Data & Performance

How to make the most out of Google’s page experience update

Written by Ben Verschuur on 18, Math 2021

A great user experience is key to your website’s success. It can increase your conversions, decrease your bounce rate, and most importantly result in an enjoyable and helpful experience for your website visitors. But that’s not all.

Now it can help you move up the search rankings, too! 

Google has announced that in May, they’re including page experience in their search algorithm. This means that your page experience will start impacting your ranking position in search results. That’s big. Before we get into what the update entails, let’s take a look at what page experience actually is. 
 

Unpacking page experience

Google defines page experience as “a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page.” 

These signals are a combination of Google’s Core Web Vitals and existing search signals like mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, and HTTPS run. A good page experience boils down to a web page that loads fast, is user-friendly, and is free of technical glitches. 

Source: Google

Why this update is important

Google’s page experience update will affect the ranking position of every website on the world wide web. The new page experience signals will favor web pages that offer a great experience over ones that don’t. This will determine how and where you show up in search results. 

Say your website is showing up on the first page of Google, but doesn’t score very well yet on page load speed for mobile. After the update it’s inevitable that your rankings will drop. And who knows where you will wind up? 

The question of whether or not to update is not relevant. You should be asking yourself how. 

How to improve your page experience

Use the following five steps to make the most out of the update. It’s not easy: 

1. Start with a site-wide audit

The first step is to conduct a site-wide audit. Only then will you be able to identify room for improvement. 

Google’s Core Web Vitals report gives you an overview of your website’s performance and pinpoints areas that need work. With these insights, you can use tools like Google Lighthouse or PageSpeed Insights to fix the issues at hand. 

2. Optimize for mobile

Most people use Google search on their mobile device. That’s why Google’s search index is mobile-first. Your website must be mobile-friendly - from reducing redirects to responsive design, and everything in between. 

3. Improve page load speed

Web pages’ loading speed should ideally be between one to three seconds. One way to improve your loading speed is by implementing asynchronous loading. This delays the loading of visuals until the page is rendered, which means your visuals will appear as users scroll through the page from top to bottom. 

You can also reduce your time to load by minimizing HTTP requests. The fewer requests, the faster your loading speed. And don’t forget to compress and cache your images! 

4. Use alt text for images

Alt text is the written description of images used in HTML code. The description only shows up on web pages when the image fails to load. 

Search engine crawlers use alt text for indexing, which means your alt text can help improve your ranking. When writing alt text, make sure the descriptions are short, specific, and contain relevant keywords.

5. Create engaging content

Page experience isn’t the only factor that determines how well your page will rank. At the end of the day, nothing beats relevant content. It’s one of the most important aspects of any web page. 

Google’s page experience update is coming whether you like it or not. Following these tips will future-proof your search rankings. It may seem overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Teaming up with a performance marketing agency can help ensure you make the most out of the update. Whatever you do, take action now and don’t let the fruits of your hard labor go to waste. 

STORY WRITTEN BY
Ben Verschuur
Head of Performance

Ben Verschuur

Head of Performance

Need help preparing for Google's update?

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