Perhaps, you are one of those hundreds of website administrators who have been eagerly waiting for the Google Page Experience Update to roll out. It finally did so in June this year.
Slowly yet steadily, the update is set to transform search results.
High-performance, responsive, and fast-loading sites have a better chance of getting good search engine rankings in related search queries. Put simply, websites that do not offer a good visitor experience can suffer in ranking, resulting in declining traffic.
As a digital marketing company, we look at every update as an opportunity to improve client websites. Here’s a quick look at the core elements of this update and ways to fix them:
- Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals consist of three factors that Google considers significant for offering an excellent user experience. These are the LCP, FID, and CLS.
The LCP or Largest Contentful Paint is about the time taken by crucial web pages to load.
The FID or First Input Delay measures the response time taken by the website to act on the user’s request.
Lastly, the CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift determines stability issues with page elements. If buttons, links, images, and text on the page change position while the page loads, the CLS is considered poor.
2. Safe browsing
Websites unknowingly end up serving unwanted software and malware to visitors. Under hacker’s control, they collect personal information and use it for fraud.
The safe browsing factor focuses on the security aspects of websites and rates how secure they are for visitors.
Websites with insufficient security protocols face the maximum risk from hackers. So, if it’s not up-to-date with security measures, Google won’t offer good rankings.
As the name suggests, Google rates websites based on how their mobile version performs. The search giant’s Mobile-First Indexing has been around for many years now. Unfortunately, thousands of websites still lack a responsive theme.
Today, more than half of search engine users perform searches using mobile devices. If elements like images, text, buttons, and links do not resize automatically to fit the mobile screen, you are on the losing end.
You guessed it right, HTTPS is yet another security element. Google prioritizes websites that have an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate.
What’s the use? What difference does this make for visitors? SSL ensures secure communication between the user and the website server. Sites with an SSL certificate have HTTPS (https://) in the URL. It provides additional safety from hackers.
2. Intrusive interstitials
“Intrusive interstitials” sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
These large pop-ups cover a significant area of the screen as soon as the visitor opens the website.
In most cases, these are hard to dismiss, and the close sign in the pop-up is often hardly visible. Such elements result in a negative user experience.
Of course, reasonably sized pop-ups with important and mandatory disclaimers do not impact rankings. However, pop-up ads on websites can be truly annoying, and Google does not intend to tolerate them further.
Use Google Search Console to detect trouble before damage occurs
Does your website respond quickly when the user clicks on something or scrolls? Does it automatically adjust page elements to fit the mobile screen? Do images, video, and text load quickly without changing position? If the answer is yes, you won’t have to worry.
The ideal FID should remain 100 ms or less. LCP of 2.5 seconds or less can work, while the CLS of 0.1 or less indicates the house is in order.
The Page Experience feature is free for use. It offers a glimpse into big stats, including crawling and indexing status for web pages and Core Web Vitals. The best option to check stats and detect trouble before it causes damage is by visiting the Google Search Console account.
Advanced optimizations can protect your website
Why wait and react only after the damage is visible? Prioritizing advanced optimization can ensure your website does not experience any impact of Page experience Update at all.
- Get rid of intrusive advertising pop-ups
Revenue from ads can tempt administrators to compromise on UX. However, it’s best to remove intrusive ones. Ensure visitors can quickly close it or navigate away. Don’t keep on bothering the audience with frequent pop-ups while they navigate through various pages.
2. Level-up security measures
Use features that enable your websites to block visitors with unidentified IP addresses. SSL certificate for data encryption is a must.
Protect your website with a firewall. Don’t install malicious widgets or software from unknown sources on your site.
3. Ask your web developer team to optimize the site for mobile devices
Responsive themes do work. But at times, you need additional tweaks to make buttons and links clickable. Text, images, and other elements need further adjustments.
Implementing AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages strategy for selected pages is a good idea. It ensures the content performs better and loads faster on mobile devices.
Your developer can assist in accurately coding AMP on the site.
4. Work with your developer for improving page loading speed
Reducing the size of videos and compressing images alone can considerably impact the loading speed.
Consider removing plugins that are not too necessary. As per your developer or SEO expert’s recommendation, think about moving to a faster hosting service.
Reduce redirects wherever possible. Check your website theme for possible errors.
As declared by the search giant, website administrators might not witness any immediate or dramatic change. However, the update can hurt the site’s ranking in the long term if crucial factors are not in order.
Google is already using page experience as a tiebreaker between sites equally good in SEO best practices. Web properties with fantastic page experience will benefit.
During the coming months, results will show how much importance Google is giving to the new metric. If your website continues offering a good UX, the bounce rates should remain low. The conversion percentage should remain constant.
Improving page experience signals might require cost, time, and resources. But the efforts are worth it for increasing conversions with excellent UX. Let a reputed SEO services provider analyze these aspects and improve them for you.