Google is rolling out a major algorithm change that will affect your website’s rankings for better or worse. The changes are also going to impact how you format your page and how you display content. If you were never overly concerned about that before, you’re going to want to make it a priority now.
Why? Because if you don’t, you may not get as much traffic as you want or need.
We’re going to review the impact of this change and how you can make it work for you.
What is Google’s Algorithm Change?
In the past, Google has looked at the quality of your backlinks and how well your site is optimized to determine its place in the search rankings. Although those factors are still going to play a role, Google has now begun to take into account a visitor’s Page Experience (PX) as a way of ranking sites.
This means they are going to look at how well people can use your site and find what they are looking for. If your site is not user-friendly, it’s not going to rank as well as those that take user experience into account. The goal is to make sure that pages that get top rankings aren’t ones that users hate. Rather, they want pages that people actually enjoy using and are taking action when they go to the site.
In Google’s mind, a good and relevant user experience indicates this is a brand people can trust. Google will reward those trusted brands by sending more traffic to their website.
While Google has begun rolling out the change, it’s not expected to play a full role until the end of August.
The belief is that knowing a page’s user experience can help other people decide which pages they want to visit. A site that is difficult to use or does not help the visitor accomplish their intended task will likely deter Google from ranking that page over another page that has a more positive user experience.
This is important to business owners because they can look at ways to improve their user experience so that their site gets more hits than the competition. If you ignore this new factor, you’re likely to see fewer hits which will impact your bottom line.
What steps should I take to ensure my website is ranked well?
You won’t know if your website is ranked well unless you’re tracking it. Signing up for Google Search Console will let you know whether your page has a good user experience or whether it needs work.
Pages that have a good user experience usually share several qualities:
• They are secure and served over HTTPS.
• They have no mobile issues.
• They have good core web vitals.
• They are easy to navigate.
Erik Ellsworth, CMO of SunUp Group, explains, “Page Experience (PX) is a measurement of how well you are converting the traffic Google is sending you. To achieve better rankings from this important update, you must ensure your landing page and website are helping the visitor complete their task…whatever that may be. Successful businesses should be crafting their pages to match the visitor’s intent and making sure they have no reason to go back to Google and click on another Search Engine Result Page (SERP).”
As you consider those words, you can also look at the competition and the top-ranked sites. See what they’re doing that is making them so popular with users and then look at yours. Chances are you can spot the major issues that are leading to their success.
You can improve user experience by making sure your page speed is fast so users don’t get annoyed by waiting. You can also make sure that the mobile experience is working for everyone. This means looking at how elements appear on a mobile screen. If there are words that are cut off or the user needs to constantly enlarge or minimize the page to get the full effect, they’re not going to want to frequent your site. They want a mobile site that works for them, not one that they must work at to access.
It’s also important to look at the design of your site. Is it visually appealing? Is it easy to navigate? If the answers are no, you’re going to want to update your site so that the pages are pleasing to the eye.
While all these recommendations are important, you can’t forget the content. Content is always king. You need to provide the best information out there. If you have top-notch page experience but poor content, you’re not going to score high. There must be the perfect balance of both for your page to rank high.
Google’s new algorithm is going to change the way businesses look at and format their websites. You’re going to want to make sure your site is easy to use and that people find what they are looking for so that page experience ranks high.
While page experience is going to play a role, you can’t forget things like informative and relevant content as well as an appealing visual design. These are vital if you’re going to have a website that ranks high and gets many hits. If you keep these things in mind, you can make the changes to Google’s algorithm work in your favor.