18 May, 2021

Preparing for the upcoming Page Experience Google update

Marcin Lewicki, SEO lead at Blueclaw Media, explains how to prepare for the upcoming Page Experience Google update

For many years, Google has been primarily focused on the user experience and with every update it makes, it drives the search giant closer to achieving its goal of providing a great web experience for all users.

In November 2020, Google officially announced a new update was set to be rolled out in May 2021. Google named this update the "Page Experience" update and noted it would focus on the set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value. This includes signals such as Core Web Vitals, which measure a real world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability, as well as other signals such as mobile friendliness, safe-browsing and more. However, while it seemed plans were firmly set in place for the Page Experience update to launch in May, Google recently made another announcement noting it will be postponing the rollout from May 2021 to mid-June 2021. This gradual rollout means site owners will be given more time to properly prepare and carefully consider the key factors for this update.

How to prepare for the new Page Experience update?

While this update is technically new, it's important for us to remember page experience has always been a factor and a big topic of conversation in the SEO world. Areas such as website speed, security and user behaviour are each ranking factors that have been discussed time after time, and all relate back to the overall page experience that will be focused on in this update. For igaming operators and affiliates, this update is a prime opportunity to stand out from the competition by taking advantage of Google's prompt to ensure you're providing your site's visitors with a fast-loading, easy-to-use website, full of useful and relevant Marcin lewicki content.

If you have already been following Google's guidelines, then you shouldn't have too much to worry about but for those starting from scratch, preparation for this upcoming Page Experience update will require a very detailed inspection of your current website, to identify areas of improvement based on the page experience factors outlined below:

1. Core Web Vitals. How fast does your website load?

As a general rule, your website should load within three seconds or less. You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool to identify areas of improvement on your Core Web Vitals, including Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

2. Quality Content. Is your content in line with the search intent? Do you provide the information your audience is looking for? Are you the go-to place for your topic or industry?

Quality content is another important factor talked about for many years. The best way to identify the quality of your content, in the eyes of Google, is by asking yourself the questions on its content quality checklist. Do your research and provide sources of information when necessary. Simply become the go-to place for your topic or industry.

3. Mobile-friendliness. How does your website perform on a mobile device?

Regardless of which devices are being used the most by your website visitors, with Google's heavy focus on mobile-first indexing it's crucial you ensure you're optimising your website for mobiles first. Things like font size, spacing, easily clickable buttons, page loading speed, etc. are all signals Google looks for when deciding how to rank your site, so when optimising for mobile, these factors should take precedent.

To improve the mobile version of your website, you can use tools such as Search Console or Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool to audit your site and identify areas of improvement.

4. User Experience. Do your visitors engage well with your website?

SEO and User Experience (UX) are different but have the same goal - providing users with the best experience possible. According to Search Engine Land, "Google sees and knows everything. Every touch point and interaction your visitors have with you (and you have with them) shows Google users are interested in and engaging with your content". Therefore, user behaviour metrics like click-through-rate (CTR) and general clicks from page to page on your website do have an impact on the overall user experience. They clearly show that users are interested.

Making a good use of your H1, H2 and H3 tags is an easy way to impact both SEO and UX as they allow you to clearly display what kind of content is covered on each page. Additionally, ensuring your site has an easy-to-use navigation menu and website structure is another element that impacts both SEO and UX as it allows you to ensure your site is easy for visitors to understand and navigate. An extra tip when it comes to SEO and UX is to use reviews to your advantage. For igaming brands, your audience is full of passionate people. This means they won't mind spending three minutes writing a review - especially after they've just had a favourable outcome. This is another signal that tells Google your visitors or customers are happy and interested.

SUMMARY

The Page Experience update isn't necessarily anything new. Google has said for years its goal is to "help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web" and that "the goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences, and ensure users can find the information they're looking for". With that being said, this update totally makes sense. Our job now is to ensure our websites follow Google guidelines and best practices so we too provide the best experience for our visitors.

For more information on optimising your site for the upcoming Page Experience update, reach out to Blueclaw's senior SEO team for a free 1-to-1 consultation.

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