Starting in mid-June, Google will be using a set of metrics called Page Experience as part of its decision-making process into how they rank websites on the search engine’s results page.
If you’re a marketer, website page speed acronyms like LCP, FID, and CLS, may seem like just a jumbled alphabet soup. It’s easy to overlook these kinds of technical aspects of your website if you’re more focused on content creation, but an upcoming update from Google means that marketers need to take a quick look at the technical details of your business website and do some spring cleaning.
What is the Page Experience Update?
The Page Experience Update, succinctly explained by Search Engine Journal, is focusing more on technical signals to evaluate how good an experience the user will have if they click through to your website. Google calls these signals the Core Web Vitals.
What are the Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals can be found in Google’s webmaster tools, called Google Search Console, which assess the technical health of your website. For an overview, see SEJ’s article on Core Web Vitals.
But in short, the Core Web Vitals report includes:
Page speed - How fast does it load and how quickly can users interact with the page? These are known as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and First Input Delay (FID).
Page responsiveness and stability – Are the elements in place and reliable? Google calls this Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Mobile-friendliness – Does the content -- all the content-- look good on mobile devices?
HTTPS-Does your URL have the “S” after HTTP? If not, the site is not secure. If you do nothing else, talk to your developer about adding the Secure Sockets Layer.
Safe-browsing – Make sure your site has protection from malware. You know this is important. Have you checked lately?
Intrusive interstitials - These are the popups that can be annoying if they cover the page’s content and/or users can’t exit them.
These technical details are important to get your website a seat at the SEO table. If you’ve ignored them before, now’s the time to address them.
Learn more about Core Web Vitals
How to Prepare for Google's Core Web Vitals Update
There are a lot of details to dig into to prepare for the update. You can evaluate Core Web Vitals yourself or request a website audit from your developer. Here are a few free online tools to get you started:
But Don't Forget: Content is King
While these technical factors are important for user experience, don't forget that Google considers content among the top ranking factors. Straight from Google: "A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content."
Take Action Now
Google’s job is to deliver the best search results for the millions of questions asked daily. The Core Web Vitals is the latest way Google is working to make sure the search results they deliver to users are the best they can be.
Granted, there are over 200 “signals” that Google uses to make those fraction-of-a-second decisions, and any impact won’t happen instantaneously.
This update may not have a big impact on your ranking right now, but if you’ve been ignoring your site’s technical health it could give your competitor an edge on the search engine results page. So why not take preventive action? Maintaining the technical health of your website is an important step in SEO. With this update, it's a great time to dig into the tech.
Check your website’s Core Web Vitals and take proactive steps to keep your website rock-solid to meet Google’s – and your user’s – expectations.
Need help with your Core Web Vitals? We can help!
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