Last year, Google’s long-anticipated page experience algorithm update landed, with a more a structured, data-collecting and “user centric” approach. Page experience impacts rankings, how users interact with your website, and their overall experience of it. It includes Google Search signals such as mobile friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS and intrusive interstitial guidelines. The update also includes, metrics in Google’s Web Vitals, such as, sites’ loading speeds, interactivity and visual stability, to optimise the quality of user experience, by helping you, as a business owner, marketer or developer to quantify the experience of your site and identify opportunities to improve. Google stated that “tools that assess Core Web Vitals compliance should consider a page passing if it meets the recommended targets at the 75th percentile for all of the above metrics.” By introducing these specific areas an easily monitored and more comparable website is created. It also gives businesses the push to focus on some of the most important aspects of a successful website – I mean, as a customer, nothing is more off-putting than a website that doesn’t load quickly!
It is important that you understand and apply the above vitals into your website, because if your metrics are unsuccessful, then your website will decline in Google search rankings. This measurable data is easily comparable and tracks your websites user experience progress. This update will give you, as business owners, and us, as developers an opportunity to receive, reflect on and rectify user experience. It is also a reminder that your user experience is THE most important thing, as it not only covers the above vitals, but so many other aspects of your business, because with the right website experience, users will become consumers.
Google uses different methods to make an educated guess about how users experience your site. They look at elements like site speed – there’s almost nothing more annoying than a page that takes ages to load -, mobile friendliness, the way you’ve structured your content and the internal and external linking of your pages. In addition to that, Google uses user signals to find out how visitors experience your website. User signals are behavioural patterns that Google sees on your site. If a lot of people leave your website very quickly, they might not have found what they’re looking for. Some other user signals are the time spent on a page and how often people return to your website. If these are high, visitors most likely enjoy your site or find it useful. It’s no coincidence that the factors mentioned above are important both for user experience and SEO. Google tries to grasp how humans experience a website. That’s why a positive experience on your site can contribute to your rankings.
It’s also important to note that user experience and usability are sometimes used interchangeably. They’re both used to describe the ease with which a visitor uses your site. However, user experience is often considered to be broader than usability. If a website is very usable – or user-friendly – visitors will be able to find or do what they want to do easily. A great user experience involves more, for example, aesthetics. A website can be straightforward to use, but boring at the same time. This means the usability is excellent, but the user experience could be improved.
At Dexterous Designs, we will give your website home page a free SEO and performance audit, and share the report – letting you know what can be improved. We also offer a variety of SEO packages. For more information or to get you free SEO and performance audit, please get in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you!