The Google Page Experience core algorithm update SEOs have been expecting was delayed, Google announced earlier this month. And why? We think delaying this major update gives webmasters a chance to fix up some things before the update hits.
Google will be releasing the update mid June 2021, and it will come with new tools to help users. Fixing issues BEFORE an update can save you months of waiting after being penalised for something. In earlier years, some websites learned this the hard way. You can also lose traffic or your hard-earned SERPs rank if something isn't up to scratch.
The Page Experience update is all about how users perceive their experience on your website when interacting with it. When you fix small but irritating elements on your website, it makes the user's experience more enjoyable. The update is meant to assess how successful sites are at creating this experience, looking at specific types of experience signals that users may find annoying.
This major algorithm update is also meant to help webmasters transition towards websites that satisfy user expectations on mobile devices and deliver visual stability. Users should be able to transact and interact with a website with less friction.
Ask yourself, how usable is my website? That is what the Google Page Experience update will be looking at.
We love this example from Neil Patel showing the kinds of elements that may lead to losses in ranking soon. In the below example, the user wants to click "No, go back", but a pop-up disrupts this process. It can often cause an accidental click on something unintended.
To make your website more user-friendly, you can ask volunteers or paid individuals to explore the site, click buttons, and make "test" purchases. They can highlight any places where the experience was disrupting, frustrating, or unpleasant in any way. It's important that test users trial the website on multiple browsers, mobile devices, and desktops. Most importantly, this manual audit should be conducted on a page-by-page basis.
When a website takes long to load, it hinders user experience. The same is true of pages that deliver 404 errors. Cleaning up your site and fixing links and pages with 404 errors will be vital for a good rank when the 2021 June Google Update hits.
Make sure your load time is low - you can use an online SEO tool that delivers an experience report or experience score to assess your loading speed on a page-by-page basis. Increased loading performance should positively impact your experience score.
How does your site compare to that of your competitors' when specifically looking at user experience? You can visit their websites and look at all the elements that may make their user experience better or worse than yours. Use these insights to guide any changes you decide to make on your site before the update.
It's important to look at the site on a page-by-page basis. You can use a tool such as Neil Patel's Top Pages tool to compare the top performing pages of your competitors with your own. At the end of the day, the goal is that no users will have a bad page experience on your website, ever.
Google Search Console can show you exactly which pages and links have issues. If you don't have a Google Search Console account, you can open one now. Your data may take time to load, but once it has you will see reports about your site.
Select "core web vitals" in the menu to the left. You'll see an overview with details about URLs on your website that have issues for mobile and desktop. Next, click "open report" for desktop and mobile each.
You can then address each error one by one and fix them. If you don't understand any terms in the error report, you can get more info directly from Google about what the terms mean. Fixing these errors is highly likely to influence your search ranking when the update hits.
You can use a tool such as SEMrush or this SEO Analyser to run an audit on your website that is automated. Address all critical errors and other SEO issues. Remember, the issuers themselves may seem small and insignificant, but they quickly add up and can really affect your Google ranking.
Remember, Google wants to weed out deceptive content and improve the experience users will have on your website. We may not know the new ranking signals, but based on the Google News announcement, we can see that an improved page experience and removing errors even if they are unintended issues is going to help your site not to tank when the update hits.
We all want a better search performance. If you're proactive, you can have your website ready before the new algorithm update hits. That way, you won't have to worry about losing rank or traffic. It's not often that Google gives us a heads up about an upcoming update and what it's about. Let's make the most of this opportunity.
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