One thing we know for sure about Google… change is a constant! And sure enough: Google is changing the rules again in June for how websites rank in search results for key terms.
What’s Happening with Google Now?
Google announced in 2020 that a major algorithm update would be coming in 2021. We later learned the update is scheduled to roll out June-August 2021 (pushed back from the original May date announced). While Google actually makes thousands of algorithm updates every year, they typically don’t tell us about them unless it’s a pretty big deal.
Minor tweaks behind the scenes are common, but with this update, we expect to start seeing which sites rank on page 1 in search results to change. And for a lot of businesses that rely on coming up on that first page in search results for the majority of their website traffic: it’s going to be a rough morning.
What’s Actually Changing with Google’s Algorithm?
More emphasis is being placed on user experience when determining where websites will show up in search results. The user experience of your website includes several components, such as mobile-friendliness, site security, safe browsing, page load speeds, interactivity, visual stability, and more. For some time, Google has been touting the importance of user experience and is now emphasizing the metrics behind it when determining site ranking.
Think about it this way: user experience is how a user actually experiences and interacts with your website. Can they easily navigate the site and find what they are looking for? Is the content easy to read? Does it provide good, valuable information? Is it pleasing to the eye, with no distractions? No one wants big blocks of boring content, or words that are too small to read, or annoying pop-ups or pages that are not mobile-friendly. Your content should be skimmable and visually appealing.
All of these factors together make up your user experience.
How to Position Your Website for Success
First, start with a website audit that specifically looks at factors that impact the user experience of your website, checking for things like:
- Site security
- Page speeds
- Navigation - site hierarchy
- Content experience
Next, begin optimizing your website to fix any issues you encounter. Part of your website audit should be looking at if you need to rebuild your website or just do a renovation.
Don’t assume you need to tear the whole thing down and start over - for some websites, you can renovate page by page to bring your site up to speed and deliver a great user experience to customers.
Websites Are a Business Asset. Maintain Them!
Ultimately, your business website is your digital storefront, your online brand, and it should be maintained like an asset - not like a banner ad. See how a digital marketing audit can uncover key ways that your website can be adjusted to run optimally - no matter what Google gets up to.