In today’s digital marketing world, one practice that proves significant in the success of a digital marketing strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is considered a tool used to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. A higher ranking can translate to increased sales and revenue.
Since trends come and go, updates are being published from time to time, digital marketers need to keep up with these changes and make sure that their business strategies are current. Recently, Google has released several updates that can directly impact websites along with user experience. Read on to know how you can adapt your SEO to these modifications.
Google’s Page Experience Update & Core Web Vitals
With Google’s full commitment to improving their services, they have released their biggest updates regarding how web pages are ranked this year. The update rolled out last June 2021 but completed its role at the end of August.
If you value your brand’s awareness and visibility, then this update should concern you. Google’s new update, Core Web Vitals, consists of user-focused metrics designed to measure a site’s ability to provide a smooth and consistent user experience.
So, what exactly are Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals
Along with relevant and up-to date content, which will always be the ideal way for SEO, Google will take the website’s performance and user experience into account for ranking results. Google has outlined three new Core Web Vitals that will be used as ranking signals to assess a site’s user experience.
Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
This metric is dedicated to measuring the time when a user inputs a command or action and the page fulfills it. First inputs include clicking of buttons, keys, or links.
According to Google, if an ideal FID score is fewer than 100 milliseconds. Meanwhile, if the score reaches more than 300 ms, it should indicate poor SEO performance.
An effective way to improve FID is by lowering the impact of third-party code. For example, for marketers to solve issues such as a slow-loading page and consequently boost FID scores, businesses can compress CSS files, use lazy loading for contents that aren’t as urgent, and break java script tasks to shorter versions and removing any unused third-party tracking tags.
Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Another Core Web Vitals is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). It isn’t as complicated as it sounds. This metric only refers to the average loading time of your site’s main content found on pages.
Formats for main content are consist of both text and media. Google will then use LCP to identify the time on how fast the LCP loads. Thus, LCP is considered a signal of “perceived” loading speed.
An individual page’s main content should load in less than 2.5 seconds for it to pass Google’s set of user experience standards. Loading time that reaches more than this time will highly get you a lower LCP score.
Having a good LCP score is crucial is for providing your customers with the best user experience. Isn’t one of the main reasons most customers leave a site because a page can take forever to load? So if your visitors can access your content faster, the chances of users staying and interacting with your contents increases.
Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The last metric on Google’s updated list is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Google will use it to measure a website’s page stability as it loads.
Ever notice how links and images sometimes seem to shift as a website loads? It indicates that the CLS score is high, meaning that page elements aren’t as visually stable. Some elements that you can consider are contact forms, images, videos, fonts, or other types of content.
Getting a low CLS signifies a stable page display, indicating that elements do not shift around and remain stable while loading all website content.
Other Factors That Influence Search Signals For Page Experience
Safe-browsing – it’s about keeping your website virus or malware-free.
Mobile-friendliness – it involves making sure that your site adjusts to mobile phone screen viewing properly.
HTTPS – it refers to the security of web pages and creating TLS/SSL protocols to further ensure the website’s security.
No intrusive interstitials – it is related to interfering pop-up ads, especially on mobile devices, which cover or block upmost.
How Can You Apply These Updates For SEO?
In time, you will have to put your focus in every single area to build an effective SEO strategy. To help you ease into these changes, a good place to start would be to pay attention to reaching the ideal FID score.
You can then proceed with dealing with your CLS scores and ensuring that no elements are causing a shift that increases the CLS score. If you see progress, that means your SEO is working efficiently.
The sooner you embed improvements on your user experiences practices, the greater your advantage can be against your competitors. But, first, start using Google’s official tool to run an analysis of your website. A “Core Web Vitals” report is available inside Google Search Console to determine bottlenecks.
Both features will deliver a comprehensive overview of your site’s performance and determine what needs to be fixed. Some common issues found are un-minified codes, uncompressed images, invasive pop-ups, or large files. Thoroughly check the results from the mentioned tools for a detailed breakdown that can benefit your business.
A user experience is now given the spotlight with these new updates from Google, and this will hopefully improve experiences happening on the web. In addition, incorporating these ranking signals into Search can help make the web be a better place for everyone.
To summarise, Google’s algorithm will now be heavily affected by user experiences. Because of the addition of Core Web Vitals as metrics for determining ranking factors, businesses will need to start prioritising their website performance to deliver the best user experience. This improvement will most likely ensure getting higher rankings in search results hence boosting traffic and sales as a positive result.