Recently Google came out with an advance warning about release of an update in May 2021.This is related to page experience. And we understand that it is likely to have a direct,and a far reaching effect on page rankings.
So what are the important ingredients required to satisfy Google’s Page Experience update in May 21? Some immediate factors to satisfy Google’s Page Experience Update are Core Web Vitals and metrics for UX, and resources and tools to check page experience. This includes tools like Lighthouse, Page Speed insight, Chrome DevTools, Web Vitals,mobile-friendliness check, and the CrUX Report .
But before we get there, let’s first see the rationale behind Google’s new update.
Why Satisfy Google’s Page Experience Update?
So far Google has been making all updates to enhance user satisfaction. Part of that satisfaction is also the UX (user experience) on the pages of your website. This is termed as the page experience.
Google aims to improve the user’s browsing experience, both on the mobile, and the desktop.
In recent times Google has introduced a variety of UX measurement signals that include HTTPS( for security),mobile-friendliness, and browsing-safety.
All these aspects will determine the UX factor, and will influence ranking directly, instead of indirect influence,as in the past.The good news is that if you adhere to these new norms of Page Experience then your bounce rate is likely to reduce and your ranking too will improve.
This will be primarily implemented through Core Web Vitals and other UX metrics, which will determine your page experience score.
Core Web Vitals And Metrics For UX
What are Core Web Vitals?
Well, before attempting to do anything else, we first need to measure our current status of page experience.
Core web vitals help do just that.
So Core Web Vitals are the metrics created to measure page performance for user-friendliness. These core web vitals precisely target page load speed, interactivity, and visual stability of your page.
Presently there are three Core Web Vitals:-
1.First Input Delay (FID): This metric shows a page’s responsiveness. FID is the time taken from when a user first interacts with your site, to when the browser responds satisfactorily to that user-interaction.
An FID of 100ms or less is considered good.
An FID of between 100-300ms needs improvement
An FID above 300ms is considered poor.
2.Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures how quickly the content on your site loads.
It reflects whether a page’s main content has loaded appropriately. Ideally, the LCP of a page should be less than 2.5 seconds.
If the LCP exceeds 4 seconds, it is considered a poor performance.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The CLS of a page defines the instances when a page’s layout shifts unexpectedly. This is essentially the visual stability of the page. The more stable a page is, the better it is rated for user experience.
So the CLS measures whether the text on a page is likely to shift unexpectedly,without any user input for the same.
Beside the Core Web Vitals , there are four main page experience factors to gauge page experience signals.
Mobile-Friendliness: A responsive web design is meant to make your website mobile friendly..Eventually, your audience gets to see the same content,whether they see it on a desktop or on a mobile
User Browsing-Safety: This factor determines whetehr your page carries a risk of malware or deceptive content for the user. Google wants to ensure utmost safety for its visitors. So your page should spell safety for the user,and not jeopardise their personal information.
HTTPS: Whenever HTTPS is used, a series of encrypted communication proceeds between your browser and the target server.This happens after a security authentication process. After that,any passive attacker online cannot read your data. Only your browser and the server can read your data.In short, a TLS (transport Layer Security) is added to your data,which blocks any intrusive attempts to reach your data.
Interstitial Intrusions: Interstitial implies anything that lies between interveneing spaces or inbetween something.So in case of page experience it implies any interruption caused by a suddenly appearing pop-up or advertisement.Especially if an interruption happens during a browsing session (when the visitor is least expecting it), it ruins their user experience.Often the user is blocked from accessing the main content of the site by such intrusions. News is that Google has plenty of plans afoot to curb this disturbing trend.
Resources To Satisfy Google’s Page Experience Update
Once the Page Experience Update is launched,we need to resolve glaring flaws to obviate any adverse impact on your site. So the best way out is to do a detailed evaluation of the likely weak spots.
Evidently, its best to use Google’s own developer tools to evaluate your site
Google has recently updated its own resources to analyze Core Web Vitals. These can be used as browser extensions or even in stand-alone mode to assess your site’s performance:
Lighthouse is an automated tool meant to enhance the quality of web pages. It is available as an open-source Google resource. You can check any web page with it for auditing performance, accessibility, and SEO among other aspects. You only need to feed a URL, and with that, the tool carries out an audit.
Based on that audit, it generates a report,which also spells out measures to fix issues. You can run lighthouse in ChromeDev Tools, or in Chrome Extensions.
PageSpeed Insights Google has also updated Page Speed Insights for measuring Core Web Vitals. This tool assesses the web content and offers suggestions to improve page loading speeds. For this, you only need to enter the URL of your website. Eventually, you get recommendations for both mobile, and desktop that makes performance measurement a lot easier.
web.dev .You can use this tool to obtain immediate recommendations and a performance report as well.You can even keep a record of past performances.
The Web Vitals.The WebVitals tool measures core web vitals in real-time, and helps you track loading time, interactivity and layout shift metrics.These are also measured by Chrome and reported on other google tools.
Check Your Mobile-Friendliness
Your page must ideally perform well on a mobile phone as well as desktop.So you need to check your own sites mobile-friendliness by tapping into one of your own mobile phones.
See how your page/site perfroms on a small screen. Incidentally, Google itself has a mobile friendly website check . You only need to drop your URL into the checkbox. What follows is a view of your website on a mobile, along with a host of recommendations for error correction.
Chrome has its own UX measurement system.And it is a pretty good tool to check your performance too. Though the measurement doesn’t appear to be as detailed as the Core Web Vital,yet there is a hidden advantage in the CrUX assessment report.
It provides results based real world data, and also gives out the previous month’s performance data.
It also segregates data based on the type of device, country of origin, and also indicates connection effectiveness.So you have a host of variables to estimate your page performance with.
In recent years, Google has been intensifying efforts at enhancing the user’s takeaways.
Hence Google’s emphasis on increasing user experience signals.This also includes measures to enhance mobile-friendliness and secure-browsing.
The latest addition is the set of Core Web Vitals, meant to serve as monitoring metrics.
With these developments, website owners can hardly afford to ignore the writing on the wall. And that clearly says- page experience will make or break your rankings in the SERPs, come May 2021.
A number of tools and resources have been covered in this article ranging from Lighthouse, PageSpeedInsights,and Chrome DevTools ,to insights from CrUX Report. I guess, it’s about time to start tweaking your site to exploit the max.
Happy page experience