Which websites show up on page 1 of Google search results may shift in May when Google launches its latest core algorithm update.
Google last year announced the update would be coming in the spring to incorporate ‘page experience’ metrics into search rankings. What exactly does this mean for your company website?
More emphasis is being placed on user experience when determining where your website 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.
A good website by today’s standards loads in less than 3 seconds, is secure and optimized for mobile phones and doesn’t have annoying pop-ups that obstruct what you are trying to find. Google for some time has been touting the importance of user experience and is now boosting the metrics behind it.
What are Core Web Vitals?
The metrics, called Core Web Vitals, will play an even bigger role in the algorithm determining where a website ranks in Google search results.
“One of the biggest changes to the algorithm will be including an emphasis on user experience when determining where your website ranks in search results. These signals measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page and contribute to our ongoing work to ensure people get the most helpful and enjoyable experiences from the web,” according to a Google statement.
Google makes thousands of algorithm changes a year to keep the search engine returning the best possible results. Most changes are not announced; they typically only announce core updates like this when they likely will result in ranking fluctuations.
You can also expect that this latest page experience update will continue to be tweaked. “Our work is ongoing, which is why we plan to incorporate more page experience signals going forward and update them on a yearly basis,” Google has stated.
What Can I Do for My Website?
To address the changes in order to maintain or improve your website search ranking, begin with a website audit that clearly shows red flags, yellow warnings, etc.
Next, optimize your website to fix issues related to ‘page experience’ first. These would include:
- Site Security -- Ensure your website is secure and served over an HTTPS, not an unsecure HTTP.
- Page Speeds -- If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you need to optimize for faster page speed. Look for opportunities to compress images and minify code. Remove any Flash elements that are bogging the site down.
- Mobile-Friendliness -- Ensure your entire site is responsive. This means it automatically and accurately adjusts for any screen size - desktop, mobile phone, tablet, etc.
- Overall User Experience -- Review the overall user experience of your website to ensure users can easily find what they seek and are not getting lost in your site. Content should not be blocked by design elements. Your site navigation should be set up in a hierarchical format, making it quick and easy for users to click and find what they seek.
After you have fixed the red flags, put a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy in place to keep your site up to date at all times. Your website should be maintained continuously, just like changing the oil in a car.
Your website is your online foundation; therefore, it’s key to keep it humming based on the latest algorithm updates, new best practices and changes in what customers expect to find online today.
Get a Free Website Health Check
To help you create a plan that ensures your site is up to date with the latest algorithm changes, contact us at Marketing Essentials for a free website health check.
Using the top professional tools in the industry, we will run a report to show where red flags exist and what improvements can be made. Oftentimes, a business doesn’t need an entirely new website; it just needs to optimize and update its current site to meet today’s standards and latest algorithm changes.
With report in hand, our web team can map out a plan that prioritizes immediate fixes for quick wins and a long-term strategy for future success. Stop wasting time on a website that’s not getting found and not getting results.
Contact Marketing Essentials for your free website health check and consultation.