Google’s next major update is coming mid-June 2021 and they’re letting everyone know ahead of time the changes and updates you should be making to your site.
Table of Contents
After reading this article you will know:
- What this next Google update focuses on
- Actionable steps to take to get your website ready
- What tools are needed to monitor your website traffic & SEO efforts
Google Update: Page Experience
As the name indicates, Google’s next push will be focusing on the user page experience of your site.
Google uses countless metrics to rank your site. Back links, search intent, domain authority, content & on-page SEO are all top factors for getting to the first page.
However, the new trend seems to be honing in on user experience (UX).
Google wants the top websites for any search query to be the sites that users interact with the most.
A solid page experience enables visitors to get more done and engage more deeply.
In order to attract and retain new website visitors, an amazing page experience has never been more important.
What is page experience? Here’s how Google describes it in their own words:
“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”
In simpler terms, they are gauging how user-friendly your website is.
How are users interacting with your site?
Do you have buttons that are not functioning or links that lead nowhere?
Is your site responsive / 100% mobile-friendly?
Do you have text, images, buttons, or other elements overlapping or too small to read on any of your pages?
These are the types of things Google is looking at when judging your website’s page experience.
Luckily, with the help of Google Search Console, you can see exactly what errors currently need attention on your site.
How to check page errors within Google Search Console (GSC)
If you don’t already have GSC set up on your site, this should be your first order of business.
Once you have signed into your GSC account and your website data has populated, you’ll want to click on Page Experience in the left-hand column:
From this screen, scroll down and see the boxes under ‘Page Experience Signals:
You will want to review all of these errors.
You can click into each box for a detailed list of what errors have been identified and which pages are being effected.
It is very important that you or your developer fix these issues to ensure Google does not penalize your site.
Keep Track of Your Website’s Page Speed
Another major factor you will want to optimize for is page load time.
It is well-known that Google favors sites that load quickly on all devices.
To get a baseline of where you’re at now, head over to Google’s Site Speed tool and paste in your url.
Click “Analyze” and check out what you score for both mobile and desktop versions of your site.
If you scroll further, you will see recommendations as to what can be done to improve your score.
Many times slow page speed can be caused by large images that are being rendered on your site. I recommend always compressing images using this tool prior to uploading them to your website.
*Always back up your website files and database prior to making any changes
If you have a WordPress website you can automate image compression and other optimizations with the WP Optimize plugin.
After you’ve installed this plugin and compressed your site images, run another test to see if your score has improved.
If you don’t see any improvements, there are other metrics you can check:
- Web host – Who is currently hosting your site? I recommend using SiteGround for the fastest page load times.
- WordPress version – are you currently running the latest version of WordPress?
- PHP version – are you currently running PHP version 7.0 or later?
- Plugins – ensure all are up to date and remove or deactivate any that are not being used.
- Caching – you may want to consider enabling site caching through your host provider. This allows your site files to be accessed faster, improving load times.
Recommended Tools For Monitoring & Improving Your Page Experience
There are hundreds of free and premium tools you can use for SEO.
These are a handful of my favorites. I use these tools daily for my personal sites as well as for my clients.
- Yoast: If your using WordPress, Yoast offers a free (recommended) and a paid version. This plugin allows you to easily make sure your pages are optimized with a proper Page Title, Meta Description, and Focus Keyword among other important features.
- MouseFlow: This paid tool will give you heatmap snapshots of your website to see exactly where and how visitors are interacting with your site and why they are not converting.
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Page Experience Checker from SEO Review Tools
Keeping up with Google and their updates can be a daunting task.
Fortunately for this update, we know what’s coming. Don’t wait to get started improving your page experience as this UX-focused trend is almost guaranteed to continue.
The best thing you can do is to start with the Google Search Console page experience report. Fixing all of these errors and monitoring your website health & performance will position you perfectly for the June update.
If you need someone to perform a SEO and site-speed audit for your business, send me a message.