Google Updates: Understanding Google’s Page Experience and How to Prepare for it
What Does Google Have Going on?
If you have a website and paying attention to rankings is a normal part of your business day, Google has good news for you. In May of 2021, they are updating their algorithm and will include a factor they call the Google Page Experience. There are some technical details involved in this decision, but you don’t need to worry yourself with those. Just know that the Page Experience involves all aspects of how your users will interact with your web page.
Included are aspects such as safe-browsing, HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, as well as the metrics found in Google’s Web Vitals. As of right now, they focus on three main areas:
- Loading, which measures the perceived load speed of the page.
- Interactivity, which starts when a user first gets on the site and ends when the browser starts to process the interaction.
- Visual stability, which has to do with stopping the unexpected movement of the page content, which is very irritating to users.
If you’re like many business owners, you’ve already optimized for these things, which is good. After all, according to Google’s own research, if the load time of a page goes from 1 to 10 seconds, the chances of your mobile users bouncing increase by 123%. This can be devastating for any business. Fortunately, there are things you can do to correct this problem, and there will be even more you can do once Google executes their new plan to help users improve their page experience when visiting your website.
What This Means
Essentially, Google is doing this because they’re trying to bring together everything that has an impact on organic search results under one umbrella, which they’ve done in the past. Remember AMP icons and slow but mobile-friendly labels? When indicators are displayed prominently in search results, it is more likely that users will prefer that particular site over other sites, and it isn’t hard to understand why.
These next indicators, as far as their position, shape, and size go, are yet to be determined, but most business owners are starting to plan now because they know how important it is for their users to have a great page experience. It is still important to have great content on those pages, of course, but you can’t overestimate the importance of great page experiences for your users.
Is There Anything You Can Do Now?
While Google updates their algorithms and prepares to make the Page Experience much better for all users, business owners can prepare for this adjustment by committing themselves to the following actions:
- Make sure the speed of your pages is as fast as possible. Minimizing HTTP requests and checking on image file sizes, compression, and caching can help speed up the pages on your website.
- Make sure you always use Alt Text for your images. The Alt Text is used in your HTML code and describes the appearance of a certain image, as well as its function. This will help improve your rankings when people use their search engines.
- Make sure your calls to action, or CTAs, are as efficient as possible. Make your CTAs short and to the point, and make sure they include a specific benefit. Naturally, they should also include being very clear about which action you want them to take.
- Make sure your page is ready for mobile users. Whether you need to reduce code, reduce redirects, or leverage browser caching, take care of these things now before May arrives.
In addition to all of this – and it can’t be emphasized enough – the content on your web page has to be the very best. Today’s visitors are much more astute than they once were. They don’t go to web pages just to find out about a particular product. They go there to learn something and to be engaged and made to feel important. If business owners don’t have great web page content, they’re going to start out at a huge disadvantage once Google’s changes come along in May.
Things to Remember
Preparing for this improvement in Google’s services isn’t that difficult because most of these recommendations are just common sense suggestions. You can start by learning all you can about Google metrics, conducting an audit of your site to discover areas that need improvement, and most importantly, meet with the powers-that-be at your company to decide in advance exactly what to do to handle this algorithm update.
If your business needs any assistance when it comes to optimization, companies such as SoConnect are here to help. They can help you fix any bugs you might have, increase your online visibility, and provide you with real-time alerts during times when your website is down. While Google is going to do all of the hard work when it comes to this huge advancement, you’ll still have to do your part to keep your website above par. Still, it’s good to know you don’t have to do this alone.