Google Page Experience Update is set to launch in mid-June, 2021.
So what does that mean?
30 second summary:
Understanding the update
Google announced that their update will be released at some point in mid-June. In Google’s own words, here’s what it means:
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.
In other words, they’re looking for how user-friendly your website is. Google is updating their algorithm to prioritize websites that are easy to navigate.
Previously, Google has been focused on page structure, links, alt tags and other technical things. So this is great news!
Here are the things this update is focused on:
Page experience includes all aspects related to how a user interacts with your page: the good, the bad, and the painful! This includes Google’s existing signals such as mobile-friendliness and security.
The new update brings 3 more elements into play: loading time, interactivity, and visual stability.
- Loading, in this update, measures when the main content on a page has loaded.
- Interactivity is the time from when a user first interacts with your page via a click or tap, to the time when the browser processes that interaction.
- Visual Stability includes eliminating annoying and unexpected movement of page content.
These are the top 3 areas that this update focuses on. But as you know, you don’t want to wait until Google releases their update because you could potentially lose traffic if something is wrong.
But don’t worry – I have 3 easy steps to prepare you.
Step 1: Optimize your page speed and reduce errors
Neil Patel has a super handy website audit tool. Simply grab your website’s URL and plug it in here. You’ll get a page that looks like this:
There are 2 important sections of this audit. The Health Check (highlighted above) indicates where you might have some broken pages. Take a closer look at this section and try to fix as many broken pages as you can. Broken pages create bad experiences.
The second important section is the site speed. The faster your website loads, the better. Ideally, you want to be in the 1-second range.
Step 2: Focus on mobile experience
If you haven’t already, set up Google Analytics account for your website. It may take some time for the data to populate, but it can give you some great insights into how people use your website, and how you can improve.
It’s no secret that mobile traffic makes up the majority of total internet traffic. This is why, not only is it important to have a “responsive” website, but it also has to be an enjoyable experience for the user.
Here are some ways you can improve the mobile experience on your website:
Step 3: Create great content
Okay, you’ve heard this one before. But it’s so important.
It sometimes happens that we get so caught up in the metrics and technical issues, that the most important element gets pushed to the back burner.
To put it simply, good content plays a critical role in determining page rankings. Especially with Google’s new algorithm update. Your content should be simple, it should solve a customer challenge, and it should be unique.
A user will stay on a website for a longer amount of time when the content is valuable, and speaks directly to them.
When your content is great and your site is optimized for Google’s algorithm updates, you’ll see your search rankings improve.
User experience is going to keep getting more and more important over time. Don’t wait until Google rolls out their update to make these changes. Unlike most updates, Google is giving us a chance to make the changes before they roll out the algorithm change. Let’s take advantage of that.