Google confirmed back in November that its Page Experience Update would be rolling out in May next year. As we finally close in on the end of 2020, we thought we’d preview the upcoming algorithm update and let you know what you need to do to ensure you’re ready for it.
The algorithm update will see the search engine take expected user experience into consideration when ranking web pages. Alongside this, a “visual indicator” will be tested – highlighting specific pages in the search results that are expected to offer a great user experience. As stated by Google… “The new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals with our existing search signals including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.”
While user signals have long been a part of the Google algorithm and a huge part of the SEO process, the core web vitals getting added to these existing ranking factors is the key takeaway.
Core Web Vitals are essentially a set of factors that Google uses to evaluate page experience. They’re made up of the following user engagement metrics:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): marks the point in the page load timeline when the main content for that page has likely loaded.
First Input Display (FID): measures your website users first impressions by quantifying the experience they feel when trying to interact with unresponsive pages.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): this is used to help quantify how often your web users experience unexpected layout shifts, which occurs when a visible page element changes position from one frame to the next.
The first place to start is to get signed up and get your website added to Google Search Console if you haven’t done already. You’ll then be able to access the Core Web Vitals data for your website in the “enhancements” section.
You’ll see two reports – one for mobile and one for desktop, flagging URLs that are “poor”, “need improvement” or are “good”. From here, you can simply click on the URLs that have been flagged as “poor” or “need improvement” to view detailed suggestions on how to improve performance.
It’s important to note that most fixes here will need to be completed by your web company or a developer.
Additionally, be sure to check your websites mobile usability, overall site speed and ensure HTTPS is enabled – important UX metrics and SEO factors.
Finally, your website experience is the most important aspect of your overall marketing strategy, let alone SEO. Offer a poor experience and the majority of your visitors will likely bounce and go to one of your competitors. Take time, before the update, to delve into your entire websites user journey and overall experience, making improvements where necessary.
SEO is a vital part of digital marketing and will continue to be for years to come. However, your other marketing efforts must also be on point and ready for 2021, especially considering how this year has been for many!
If you’ve not done so already, check out our interactive digital marketing checklist. Complete it to get a score for your current marketing output, discover new tactics, areas for improvement and receive bespoke suggestions from our experts to help take your marketing to a higher level.
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