5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for the Page Experience Update

Page Experience Update

With the Google Page Experience update rolling out in June of 2021, the emphasis is shifting to the user experience more than ever. Google processes over 165 billion searches a month and still dominates the search engine market with over 90% of users searching via Google.

What is the Page Experience Update and What will it Mean for your Web Site?

With the Google Page Experience update, Google is rewarding sites which are secure, load fast and provide rich content with a great user experience.

Chances are you are already doing at least some if not all of these on your web site. If not, this is a perfect time to reassess your web site and bring your user experience up a notch or two.

“89% of consumers begin a purchase with a web search.”

“94% of B2B companies do online research before a purchase.”

Web Site Core Vitals

Looking to promote web sites which bring the best user experience, Google will be looking at things like page load speed, use of pop-ups, visibility, accessibility and credibility for ranking web sites. With these core vitals at the forefront of the Page Experience update web site providing the best experiences will be rewarded irrespective of brand and size of the organization.

The 3 web Core Vitals are LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)

What are the 3 Web Core Vitals?

Core Web Vitals | Blinkstream, LLC

LCP (Largest Contentful Paint)

The LCP measures how long it takes for the largest piece of content to appear on the screen. This could be a block of text image or a video. Slow sites can leads to frustration, while a fast site can lead to better engagement and conversions on your site.

FID (First Input Delay)

The FID measures how long it takes for the site to react to the first interaction. This could be filling out a form or touching a button. A good score here gives users the sense that the site is responsive to any user driven input. The FID is important to give users confidence in site performance.

CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)

This measures the visual stability of your site. In other words, does stuff move around on the screen while it is loading — and how often does that happen? It can be frustrating to users when site elements move and shift on the page when it is loading or as a page is being used.

What You Can Do to Prepare for the Page Experience Algorithm Update

 

Make Sure Your Page Framework and key pages are mobile friendly

 

Whether your site is on WordPress, Magento, Drupal or is a straight up HTML site be sure the pages are mobile friendly. Since 2016, mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic so it is important users have a good experience without having to adjust their view or use tools to access the content on the pages.

You can access useability on your website through Google’s Mobile Useability Tools or through using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test

 

Make sure Your Site is Secure and has HTTPS and All Forms and Assets are also delivered over HTTPS

 

In addition to scanning your site for security issues make sure your site and ALL of its forms and assets are delivered over HTTPS. Securing content is critical for user confidence and any insecure web elements puts user information at risk when making purchases, filling out a form etc.

There are a ton of resources out there to help you check for security. We recommend Screaming Frog’s security tool within their crawl spider.

 

Minimize Pop-Ups and any Interstitials on your site

 

Any pop-up can be a distraction or turn off on a site. We recommend redesigning any pop-ups to be a more seamless aspect of your web site so your users are not pushed away by any element that it outside of your page design.

A few tools we recommend for interstitials that work without obstructing your page experience include Hello Bar

 

Speed Up Visual Load Times

There are several ways to do this and many hosting services offer integrated options to ensure your site load times are as fast as possible for your users to have a good experience.

LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) comes into play here ensuring that your users have the best page experience when the largest elements load the fastest.

To find out what the LCP is on your site you can use GTMetrix.com to scan your site. You will receive additional information about how your site is performing. To find out more about LCP with GTMetrix go to the Summary tab after you run the site scan. The view below will show timings for LCP.

Speed Up Load Times

Minimize Long Thread Activity by Optimizing Thread Activity

Many things can slow down a website and cause a user to have to wait, resulting in frustration, tapping on a screen and leaving a page. Often it is behind the scenes processes which can be optimized and minimized to provide a better user experience.

 

FID (First Input Delay) is a Core Web Vitals metric which captures the user’s first impression of a site’ responsiveness. FID measures the time when a user first interacts and the time it takes for a browser to respond. Measuring FID requires user interaction. It cannot be simulated.

One of the main reasons FID is poor is due to heavy Javascript executing. Browsers cannot respond while Javascript is executing and the main thread is still running.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your web site’s FID.

  • Optimize Pages for interaction readiness – Optimize Javascript bloat or make use of server side resources
  • Minimize Data Fetching (minimize reliance on data fetching and Javascript fetching for components)
  • Minimize third party scripts – Sometimes third party scripts can pre-empt first party scripts. Be sure these are used only when necessary and prioritize loading where possible.

Conclusion

By following these tips and optimizing your pages you will ensure a better page experience for your users.

This will help you meet the short-term recommendations and capitalize on the June Page Experience Update as well as future proofing your site. We can expect page experience will be more important as time goes on.

Ultimately, these recommendations are intended to create better experience for users and allow web site owners to reach audiences effectively.

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