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Why you need to start paying attention to page experience signals

Digital Marketing

User experience has always been a big part of designing websites.

The easier it is for users to get around your website and find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to stay on your site, and keep coming back.

But now, the user (or page) experience, is about to become part of how Google ranks your website in search.

If you weren’t paying attention to the user or page experience before, it’s time you started.

This new ranking factor change is due to come into force in May 2021, so you have time to start making improvements to your website between now and then.

If you don’t, you’ll risk losing any search authority you’ve built.

But what should you be looking at?

 

What are page experience signals, and why do they matter?

Well, according to Google the “page experience signals” you need to pay attention are going to be:

Core Web Vitals – These are the factors on your website that focus on things like loading speed, interactivity of the page and the visuals. These are things like Large Contentful Paint, which measures when the largest content element in the viewport becomes visible. According to Google this should happen in l fewer than 2.5 seconds.

Mobile friendly – Having a mobile friendly website isn’t a new thing, and Google and search engines have long favoured websites that are built to be “mobile first”. But from next year having a mobile friendly website won’t just be a nice to have.

Safe-browsing – If your website contains any malware or social engineered/ deceptive content (like misleading meta data) you’ll find yourself in trouble with search positions.

HTTPS – Having a HTTPS website is a sign that your website is secure (highlighted by the padlock symbol next to your URL). It’s always been recommended to run a website over HTTPS, because it reassures your users that any data they share over your site will be secure. Not, having a HTTPS website will impact your search rankings as well.

 

What can you do to prepare for Google’s page experience changes?

There’s still time to get your website ready for the changes Google is preparing to make, and the sooner you make them the better your website will be for it.

These changes are all about improving the experience for your users.

To figure out what you need to do, you should run a website audit to figure out which areas need to be improved as a matter of urgency.

These are checks like:

  • Is your website optimised for mobile?
  • Do you have any safe-browsing issues on your site?
  • Are you running a website that has HTTPS?
  • Are you doing anything that can make your content less accessible to your users

 

How important are these page experience changes?

Google has said that, while it is putting a lot of weight behind changes to page experience, it will be just one of the hundreds of signals it uses when deciding where a page will rank.

It has said, however, that pages which provide the best information on a search query overall, even with a subpar page experience.

That means that a page with the best information and content will still perform better than a website relying on a page experience in isolation to push them higher.

However, page experience will be a factor when multiple pages are deemed to have valuable, useful content for their readers.

In these circumstances, the website with the best page experience will rank higher.

But, given that so many websites are now producing content as part of their digital marketing, it’s important that you don’t leave the page experience to chance.

 

What is Paramount doing to help?

First of all, we offer a free content audit for any business interested in seeing how they can improve their website.

We also always focus on creating websites that don’t just work for business, but focus on creating a great user experience that gets conversions and generates leads and new business.

In the coming months we’ll be working with clients to ensure they are ready for these upcoming changes.

If you’re concerned about how these page experience changes could affect your website, get in touch with us today.

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