Is your business prepared for the major Google algorithm changes coming in mid-June 2021? Keep reading to understand how Google’s renewed focus on page experience factors will impact your businesses’ website, and the steps you need to undertake now to prepare.
What is Page Experience?
Page experience is Google’s way of determining how user friendly your website is for visitors. Great page experiences enable potential customers to get more done and engage more deeply with your business. On the flip side, a bad page experience could prevent potential customers from finding the right information on a webpage or completing a checkout process. By adding page experience factors to the algorithm Google uses when ranking search results, they aim to help consumers more easily access the information they’re looking for and provide an enjoyable experience.
What Factors Will Google Look at?
Google has a list of Web Vitals it deems critical to all web experiences. Three new Core Web Vitals are being added to measure and rank page experience. They are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) which measures loading performance – the time it takes for the main content of a page to load
- First Input Delay (FID) which measures interactivity – the time from when a user first interacts with the page to when the browser processes that interaction
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) which measures visual stability – concerning the unexpected movement of page content (i.e., whether items are jumping around on the screen)
What Impact Will This Update Have?
In a nutshell, from mid-June 2021 user-friendly sites will rank higher than sites that aren’t user friendly. In Google’s own words, “Optimising for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.” To limit any negative impacts from this update (i.e., ensure your ranking doesn’t suddenly tank!) Google have kindly given website owners a nice long lead time to get their sites up to scratch.
How Can I Prepare for the Page Experience Update?
The best way to prepare your site for these new page experience factors is by removing any friction for users in your current site experience. Bad page experience is often caused by unsafe browsing, poor data security, annoying pop-ups, slow load time, or poor functionality on mobile devices. To get an idea of how your site currently performs, Google have a number of resources to help you measure, monitor, and optimise your website’s page experience:
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly with the Mobile-Friendly Test
- Make your web pages fast on all devices by analysing your site using the PageSpeed Insights tool and implementing any suggestions
- Check if your website has any safety issues by using the Security Issues Report
- Confirm that your site’s connection is secure, and being served over HTTPS. Don’t know what that is? Learn how to secure your site here
- Make sure that you’re not using interstitial advertising in a way that makes content less accessible for users
Google have also created a new Page Experience report in Search Console which combines the existing Core Web Vitals report with the new components of the page experience signals, allowing you to gain additional insights on opportunities for improvement.
ReachLocal have a team of SEO analysts that are across the page experience update and can work with you to optimise your website. They are experts in the myriad of factors that impact whether your site will rank highly in search engine results. A comprehensive SEO strategy can not only help boost traffic and visibility, but reach and convert more customers too. Learn more about how search engine optimisation can benefit your business by giving us a call today on 1300 655 312.