A Simple 'How To' On The Google Page Experience
This is an article “A Simple 'How To' On The Google Page Experience” by Marc Primo
Google has just rolled out a new Page Experience update last June this year which comprises a few new metrics in its search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms. For the latest update, marketers need to update what they know about how it all works, and use available tools to boost their search ranks.
It’s always a huge deal whenever Google announces a major update, considering that it accounts for 92.47% of all global searches since its inception in 1997. And, it pays to keep tabs on Google because, for now, it’s the best avenue for brands to give themselves online presence and traffic. The recent rollout stirred the digital marketing community. Many asked how they could continue to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs).
For the uninformed, the recent update is an addition to the past user experience upgrades on mobile compatibility, safe browsing, and security, which they have all rolled out earlier. Each one aims to improve how Google’s algorithms rank websites, and the new core web vital is no different. Still based on aggregated data from the Chrome User Experience Report, these updates mean digital marketers should continue focusing on putting on their A-game for UX/UI.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to monitor and optimize your website, now that the new Google Page Experience update is wholly operational.
How Google determines user experience
There are currently three main components of the latest core web vitals: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. However, Google’s algorithm also grades a website’s user experience via several other factors. What also matters is how mobile-friendly your page is, or how safe it is for users to browse. Your Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) codes and how many pop-up ads appear also play a part in your ranking. Collectively, these factors make up the search signals that algorithms detect to determine if a website is offering a good or bad user experience to its visitors.
However, the new update also reviews user-centric signals such as:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) which measures the time a website loads;
First Input Delay (FID) or the time it takes for the page to become interactive to the user; Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measures a site’s visual stability
As a cheat sheet, the new Google algorithm expects a website’s LCP or the largest image embedded on the page to appear within 2.5 seconds and never over four. Considered good are websites that become interactive for 100 milliseconds or less. Those with FID that go over 300 need to be adjusted. As for CLS, a score less than 0.1 from Google is acceptable, despite undergoing layout shifts whenever users refresh the page.
Managing your website better
Checking these three core web vitals will bring a better user experience to your website. The first thing you can do to optimize LCP is get rid of excessively large images. Clean your page of unnecessary 3rd-party scripts and go for efficient web hosting services with better server responsiveness. After all, it has never been a best practice to overstuff your website with numerous ads and images. Doing so will only make your loading speeds slower and may also contribute to a user’s bounce rate.
Lastly, your CLS can be tricky to handle, considering it also depends on the users who visit your website. For example, if a user has a slow internet connection, your CLS can spike up, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The best thing to do is to anticipate this problem by specifying the dimensions of the heavier page elements such as images and ads. Use TrueType fonts like Courier, Helvetica, or Times while you’re at it to avoid more rendering issues.
Allocating ample space for your page elements and ensuring dynamic loading for your content will lower your CLs and make it less disruptive for users.
Combine SEO with content relevance
Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in reaching pole position on search pages in any digital marketing endeavor. Combining a good on and off-page SEO strategy with relevant content can trigger Google’s algorithms to rank your website high.
However, everything depends on how great your website’s user experience is. The main thing to consider here is offering what your target audience is looking for online. Give them high-quality content that they will frequently visit for answers. Think of your content and keywords as the needles that will point online users in the right direction, and leave it to Google to decide.
You can measure your content’s performance via Google Analytics and your off-page SEO with the many available tools and software out there. Ultimately, what will matter is your site’s first impression to new and regular visitors. How your content will benefit users and make their site experience enjoyable contributes to how the search engine will rank your page.
Considering all the signals mentioned above brings out the pros that the latest Google Page Experience offers. All you have to do is optimize as much as you can and monitor how you’ll rank in SERPs regularly.