6 Ways To Optimize Your Site For The Google Page Experience Update
In 2021, on a date that has not yet been announced, Google will be launching a new update called the ‘Page Experience Update’. It will promote sites that load faster and offer a good user experience. The announcement was made on May 20, 2020.
People love websites that load faster. Several experiments conducted by Google show that speed is one of the most crucial factors that drastically improve the user experience.
Based on the experiments, Google came to know that by slowing down the search results pages by half a second caused the number of searches to drop by 0.2%. That’s significant considering the volume of searches Google handles every second.
The bottom line is – page speed has a direct impact on Google’s business. If people conduct fewer searches due to slow speed, PPC revenue would be less, leading to lower overall profits. Hence, Google started to emphasizea page speed. After making its search platform speedy, it now aims to make the whole web faster.
Besides, Google also found that non-responsive websites offer poor user experience, and users quickly dump such sites. As a result, Google is now focusing on providing users with interruption-free journeys.
As a webmaster or a business owner, it is vital to optimize your website to keep your site safe in the organic rankings after the Page Experience Update comes into play.
Here are the best ways that will help you to optimize your website for the Page Experience Update:
1- Optimize For the Core Web Vitals
Web Vitals are a group of metrics that are essential to delivering a quality experience on the web. Currently, there are three vital or core metrics that Google considers. These are:
- LCP – It stands for Largest Contentful Paint and measures the loading time of a web page. LCP should be below 2.5 seconds.
- FID – It stands for First Input Delay and measures the interactivity of a web page. FID should be below 100 milliseconds.
- CLS – It stands for Cumulative Layout Shift and measures visual stability. CLS should be below 0.1. Here, the value is not based on time. These numeric values measure how much the page shifts during loading with 0 means no shifting, and 1 represents the most shifting.
Don’t get confused with these new metrics. You only need to take some actions to optimize your site for the core web vitals. These are:
- Upgrade the server of your website if possible, and use a CDN. There should be no waiting delay from your server-side. Also, use a fast loading website theme. This will help you to keep your LCP scores in range.
- There shouldn’t be a delay in event processing. Your web page should request the least resources to become interactive. For example, any user should be able to click on a link or a button as soon as the element is visible. The idea is to request the least amount of resources to make the page interactive.
- Make your website responsive. If the pages on your site change with respect to the device, people will find it harder to browse your site, which will degrade the UX, leading to a low CLS score. A quick hack is to add the code <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″> in the <head> tag. This will scale the entire web page to fit the screen.
2- Make Sure Your Web Pages Are Mobile-Friendly
The next thing you should do is to check the important pages on your site with the Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Remember to check all of the essential pages and not just the website homepage because the results might be different.
In case your page is not mobile-friendly, you should apply the suggestions offered by the tool.
Additionally, check your web pages on the Bing Mobile-Friendly test tool. Sometimes, Bing will help you identify issues and suggest changes that are easy to apply.
3- Improve the UX
Take every step to improve user interaction on your website. From content to URL structure, everything should be perfect.
You can conduct a UX audit to evaluate all the areas that need a revamp to offer an impressive user experience.
To make things easier for you, I have created a checklist of the top things useful in improving the UX of your website. Here they are:
- Prepare high-quality content on your site. By high-quality, I mean unique, actionable, and full of practical advice. If you are preparing content that most of the other writers are writing, it won’t be considered high-quality.
- Keep a user-friendly URL structure so that it becomes easier for the user to guess your page’s content just by looking at the URL.
- Avoid distracting pop-ups and make sure the main content body is quickly displayed to the visitor.
- Use relevant images and videos to make it easier for readers to understand your content.
- Work towards improving the bounce rate and the average visit duration.
- Improve the site navigation so that the visitors find it easier to browse your site.
- Include a search button to quickly enable the visitors to find the article or the product of their choice.
- Improve site speed, site responsiveness, add user-friendly CTAs, and keep your website ADA compliant.
4- Speed Up Your Website
As suggested at the start of the article, speed is one of the prime ranking factors after content and links. Websites that load faster enjoy higher rankings because they are able to satisfy the intent of the users faster.
Check your webpage using the Google Page Speed Insights tool. This tool will quickly analyze your webpage and offer actionable advice to make the page load faster.
Here are some useful suggestions to speed up your website:
- Remove excessive redirects
- Upgrade your server
- Use browser caching
- Optimize your images (more on this in the next section)
- Use a CDN
- Minify HTML and CSS
- Add AMP pages
- Request minimum resources
Editor’s note: There are plenty of tools that can help you to speed up your website. We’ve started to use Hummingbird Pro, which is very useful. First though, make sure to optimize your images! For that, we used WP Smush Pro. Both are in the WPMUDEV suite of tools. And these and more are discussed on our tools page.
5- Optimize the Images
One of the best ways to speed your website, offer a better UX, and fix your core web vital issues is by optimizing all the images on your site.
We all know that image optimization deals with reducing the image file size and adding proper alt tags. However, not everyone knows that one of the best ways to optimize the images is by changing the extension of the image to WebP.
WebP is a new image format for the web that helps to reduce the size of the image by up to 26%. That’s a whole lot of savings.
You are lucky if you are using a WordPress site because you can easily convert all your website images into WebP by using this WordPress plugin.
If you are using any other platform, then you have to use an online converter such as this one. However, this process is lengthy and you must take the support of the hosting platform and the developer before making any changes.
6- Ensure Your Site Doesn’t Have Too Many Ads And is Safe to Browse
You have to make sure that your website is not an ad powerhouse. You should have ads on your site but in a limited manner that does not degrade the user experience.
Also, make sure that your site does not host malware because Google is quick to remove websites from their database that contain malware.
The best way to check if your website is safe to browse is by using the Google Search Console. You will instantly receive a notification as soon as Google is able to find any malware on your website.
Make sure your website satisfies the user intent and does not annoy the visitors with ads. Last but not the least, regularly check your site via Search Console to keep your site safe for browsing.
Google Page Experience is a revolutionary algorithm that is about to launch in the next year (2021). Unlike other search algorithm updates, Google will make sure to inform the webmasters before launching the update. Hence, the webmasters will get ample time to prepare their website for the changes needed. Use the discussed six ways to optimize your site for the Page Experience Update and capitalize on it by achieving higher rankings and acquiring more leads.
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