.
→ Check your website uses SSL (ask Customer Support if you are unsure about this)
Check your images for size and SEO issues
Ensure your images are not too large. Limit the width and height of your images, for instance most mobile phones can take photos that are 4000 pixels across or more! Images of that size can easily be megabytes of data.
If you want to use a large image using a graphic program to resize the image. This can also be done in WordPress from the Media Library. Click the image in the Media Library then click the “Edit Image” button. You will see a screen below and in the right hand sidebar you will see the “SCALE IMAGE” section below.
All images should have ALT tags. Google uses the alt tag text description to include the image in it’s index.
It’s easy to forget to add the alt text to images – I do this all the time. That’s why you want to have a quality check process so you can ensure you have added the alt text to all images within your article.
Add keywords to the image description (Alt tags). This helps your image to be shown for relevant image searches.
Images are compressed and less than 600KB in size – this affects the time it takes to load the page
For images use the following recommended formats:
Check your page is indexed by Google
Your page will not be seen in search queries if it hasn’t been indexed by Google.
You can easily check your pages are indexed by going to google.com and typing your domain name prefixed with “site:”, e.g. if your website domain is “mysite.com”, type “site:mysite.com”. Google will display all indexed pages for your website.
To submit your website to Google for indexing use Google Search Console. Go to the website and follow the instructions.
Submit your website to Bing as well, the link for website owners is: https://www.bing.com/webmasters/
Submitting your website to Bing will also cause your pages to be visible in alternative search engines that use the Bing indexes such as DuckDuckGo and SwissCows.
Check you have internal links
This helps users move around your website. Users are more likely to stay on your website and read more content if you have internal links within your content. This helps your SEO because users don’t “bounce” which would harm your ranking position.
Read more here about internal linking for SEO.
Check you have external links
Linking to other relevant websites helps readers, provides sources for statements you make, or links to images you show. Google takes external links into account when determining your ranking position.
It’s better to link to relevant text than use “click here”. This helps Google know what the link is about rather than a generic phrase like “click here” or “this link”.
E.g. to link to Google do this: Google, not ‘here is the link to Google: click here‘
It’s important to check the quality of your content to maximize your ranking position. You don’t want to spend time and effort writing an article and then not receive any traffic because of SEO issues that could easily be corrected.
It can be a time consuming effort to analyse all these SEO factors especially as your website grows and you have more content.
I use SE Ranking which includes an On-Page SEO Checker that automatically monitors pages for me and shows any issues and how to fix them.
You can try it out for free below, and if you find it useful and it saves you time it’s well worth paying for.
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