Web Hosting Blog
Google’s algorithm update is due in May 2021 and for businesses who aren’t prepared, now is the time to make the updates required to stay ahead of the game.
We want to help your business be prepared for the changes so we’ve put together a guide on what you need to consider before next month.
What is page experience?
Google are focused on sites that provide the best possible experience for a user, and this is reflected in their page ranking algorithms. It’s a vital aspect for marketing departments managing organic online growth and SEO.
The algorithm update will use the following five search signals to measure Page Experience: Core Web Vitals (LCP, FID, CLS) , Safe-browsing, HTTPS, Mobile Friendly UX/UI and No Intrusive Interstitials.
As Google puts it…
“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing 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.”
Essentially, Google wants to provide users with the best experience, as and when they want it and with a few flaws or disruptions as possible. They have even suggested that visual indicators could be applied to specific search results to predict if the user will have a “great experience”.
How it impacts you
For businesses trying to grow online and improve SEO, staying up to date with Google’s algorithm updates is essential. Without acting to improve your UX, it’s likely that you will see a notable reduction in website traffic and click-through rate, which of course can have serious implications for your online operations.
By failing to make improvements in these areas, your page ranking will also be affected.
Google says, “While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritise pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”
How you can prepare
Optimise your site’s load speed
Page experience will assess the speed at which your website’s page content loads, responsivity to browser input, and how stable the website content is.
Slow load times can have a significant impact on visitors’ numbers and this can be especially damaging to ecommerce sites as visitors are likely to abandon your page if it takes more than 4 seconds to load.
Bounce rates for sites dramatically increase based on load times. 1 – 3 seconds is optimum with a bounce rate of 32%, 1 – 5 increased to 90% and as the time increases to 10 seconds, bounce rates increase up to 123%.
Choosing the right type of hosting could impact your sites load speed, for example, businesses who use a shared hosting platform have to share their resources with potentially hundreds of other sites hosted on the same server. An influx in traffic on one site could have a knock-on effect for the other sites too. If your site is hosted on a shared network and you are being impacted by slow load times, you may need to consider upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or cloud platform.
To further improve load times and prevent poor LCP, Largest Contentful Paint, you could also use a CDN, Content Delivery Network as well as preloaded key requests which will help your browser to priorities your resources.
Compare your website experience to competitors
There is potential that Page Experience will rank your site lower than that of your competitors if yours does not perform as well. Therefore, it’s important to analyse how your site compares against your competitors.
For companies who rely on online bookings or e-commerce, visitors may well give up and move onto a competitors site if they can’t quickly and easily complete the tasks they would like ie. Booking a table or ordering clothing.
To help with this, we can recommend using adzoomas SEO Performance Report which is designed for SME’s and businesses who are new to managing SEO. With clear and practical reports, it allows you to elevate your SEO and compare your performance with that of your competitors. Alongside analysing keyword performance and gap analysis, the SEO Performance Report will also allow you to monitor your page speed which will be crucial to Googles Page Experience rankings.
Check your website is setup for safe browsing
It’s vital to ensure your site is set up for safe browsing, not just for the purpose of Page Experience, but to ensure your business and data is protected. In 2007, Google launched its Safe Browsing Initiative, designed to protected online users again web-based attacks.
Cyber-attacks have advanced over time, however, so has the protection available. Security is an area that is worth investing in. With a host of firewalls and anti-virus products to help you stay protected against phishing, DDoS, malware/ransomware and hacked content, it’s easy to take the steps to improve safety for your online visitors.
Make Sure Your SSL Certificate Is Up to Date
With HTTPS being one of the signals for Page Experience, it’s important that your site is secured with a Secure Socket Layer, otherwise known as an SSL Certificate. These are used to create trust, privacy and identify your business online. Without an SSL Certificate, you aren’t demonstrating that your site is reliable and, in some cases, that it has been verified as a government registered business.
It’s easy to check if your current SSL Certificate is valid and if not, or you want to upgrade and choose the right type of SSL for your business, then there are plenty of SSL providers and options available to you.
Implement and update your mobile and UX
Having a mobile friendly experience is just important for site visitors as when they are accessing via a PC. Page Experience measures assesses readable views, font sizes, click-throughs and links.
With Google now using mobile-first indexing to rank your content, keeping your mobile site up to date and running smoothly is critical.
For example, it can be tricky to get image compression right on a site and this will have a negative impact on the user experience.
This is where Core Web Vitals also comes into play. For optimal LCP, Largest Contentful Paint, aka. Loading performance, Google states that the largest text blocks and images on your screen and should load within 2.5 seconds of accessing the page. FID or First Input Display will measure the time in which your site begins to respond once a visitor engages and this should be under 100 milliseconds for good UX. And finally, CLS, Cumulative Layout Shift, measure the visual stability as your page loads.
It’s important to check how your site is performing and optimise areas which aren’t meeting the suggested requirements.
Consider getting a full website audit
If you are still unsure or think you could benefit from expert recommendations, reaching out to a marketing company for a full website audit may be the way to go. They’ll be able to help you improve your user experience and compare it to your competitors to enhance your site.
Alongside the SEO Performance Report that adzooma provide, you can also use their Marketplace to find the right agencies to help your business!
For more advice on how to prepare, or assistance moving hosting plans, speak with us today and we’ll be happy to assist.