Are Text to HTML Ratios Important?

Posted on Friday, 08 March 2013 by

What is a Text to HTML Ratio?

Every website has a certain amount of backend code and a certain amount of regular text in the front-end. The text to HTML ratio refers to the amount of text on a web page versus the HTML code on the same web page.

What is the Ideal Text to HTML Ratio?

A good text to HTML ratio is anywhere from 25 to 70 percent. This percentage refers to the visible text ratio, as opposed to HTML elements, image tags and other non-visible information. You may notice that many high ranking websites in search results have visible text. This has become especially apparent since search engines, such as Google, released the Panda update which placed importance on content-driven sites.

How Does it Affect SEO?

The text to HTML ratio is not a direct ranking factor for search engines but there are many factors related to the ratio that indicate best SEO practices and thus may indirectly result in higher search rankings.

These related factors are:

  • Built for People: Web pages with higher text content to HTML tend to be more readable and understandable for people. It gives the impression that the site is built for people rather than search engines and so seems important in the eyes of the search engines.
  • Better User Experience: Higher text to code ratio indicates better user experience, and better user experience has become a prime search ranking factor according to Google and other search engines.
  • Better Page Load Speed: Less code indicates that any unnecessary HTML elements are not present in the code of a web page.  This increases the loading speed of the page which indicates better user experience and again is a significant search engine ranking factor.
  • Better Indexing of Pages: A cleaner code and higher ratio of plain text makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index the site.

How Do You Create a Page with a High Text to HTML Ratio?

The key to optimizing your web page is to build it focusing on user-experience. Follow these tips to optimize your page’s text to HTML ratio and increase user-experience:

  • Check if your HTML code is valid.
  • Remove any unnecessary code.
  • Remove huge white spaces.
  • Avoid lots of tabs.
  • Remove comments in the code.
  • Avoid tables. Use tables in your layout only if absolutely necessary.
  • Use CSS for styling and formatting.
  • Resize your images.
  • Remove any unnecessary images.
  • Only use Javascript and flash if required.
  • Keep the size of your page under 300kb.
  • Remove any hidden text that is not visible to people.
  • Your page must always have some amount of plain text. Include easily readable text with quality user information..

Tools To Check Your Text to HTML Ratio:

Here are some simple online tools that allow for a quick review of the text to HTML ratio of your site:

Text-to-HTML Ratio Analyzed on WooRank's Website Review

Text-to-HTML Ratio Analyzed on WooRank’s Website Review