Multi-location brands be warned, the latest Google algorithm page experience update will go into effect in a few short months. If your brand isn’t equipped with the tools and knowledge to make the updates necessary, you risk being penalized and worse, missing out on opportunities to be seen by searchers. As Google strives to continuously improve the user experience for searchers, the algorithm update will now take into consideration a variety of user signals deemed indicators of a person’s on-page experience.
Prior to the update, underperforming in these indicators may have not been realized by your business or had a negative impact in measurable terms until now. As this new update rolls out, Google plans to reward websites with an optimal page experience and penalize those who haven’t.
To help your brand prepare for the impending Google algorithm update, we assembled an expert panel of speakers to help walk through the impacts of this update and how local marketers can best prepare their web pages for it. Our speakers included Lauren Abramson, Account Director at Rio SEO, Dayna Lucio, Manager of SEO and content at LSM, Niki Mosier, Head of SEO and content for AgentSync, and Dani Owens, Local SEO consultant at Pigzilla.
Let’s dive into the key takeaways our panel discussed during the webinar.
Google’s Interpretation of the Ideal Page Experience
Google has stated that the new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals, which include loading, interactivity and visual stability, with existing search signals. Existing search signals include:
- Mobile friendliness
- Safe browsing
- HTTPS security
- No intrusive interstitials
All these combined will now factor into Google Search ranking to ensure “people get the most helpful and enjoyable experiences from the web”.
Our panel encouraged listeners to read Google’s detailed documentation to learn more about the page experience.
The Page Experience Signals Businesses Should Have on Their Radar
As aforementioned, Core Web Vitals will be crucial for measuring page performance. measure the user experience. Our panel outlined exactly what these signals are.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP is how long it takes a web page to load from the point of view of an actual user. Google believes, in order to create a positive user experience, the time between clicking a link to the page loading should be quick. The person visiting your page should be able to see and interact with your content fast, with minimal lag.
First Input Delay (FID)
FID measures the time it takes for a user to interact with your page. If a web page visitor is unable to fill out a form, click a call to action, or click a link, they’re likely to feel frustrated. The purpose of FID is to eliminate this pain point for the end user and improve the way they interact with a page.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
As your page loads, are elements on your page moving around or unstable? If so, this will cause you to have a high CLS, which will impact your page experience. To avoid this, your page should be stable as it loads.
Existing page signals should also be incorporated (mobile friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS security, and no intrusive interstitials), however it’s likely your pages are already optimized for these signals.
The Impact of Local Pages in the Page Experience
Once we had a better understanding of what an ideal page experience looks like, we deferred to our expert panel for tips to help brands improve their page experience. Aside from a website’s homepage, local landing pages are often overlooked in terms of optimization.
“If you’re linking to a local landing page from your Google My Business listing, make sure this page is optimized first when looking at Core Web Vitals and other page experience factors.” – Niki Mosier
As Dayna pointed out, Google’s main concern is helping users find the best match to their queries. One way to do that is to create content with the end-user in mind, considering what they will be looking for when landing on that page and what stage of the customer journey they’ll be in.
Tips and Tools For Optimizing Pages
During the webinar, Dani shared several tips and tools for businesses looking to optimize their pages. To start she recommended two plugins that eliminate the need for a developer or coding.
- WP Rocket: Improves the speed of your site and improves loading time upon activation.
- ShortPixel: Compresses images that may be slowing down your site to improve performance.
In addition to these plugins Dani also recommends:
- Ensuring your site provides a safe browsing experience. Detect phishing websites and block access to it, update your plugins and implement HTTPS. You can also set up Google Search Console for free on your site to help monitor if your site has been hacked.
- Bring a developer in if a plugin can’t fix the issue. If your budget allows for it, hire a developer who can assist you with any glitches your site encounters and provide technical expertise.
- Disable intrusive interstitials. Ensure you’re following Google’s popup guidelines to ensure they’re not taking away from the user experience.
Watch the Webinar Now
Want to hear the full webinar for a deeper dive into our expert’s insights and the Google’ algorithm page experience update? Watch the webinar on-demand now.
You can also download a free copy of our new ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Google Page Experience for Enterprise Brands, for more page experience tips.