Improving Page Experience Scores

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June 6, 2024

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UK, Manchester

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Improving Page Experience Scores

Improving Page Experience Scores: A Dive into the World of Google’s Ranking Signals

The Need for Speed: Optimizing Core Web Vitals

As an SEO enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the ever-evolving landscape of Google’s ranking algorithms. And let me tell you, when it comes to page experience, the stakes have never been higher. It’s like trying to navigate a maze of twists and turns, with Google as the all-seeing Minotaur, ready to reward the quickest and most agile websites.

Recently, Google has placed a renewed emphasis on Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that measure the overall user experience of a webpage. These vital signs, if you will, include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). According to Google, sites that excel in these areas are more likely to be favored by its core ranking systems.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Great, another set of metrics to obsess over!” But hear me out. Improving your Core Web Vitals can do more than just boost your search rankings; it can also enhance the overall user experience on your website. And trust me, in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, user experience is the name of the game.

Tackling the Biggest Culprits

So, where do we even start? Well, let’s take a closer look at those Core Web Vitals one by one, shall we?

First up, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). This metric measures how long it takes for the largest element on a webpage to load. Ideally, you want this to happen within the first 2.5 seconds of the page load. One way to improve LCP is by optimizing your images and other media files, ensuring they’re properly compressed and delivered efficiently.

Next, we have First Input Delay (FID), which measures the time it takes for a page to become responsive to user interactions, like clicks or taps. Keeping this number under 100 milliseconds is the goal. To tackle this, you might want to consider deferring non-essential JavaScript and optimizing your server-side processing.

Last but not least, Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of a webpage – in other words, how much the content on the page moves around as it loads. Ideally, you want to keep this number below 0.1. One way to improve CLS is by reserving the appropriate space for each element on your page, preventing unexpected shifts.

Beyond Core Web Vitals: Holistic Page Experience Optimization

Now, I know what you might be thinking – “But wait, there’s more!” And you’d be absolutely right. While Core Web Vitals are a significant part of the page experience equation, they’re not the only factors Google considers. According to Google, a good page experience encompasses a variety of signals, including mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, and the absence of intrusive interstitials (those pesky pop-ups that make you want to throw your device out the window).

To truly excel in the eyes of the almighty Google, you need to take a holistic approach to page experience optimization. Think of it as a well-orchestrated symphony, where each element plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious user experience.

The Importance of Balancing Act

But here’s the thing – improving your page experience isn’t just about chasing perfect scores. As Google points out, the goal is to provide an overall great user experience, not to optimize solely for SEO reasons.

In fact, as some users on Reddit have discovered, focusing too much on a single metric can sometimes backfire, leading to unintended consequences. The key is to find the right balance, where you’re delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience for your visitors, while also satisfying Google’s ranking criteria.

Putting it All Together: A Case Study from MCR SEO

At MCR SEO, our team of page experience experts has been helping businesses in Manchester, UK, navigate the ever-evolving landscape of Google’s ranking factors. And let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride.

One of our clients, a local e-commerce store, was struggling with a below-average landing page experience score. They had tried all the usual suspects – reducing website loading time, creating dedicated landing pages for each ad group, and even minimizing form sizes. But alas, the score remained stubbornly below average.

That’s when our team stepped in, armed with a holistic approach to page experience optimization. We conducted a comprehensive audit, examining every nook and cranny of their website, from Core Web Vitals to mobile-friendliness and HTTPS security.

Long story short, we discovered a few hidden culprits – suboptimal image compression, a clunky JavaScript implementation, and a touch of layout instability. By addressing these issues and fine-tuning various elements of the user experience, we were able to take the client’s landing page experience from “below average” to “above average” in a matter of weeks.

The result? Not only did their search rankings improve, but their overall conversion rates saw a significant boost as well. It was a true testament to the power of a well-executed page experience strategy.

The Ongoing Journey of Page Experience Optimization

So, there you have it – a deep dive into the world of improving page experience scores. It’s a constantly evolving landscape, with Google always on the lookout for new ways to deliver the best possible experience to its users.

But as an SEO enthusiast, I can assure you that the journey is worth it. By prioritizing page experience optimization, you’re not just playing the SEO game – you’re creating a website that truly puts your visitors first. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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