What is user experience in SEO? The Google Page Experience Update
Usually, Google remains mysterious about what and how it analyzes while positioning websites. Especially when making changes to its algorithms. This time is a little different – announcing the latest update called Google Page Experience Update, the company has provided elements that will significantly affect organic traffic. Thereby, it puts emphasis on improving user interaction with websites. In the article, I will tell you what user experience means for Google in the context of websites, how we measure if it is good and how to take care of it.
To position your website well, depending on the needs and your SEO strategy, we need to focus on several areas. We check the technical SEO aspects of the website, create useful, interesting content for the user, take care of quality link-building and many other aspects. The new Google algorithm update announced for early 2021 marks areas where we need to focus even harder to ensure organic website visits – regardless of whether it is an ecommerce store or an image site.
User experience as a Google ranking factor
Companies have turned their attention to the so-called “User experience” in interacting with a site, and this is a factor that is objectively difficult to evaluate. How to check if the first impression was good? How do you know if a user is frustrated when using your site? It turns out that there is a way to do it – a technical way. After the update, Google will evaluate several factors that make up the so-called “Search signals for page experience”.
Factor 1: Core Web Vitals. Technical measures of experience
The “metrics for a healthy site” implemented in Chrome are special parameters that will allow to assess whether the site makes a good impression on visitors and whether it is convenient to use. Core Web Vitals consists of:
– Page loading time – measures (in seconds) the perceived loading speed and marks on the page loading timeline the point when the main content of the page will most likely be loaded.
– Page interactivity – measures (in milliseconds) the time from which the user first interacts with the page, e.g. by clicking a link or button on the page, until the browser is able to respond to this interaction.
– Visual stability – measures (in points) unexpected changes in the appearance of the page, shifts of buttons and links that prevent the user from interacting appropriately (e.g. when the user wants to click on a link, but the content of the page shifts, which makes him or her click something else).
Measuring Core Web Vitals parameters requires the involvement of SEO specialists and web developers – they enter the appropriate code into the page that allows to analyze its performance and compare it with the requirements of search engines. They will also see to it that this performance improves.
Factor 2: Mobile Friendliness for a better user experience
We have already mentioned it many times before – optimization for mobile is a must-have for both user convenience and website positioning. And it will be even more important after implementing the new Update from Google.
Most web development companies, with the support of an SEO agency, make sure that mobile users can use the site in an convenient manner – without undersized images, hard-to-read texts or some elements moving out of place.
To make sure your site is doing well in this field, I recommend a simple test – entering your company’s website address here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
If the result of mobile friendliness is good, you don’t need to worry about this key element. If not, you need an insight from a specialist who will investigate the reason. And who will later help in optimization.
Factor 3: Safe-browsing means better organic traffic
Another element indicated in the Google Page Experience Update is adequate website security. Google will evaluate your site taking into account whether it contains malware software or misleading content. Appropriate site security will become even more important.
You can learn more about the examples of problems mentioned by Google here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9044101. It is worth taking care of safety not only because of the new positioning guidelines, but also simply for the comfort of yourself and the clients.
Take care of experience, get better position in search engines
We hope you understand more about the new update from Google and the issues that will be crucial for your site’s organic position. The goal is simple – take care of the users, and they will repay you with a higher position in the network.
Some of the problems on the site – such as misplaced elements or poor performance on mobile browsers – you’ll see with the naked eye. Others you can just overlook. The good news is that both can be captured and optimized. As a result, your client’s experience in interacting with the site will increase, along with its organic position in Google and the frequency of search engine visits.