How to improve your website’s page experience?

There are billions of searches being conducted on the biggest search engine every day. With 3/4 of people never going beyond the first page of search results, there is a universal truth every website owner should be aware of: the success of your business online greatly depends on your website’s Google ranking. As of mid-2021, Google has introduced a brand new set of ranking criteria. The so-called Page Experience is the new factor used to rank a website on this engine. With several insightful details on the matter from Digital Dot and a few handy tips, you will be able to learn about the ways to improve your website’s page experience.

What exactly is Page Experience?

a set of devices used to represent ways to improve your website's page experience
Page Experience is a system of various signals meant to measure how the users of a website perceive the course of interacting with a webpage.

This is a feature meant to measure how the users of a website perceive the course of interacting with a webpage. It strives towards creating a better overall experience for web users. Optimizing a website according to the requirements of page experience creates a path towards better user engagement and less friction with fewer issues among visitors. Simply put, the new Google page experience will help mark just how good (or how bad) the UX of a certain website is. This, in turn, will create a more insightful way of ranking search results. It may bring substantial SEO-related changes; perhaps even more so as we witness new updates focusing on user experience.

The difference between page experience and user experience

Generally speaking, page experience is basically a part of UX. It does not include all of the UX factors; the quality of content and visual design aren’t included in page experience. It does, however, entail technical aspects that tend to impact UX. Page experience factors are handled by the team of developers working on a certain website. This means that in order to improve your website’s page experience, you need experts in webpage development by your side.

The main factors of the update

There are several different signals that the Page Experience algorithm includes. These are:

  • Core Web Vitals (which includes LCP, FID, and CLS),
  • Mobile-friendliness,
  • HTTPS,
  • Safe browsing,
  • Intrusive interstitials.

Core Web Vitals

This factor is actually a combination of three different performance metrics. These include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). They are used to measure web pages’ visual loading. interactivity, and visual stability.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how long it takes for the main content of a page to load, render, and be visible to visitors. LCP that occurs within 2.5 seconds is considered as good, whereas everything above 4 seconds is considered as poor LCP and Google advises further improvements in this area.

First Input Delay (FID) is used to measure how long it takes for a page to respond to the first user interaction. The interaction includes actions such as a simple click or a tap on a link or a button. Basically, while in the FID stage, a web page renders some of the content, but the browser remains busy with other actions, so the page remains not-yet-interactive or responsive to any visitor input. As it is vital for pages to become responsive instantly upon opening, Google has determined that a threshold for First Input Delay should be under 100ms. What Google wants to state is that as soon as the user is ready to make an action, the web page should be able to respond accordingly.

a person using a computer mouse
First Input Delay is used to measure how long it takes for a page to respond to the user interaction. These include actions such as a simple click or a tap on a link or a button.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a factor measuring how often unexpected layout shifts occur during the browsing of a certain web page. Bad CLS means that users encounter issues such as page shifting, for instance, forcing them to click something they didn’t want. This problem may cause immense frustration among website visitors. How can one prevent bad CLS? It is mostly caused by ads or widgets that shift elements around it; it may also come as a result of a video or image of unknown dimensions.

Other Page Experience factors to consider

Other than Core Web Vitals, Google is prompting website owners to consider several other aspects that will contribute to this search engine ranking if handled properly.

  • Mobile-friendliness –  It is no secret that mobile searches are getting more numerous by the minute. This is why Google is making its top priority to create a better browsing experience for mobile users. With more than half of the searches being performed on mobile devices, this is more than expected.
  • Safe browsing – “There is no deceptive content or malware on this website” is something that this particular signal is meant to notify the users.
  • HTTPS – This factor implies whether or not your site’s connection is secure (via HTTPS). The alternative would be the non-secure HTTP connection.
  • Intrusive interstitials – An interstitial is a term used for an ad that appears during the page downloading process. This is the type of unwanted content that your visitors find unnecessary and obsolete. Moreover, it prevents your main content from being easily accessible to website visitors.

The significance of Page Experience

a person using a laptop and a mobile device
The digital experience begins with a visitor’s first impression; this is what the Page Experience signals are all about.

There is an immense number of factors and signals that can contribute to or affect a website’s SEO rank negatively. All of them have led to innumerable tips and tricks used to help you determine the best practices; and thus improve the ranking of your website on the Google search engine. Surely, using them will indeed get you the upper hand. Eventually, though, the most relevant content and website, in general, will win this race. After all, Google is trying to provide the finest possible experience to its users.

In order to improve your website’s page experience, it’s vital to keep track of all the metrics that the largest search engine measures. However, the top of the first page is booked for a website offering the best overall experience to the users. This digital experience begins with a visitor’s first impression; this is what the Page Experience signals are all about in the first place. This new factor manages to put the number on the concept of the first impression and impacts your website’s ranking.

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