Have you experienced a drop in organic Google traffic in 2021? Could you have been affected by Google’s Page Experience update?
They break things down as follows:
- Core web vitals
- Mobile usability
- Intrusive interstitials
- Best practices to follow
Check out the infographic for more detail.
The Page Experience Update 2021 represents a major shift in Google’s algorithmic system, and it’s going to be bigger than the Mobilegeddon update of 2015.
In this article, you’ll learn what the Page Experience Update 2021 is, how to prepare for it now, and how you can take advantage of it as it rolls out over the next few years.
We’ll also discuss some changes to content creation, architecture, and user experience that will change how you think about your site’s design from here on out. Keep reading to find out more!
Core Web Vitals
It’s important for websites to have a solid foundation—not just in terms of what they look like, but how they function.
Core web vitals are things every website needs, including fast load times, high-quality images and graphics, useful metadata, and so on.
If you want your content to perform well in search engines, it’s important that you hit all these points.
Loading speed and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) tracks how long the largest item on a page takes to load. Google now considers both time-to-first-paint and LCP as signals of a well-optimised page.
If you’re optimising for mobile speed, prioritise making sure your above-the-fold content is available very quickly after your site loads. Use a Critical CSS service to help only load those items required above the fold.
Optimise loading performance by focusing on eliminating render-blocking resources, minifying scripts and stylesheets, compressing resources with Gzip , delivering critical content via an HTTP/2 Push strategy and serving fonts from localhost or Cloudflare CDN.
Interactivity and First Input Delay (FID)
Google has confirmed that First Input Delay (FID) is a core part of their new ranking algorithm, and all signs point to it playing a key role in every future search update.
For starters, FID measures how quickly your site responds when users interact with it; specifically, Google looks at how long it takes for something on your page (like an image or text link) to appear after someone clicks on it.
If your website is slow to respond—if it’s sluggish or lagging behind—it could be hurting your rankings in many ways.
Stability and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how much objects shift during the initial load period. The more shift, the more unstable the page and more likely you are to be penalised if Google deems it inappropriate.
If your website is already suffering from poor stability and/or cumulative layout shift, there are steps you can take to rectify them.
These include removing large images, reducing bandwidth consumption by compressing images correctly, combining CSS files when possible, reducing HTML documents when possible or restructuring pages so that certain elements have a lower priority in terms of loading in an attempt to resolve any issues.
This is becoming more and more important as Google prioritises mobile search, and with people using Google on their phones and tablets for an ever-growing number of searches.
When you’re building a website or online store it’s not just about creating an attractive page, but also ensuring it’s easy to navigate with one hand on a touch screen.
Make sure your buttons are big enough, that there are no complicated layers, that every element has a clear call-to-action (that doesn’t ask too much) and that your website or store can be viewed at all screen sizes without having to zoom in or out.
There are lots of great reasons to use HTTPS for your website—most importantly that it ensures that any data sent between you and your users is encrypted.
Moving all assets on your site over to HTTPS is one of several things you can do to make sure your page is ready for Google’s update in 2021.
Google has announced interstitials (things like popups) may be viewed as intrusive. When you take away a user’s control of their experience, they’re more likely to abandon your site and go somewhere else.
So try to avoid pop-ups and other types of interstitial pages by finding other ways to engage with your audience – such as through video, social media, or email campaigns.
These options can engage users without hurting your SEO or conversion rates.