Google’s Page Experience Update: What is it and How to Optimize Your Website for it
Google will roll out an algorithm update named Page Experience sometime within 2021. Interestingly, the search giant has made the announcement well in advance.
According to Google, the page experience will measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing such aspects can make the web page more enjoyable across all browsers. At the same time, it will also improve the user experience on mobile. And the fallout will be that user-friendly websites will rank higher in search engine results.
The spontaneous question that arises is where lies its importance. As brand queries impact rankings on SERP, you will get more SEO traffic for your website as your brand grows in popularity. But not all websites have popular brands. So, Google is structuring its algorithms to consider the user experience and rank websites higher that give a good user experience.
The Primary Factors of the Page Experience Update
Let us acquaint ourselves with the main factors of the page experience update:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
It is the loading time for the most prominent content element of a web page. You should aim to have an LCP of under 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID)
It is the time lag between a user clicking on your web page and the page response. The FID has to be less than 100 milliseconds for a good user experience.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
It keeps track of the visual stability of page content. When the layout shifts unexpectedly, it entails a bad user experience. Ensure that your CLS score is less than 0.1.
Due to the predominance of mobile searches, which now account for more than 51 percent of the total internet traffic, Google has given the highest priority to mobile searches for a good user experience.
It ensures that your website contains no malware or deceptive content.
It determines whether the website connection is secure through HTTPS or non-secure HTTP.
They are ads that appear during downloading of web pages. Ensure that there are no interstitials so that users can read your content easily.
Optimizing the User Experience
Now, come to the moot point–optimizing the user experience. Again, the focus will be on the page rather than the entire website. As your website can have some pages with poor user experience but the rest pages have good user experience, Google lowers the rankings of only the pages with poor user-friendliness but not for the entire website.
The following are how you can optimize the page experience:
Make your Website Mobile-Friendly
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out whether there are any page loading issues for your page. If there are any, fix them with the help of the tool.
Check if your website is running on an outdated theme or is created with a builder that is not optimized for mobile. If so, migrate your website to a mobile-friendly website builder.
But you need to think beyond site responsiveness for a good user experience on mobile. For that, you need to follow Google’s tips:
- Keep menus short. Merge similar fields into a single field to reduce the number of links in the menu bar
- Ensure that the logo directs users to the homepage
- Make the search box visible in the menu bar
- Texts and images should be readable on devices of all sizes.
- Do not use CTA buttons that open new windows.
Improve Website Speed
A slow website can drive traffic away from it. So, ensure that your website loads fast. When a website loads slowly, users get impatient and leave the site. And that will increase the bounce rate, which is detrimental to SEO.
In this context, Google says that if the load time of your website decreases from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of users leaving the site increases by 32 percent. And things do not end here. If the loading time increases to 6 seconds, the bouncing probability increases by 106 percent.
Therefore, do not fail to check your website speed. All you have to do is type the URL in Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which gives your site a score ranging from 0 to 100.
You can also hire a professional SEO expert to improve your page speed.
If the score is between 0 and 49, it is considered poor. A score between 50 to 89 indicates improvement, and a score from 90 to 100 is considered a good score.
In addition, the tool also suggests how to improve your loading speed.
Publish High-Quality Content
Your website might offer a good page experience, but it is the content quality that helps in search engine rankings. You should, therefore, publish high-quality content to stand apart from the crowd.
Many professionals make the mistake of writing content with excessive keywords with the intent of getting a higher search rank. It is a mistake, so avoid it.
Instead, write for people and not for search engines. Your content should amplify what values you create, which will justify why people should come to your website.
Ensure that you create content for each stage of the sales funnels to attract potential customers.
A proper headline is essential. It is the first thing visitors notice. And they decide whether to read or skip the content based on the headline. Also, add sub-headings to help visitors better understand your article. Finally, make sure that you avoid grammatical and spelling errors.
Adding relevant images can help visitors understand your article better. And include as much data as you can in your writing.
You should protect the information of your visitors to provide them with a good user experience. An insecure website can negatively impact SEO rankings. So, implement a Secure Sockets Layer(SSL) certificate on your website to provide authentication of an encrypted connection for your website, making it HTTPS.
By now, you must have understood that you should focus on the user experience for your website as it will play a significant role in the rankings on SERP. The Google update indicates that only those websites which are helpful and user-friendly will get higher search engine rankings. So, prepare for the update.