Google cares very much about the health of your website. Why? Because when your site shows up on a search results page, it becomes part of what Google offers its customers. And, like you, Google wants to deliver the best product possible. So a large part of its algorithm for ranking your site in search results is devoted to making sure your site is ‘healthy’.
Site Health is a Really Big Deal
When you get a new website designed and developed, you want it to look really good. It needs to properly represent your company, meet your brand guidelines, convey your messaging, give visitors the information they’re looking for, and the opportunity to convert.
But, even if it did all that, it probably wouldn’t rank very well in search results. And no one would ever find it. So it would not perform as you need it to. Sort of like it wasn’t healthy. And everything you did to create the website – and all the money you spent – wouldn’t do much for your business.
What Factors Influence Site Health?
A lot of people think getting good search engine rankings, or search engine optimization is just about keywords and content. But there’s a lot more about the website that helps with its ranking factors and, ultimately, how much it helps your business.
The Speed of Your Site
If you click on a link in a search results page, and the page takes more than a few seconds to load, what’s your impression of that site so far? It doesn’t matter how nice your site looks, how much valuable information you offer, or anything else about your site if it doesn’t load quickly. Why? Because no one waits for a page to load. Especially on mobile devices, which now account for 54.8% of web traffic.
Generally speaking, your website’s pages should load in 3 seconds or less. At 3 seconds, they will be faster than 50% of all sites. Get page speeds down to 1.7 seconds, and you’ll be faster than 75% of the web. (semrush)
The Links to Your Site
If another website links to your site, Google can view that as a sign of good health. It means that others on the web found your content useful enough to link to it.
But, many SEO companies create unnatural links to your site to try to scam Google. The links are usually from sites that are set up just for the purpose of linking.
Unnatural links, or toxic links, might help boost your site’s performance briefly. But, again, Google wants to deliver the best search results possible. So, with almost every update to their algorithm, they clamp down harder on toxic links. If they find toxic links to your site, it’s worse for your rankings than if you had no links at all.
Your Bounce Rate
Google uses bounce rate as an indicator of site health because it tells them how much people engage with your website. If people spend more time on your site, then your content and user experience must be good.
On the other hand, if they leave your site – or bounce – quickly after landing on a page, clearly you didn’t have what they were looking for. Your site’s bounce rate is calculated by measuring how many people leave your site without taking an action as a percentage of total site visitors.
If you have any questions about your website health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.