What is Text to HTML Ratio and Does it Affect SEO?

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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While planning your SEO strategy, you might have missed considering your text to HTML ratio. While this is something that most SEO experts tend to overlook, a good text to HTML ratio can positively affect user experience, thus improving your SERP rankings.

In today’s post, our web design agency Chicago summarizes everything you need to know about HTML to text ratio and why it is important to account for this metric when doing SEO.

text to html ratio and seo

What is the text to HTML ratio?

Web pages are usually written in HTML, a code used to display page content in text form. The text to HTML ratio represents the correlation between the amount of text on a page and the amount of HTML code needed to display that text.

What is the best text to HTML ratio?

Let’s say you need 10.000 characters of HTML code to display 200 characters of text. You can calculate the ratio using this formula:

text characters / HTML characters

Back to our example:

200 / 10.000 = 0.02


That’s 2% text to HTML ratio.

Now, let’s look at another example. This time you use 500 characters of HTML code to display the same 200 characters of text. When we apply the formula:

200 / 500 = 0.4

That’s 40% text to HTML ratio.

Everything between 25% and 70% is considered a good text to HTML ratio.

How does text to HTML ratio affect SEO?

While the text to HTML ratio is not listed as Google’s official ranking factor, it can affect your SEO efforts in several ways:

  • Google uses this metric to assess the page’s relevancy. Since text to HTML ratio refers to visible text as opposed to HTML elements (image tags and other non-visible information), websites with visible text tend to rank higher on SERP.
  • As we all know, site speed and SEO go hand to hand. Low text to HTML ratio indicates that a website is heavy with code. This causes increased loading time and an overall slow website.

What are the most prominent benefits of high text to HTML ratio?

  • Pages with higher text to HTML ratio are usually more readable and user-friendly. Building websites with an end-user in mind doesn’t go unnoticed by Google. In return, you will be awarded a higher ranking.
  • Less code means fewer unnecessary HTML elements. Websites built this way load faster and provide a better user experience, both of which are significant ranking factors.
  • It is easier for search engines to crawl and index websites built with cleaner code and higher text to HTML ratio.

Core Web Vitals

Google announced that they attempt to dedicate more attention to page experience as a new ranking signal for their search engine. Shortly after, they launched the Core Web Vitals report in their search console.

Besides simply testing how long it takes for your content to fully load, this report also evaluates how it loads to identify sudden layout shifts during the process. They aim to identify pages that provide a poor user experience, and rightfully so. You have probably been in a situation where you attempt to click on something and completely miss the target because the content unexpectedly changed the position. If you have, you know just how frustrating this can be. Chaining SEO with user experience is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

How to optimize text to HTML ratio for better SEO?

Some designers tend to go over the top with various HTML elements just to make pages more engaging. While this practice may entertain your website visitors, it doesn’t bode well with search engines. As you continue your fight for rankings, it is extremely important to find the right balance and keep your text to HTML ratio between 25% and 70% to provide a solid ground for SEO. The best way to address this issue is to remove redundant code elements and tend to any other errors that may emerge. Here are some of the steps you could take:

  • Make sure that your HTML code is valid. Various online tools can help you, and it should take no more than a couple of minutes.
  • Your website’s loading speed perfectly mirrors your coding efficiency. Slow loading times are usually an indicator that there are too many HTML elements on your pages. Always aim to get as close as possible to that 3-second mark.
  • Elements such as tables, flash, tabs, large white spaces, comments, and JavaScript tend to increase the amount of HTML. This is another area where you should try to balance it out.
  • Try to keep the size of your page as minimal as possible. Everything under 300 kb will help your SEO efforts.
  • Resize your images and remove any unnecessary imagery.
  • Utilize internal linking to help users navigate your website with ease.
  • Use CSS for styling and formatting. However, make sure to export it in an external file. It would be best if you refrained from using inline CSS and JavaScript whenever possible.

Final words

Professional web designers and SEO experts separate themselves from wannabes by keeping the code clean and simple. This is something that our Chicago SEO agency takes much pride in. Our reputation obliges us to make no compromises regarding rapid websites optimized for SEO and user experience.

While text to HTML ratio is not an official ranking factor, the page experience update is gradually rolling out, making this metric the foundation for user-friendly websites. Google is prioritizing user experience, so we should expect similar things added to their algorithms in the near future.

Besides sending positive signals to Google and search engines alike, balancing out your text-to-code ratio can help you maintain a healthy relationship with your website visitors. Faster loading times and a website that values user experience will make your visitors linger longer and reduce your bounce rates. This may boost your SEO in the long run, and Google may award you with a better ranking spot. Additionally, focusing on page load speed is essential for enhancing user experience and potentially improving your website’s performance in search engine rankings.


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