These days, Google places exceptionally high demands on the quality of websites. And if your site falls under the YMYL category, where information can affect the life, health, well-being, finances of the user or harm him or her in any other way, you'll have to meet unprecedentedly high standards concerning quality, trustworthiness, authoritativeness, and expertise of the content.
Website quality assessment is the analysis of hundreds of interconnected metrics, such as the quality of information, site's usability and speed, lack of errors/bugs, the authority of the source and its authors, etc.
Before you start improving the quality of your platform, you need to understand what its current state is. Initially, find out what YMYL websites are and what E-A-T rules are imposed on them.
1. Put the E-A-T information on the main page
You have to add information confirming that the content was created by reputable experts to the main page of the site. It can be short bios of your authors, scans of their diplomas, certificates, links to official registers confirming the authority of the company, website, and employees. You can verify the reliability of the content with customer reviews.
The most important thing is that any user can definitely identify the site as professional, full of reliable, high-quality content, and can understand why he or she should trust this YMYL site.
2. Disclose your pricing and advertising info
Advertising has to be reliable, prices are final, without additional margins, taxes, or requirements. All this is called Advertising Disclosure.
Thus, information about the goods, the offering and advertising of services should clearly and fully disclose all data that may affect the decision to purchase said product or service. So, the most important information - like special conditions affecting the cost of the offering, must be disclosed near the price.
Sellers and advertisers should not use pop-ups or hyperlinks to display information about the cost of goods or services.
3. Add a Terms & Conditions agreement
Add a page with terms of service to your site. This is where you inform users of conditions, policies, and core principles they need to abide by to gain access to the website. That way, you protect your rights and exclude certain users who may abuse your platform or not follow the rules you've set.
5. Create other significant pages
Make sure your website has all the relevant pages (the list may vary by field of activity):
- About: disclose the essence of the company, describe the scope and principles of work;
- Legal: indicate all important legal aspects of the company (name of the organization, license, etc.);
- Contact: the contact info of the company, both on- and offline, office locations, photos, phone numbers, social media accounts are indicated;
- Shipping: conditions and options for the delivery of goods, tariffs, documentation, return policy;
- Payment: list the payment options – cash, non-cash, cards, eMoney, barter, etc.;
- Place an order: a form to help customers place their orders. Provide all the necessary documentation;
- Warranties: the disclosure of information about warranty service, repairs, replacements, etc.;
- This list of required pages is far from complete and depends on the industry's specifics.
6. Restrictions and Warnings
Place necessary restrictions on pages that may need them.
The most common example is the age restriction. On pages containing medical information, you must place a warning in the footer or sidebar.
7. Expert content
An expert is well versed in the subject, offers valuable information, forms an opinion, and brings benefit to the visitor – unlike a regular copywriter. A true professional reveals trifles and particulars of the topic under discussion, which are inaccessible to an amateur. He or she creates content with high demands on its quality.
Therefore, expert content can be regarded as such if:
1. There are reliable, verifiable facts, links to research, experiments, scientific papers. The expert without fail brings them to prove his or her opinion, to convince the reader, to back up his or her point of view;
2. Problems are scrutinized from different angles. In this case, one point of view is confirmed and theories that are incorrect in the expert's opinion, are refuted;
3. The theory is confirmed by practice, research, cases, personal experience or the experience of colleagues;
4. Practical steps are given to solve the problem;
5. Expert conclusions are relevant and novel.
8. Check the content availability
Content should be valuable, disclose the questions posed, rely on recent data and scientific achievements.
Check your text for spelling errors. Paraphrase all unclearly expressed thoughts and ideas. Remove any filler words.
- Is it easy to use the website on mobile devices?
- Is it easy to navigate the site?
- Is the main content easy to read?
- Does advertising on the site interfere with the content?
9. Reviews and press releases
Ensure that your website/company has a sufficient number of high-quality reviews online. Maintain the link building process, generating positive reviews, including ones on social media. From time to time, publish press releases on suitable platforms and in the media.
10. Work with negative feedback
Check the number and main points of negative reviews about your company/website on external sites. It is necessary to make that number as low as possible. Reply to any review you can’t delete.
11. Organize the list your experts
Another important recommendation is thorough work with the authors. Create a separate page for each expert generating content. Add their education, track record, awards, and titles. List in which conferences they've participated in, what scientific papers they've published (individually or in collaboration with other authors). List the articles (or any content) created by each author for your website.
12. Improve the load time
Switch to the HTTPS protocol, check if the mobile version is available and responsive. After that, try and maximize performance. Responsive, fast pages improve user experience.
13. Remove unnatural links
You need to upload your link profile, evaluate its quality and organic nature, and disavow bad links.
14. Eliminate obvious bugs
Oddly enough, the most important and obvious idea to improve the site is the introduction of SSL certificate – as in, the transition to the HTTPS protocol.
Next, conduct a technical audit and eliminate obvious technical errors that bring the quality of the website down.
15. Add the “Last edited” date
It’s best to include the time the content was modified/edited under each page. It’ll tell visitors (and assessors) that the material is updated, edited, and kept up to date.
Don’t forget to freshen up your content from time to time.
Some extra ideas
Another critical factor in improving the quality of the website is to work with UX or user experience. After analyzing your site, consider how to make it even more convenient to increase the average time on site and reduce the bounce rate.
Another thing: remember 85% of decisions to make a purchase online that a visitor makes are based on reviews. The more expert and detailed they are, the higher the likelihood of converting a visitor to a customer.
Back up the quality of your services with the photos of happy customers. Record video reviews on your phone and upload it to the site. Show how satisfied customers are with your products or services.