Let’s face it: In today’s marketplace, your online presence is second only (maybe!) to building a relationship with your customers even before they buy. But if you aren’t grabbing their attention when they search for what you sell, you’re probably going to have a tough time staying in–and growing–business in today’s digital world.
Bringing potential customers to your website is an on-going challenge. Google, the largest search engine in the world, continually tweaks its algorithms in order to satisfy the public’s insatiable desire for products, services, and information. In fact, there are about 5.6 billion searches per day on Google alone. That’s a lot of competition.
Let’s take a look at an important upcoming algorithm change and how your business can get ahead of it to reap the benefits.
The Upcoming Google Page Experience Update
Google’s mission is always to show sites first that users have already shown a preference for. To do that, they consistently seek to match what users are asking for and how they are asking. One of the previous major algorithm changes was a reaction to searchers using more words, and more descriptive ones, to find what they are looking for. Hopefully, your product or service.
There have been some major changes to their algorithms over the years, but most of them happen quietly behind the scenes. SEO gurus see fluctuations in numbers after the fact and do what they do to adjust your site accordingly. As far as the website owners and the public are concerned, though, most of the changes don’t have a noticeable impact on the user experience.
It’s time to get ready for another change, though, that is significant to the UX (user experience). Google is moving again in the direction of caring more about the user. Plus, the search giant is considering what kind of visual indicator they will add to the search results to alert users to a “great experience ahead.” Or not.
Google refers to this newest concept and its accompanying algorithm change as the Page Experience.
What is Page Experience?
Let’s go to the source. Google explains it this way:
“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.”
Google is going to rank web pages based on how easy it is for users to interact with them. If your site loads slowly and jumps around on the page, isn’t mobile-friendly, doesn’t run on HTTPS, and has a lot of ads intruding as the searcher tries to do business with you, your ranking will drop. This is what Google means by the Page Experience.
Is your potential client becoming so frustrated with your site that they go to another site? Is the mobile version unreadable or have links so close together they can’t be used? Or is your site a seamless and easy experience no matter what type of device they are using?
Less friction. Delightful. Mobile. Business success. Your website needs to give the user a delightful experience–including on mobile–with less friction. And that will lead to more business success.
So, what do you need to do now to be ready for this algorithm change in 2021?
How Do I Prepare My Site for the Google Page Experience Update?
The pandemic has overshadowed everything in 2020 and preparation for the Google Page Experience Update is no different. It will go live most likely in May 2021, but Google has committed to giving six months notice to prepare.
The marketplace, along with everything else, has been ravaged by COVID-19, but there is no reason to wait to prepare for this change. You can be ahead of the curve if you jump on it now, while your competition is distracted by pandemic-related issues. We all are, but the change is coming anyway; why not be first? Where to begin?
Content Is Still Everything
Continue to infuse your site with informative, well-written content. As a matter of fact, this is one area where the Page Experience comes in second. Great content will rank near the top in Google searches, while pages with poor user experience and thin content will fall. So, keep those content writers busy producing original, dense text that sets your site apart.
Mobile-Friendly Is Now the Norm
Google used to rank mobile-friendly sites higher than those who had no mobile version of their site or it wasn’t user-friendly. Today, it’s expected that both are true. According to stats from 2018, about 63 percent of Google Search clicks in the US came from mobile devices, the phone being over half of those.
If you haven’t looked at your site on a mobile device, specifically a phone, go ahead and try it. Does the site adjust automatically to the smaller surface, without distortion? Are headlines overlapping? Can you click on the links provided or is the box actually too small to click?
Google, and your customers, expect the mobile view to be just as good as the desktop version. Customers want your information and hopefully your product or service; make it possible for them to buy. And Google will now be judging your site, including the mobile version, from the same lens of the Page Experience.
Know Your Site’s Core Web Vitals
In order to make your page experiences better, you have to know how they are doing now. Core Web Vitals will tell you. These are metrics related to site speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. Formerly, the page speed reports looked at this data, but now Core Web Vitals does the same thing. Page loading time is still an important part of the UX, which affects your site’s rankings. But so are the other parameters we’ve discussed.
Core Web Vitals produces automated reports that make it possible to tweak the speed and performance of your site. These metrics are measurable, represent a specific part of the UX, and provide a framework for a real-world experience of a user outcome. Remember, you won’t know if you’re making progress in improving the Page Experience if you don’t know where you started.
The Path Into 2021 Is Clear
The 2021 Google Page Experience Update is another positive move toward recognizing the user is royalty in the world of information technology. For businesses seeking to excel in reaching–and attracting–as many potential customers as possible, the path ahead means staying focused on the user experience of the website, too. That focus should be on loading speed, mobile presentation, eliminating clutter, and assuring page stability.
The question is who in your company is charged with making the changes on your site? Do you need someone who is tasked solely with the job and understands the importance of doing it with true intent and knowledge?
Most businesses can’t afford much beyond keeping afloat as 2021 limps along from a near-disastrous 2020. But, this would be an investment that would pay off in the end, helping your business remain successful.
Here at My KPI, we have the knowledge and experience to help your business. We are committed to helping your company make the necessary adjustments to get ahead of the Google Page Experience update and provide a superior digital experience for those who are looking for what you sell. Less friction. Delightful. Mobile. Business success. Let My KPI help. Contact us today!