Improving page experience signals for better SEO





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Improving page experience signals for better SEO

Improving Page Experience Signals for Better SEO

In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), one factor that has been gaining increasing importance is the concept of “page experience.” As an SEO specialist for a Manchester-based agency, I’ve seen firsthand how optimizing for page experience can make a significant difference in our clients’ search rankings and overall online success.

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you were genuinely excited about the experience you had exploring a website? For most of us, it’s hard to recall an instance where the user experience (UX) was so seamless and effortless that it left a lasting impression. That’s because a great UX is often unnoticed – it’s the digital equivalent of a well-designed room, where the ambiance and functionality blend together seamlessly, allowing you to focus on the task at hand rather than the environment itself.

However, when it comes to optimizing your website’s user experience, it’s anything but unconscious. In fact, it’s a highly intentional and multi-faceted process that can make or break your SEO strategy. Fortunately, Google has been quite transparent about the page experience signals they use to evaluate and rank websites, and as an SEO agency, it’s our job to ensure our clients’ websites are optimized for these critical factors.

Understanding Google’s Page Experience Signals

Google’s core ranking systems are designed to reward content that provides a good page experience. They’ve made it clear that site owners should not focus on just one or two aspects of page experience, but instead, ensure they’re providing an overall great experience across many different factors.

To help website owners assess their page experience, Google has outlined a series of questions to consider:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly? Google has stated that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, so your site needs to be optimized for seamless browsing on smaller screens.

  • Is your website secure? Google now uses HTTPS as a ranking signal, so your site must be served over a secure connection to protect user data.

  • Does your website load quickly? Page speed is a crucial factor, and Google recommends aiming for load times of 1-2 seconds.

  • Does your website avoid intrusive interstitials? Annoying pop-ups and interstitials that disrupt the user experience can negatively impact your rankings.

  • Does your website provide a good overall user experience? While not all individual signals directly influence rankings, Google is always seeking to reward content that offers a positive, satisfying experience for visitors.

Diving Deeper into Core Web Vitals

One of the more recent and significant additions to Google’s page experience signals is the concept of “Core Web Vitals.” These are a set of three specific metrics that measure the loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of a web page:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures how long it takes for the largest content element on a page to load. Google recommends an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less.

  2. First Input Delay (FID): This assesses how quickly a page responds to a user’s first interaction, such as clicking a button or link. The target is a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.

  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This evaluates the visual stability of a page, measuring how much the layout shifts during the loading process. The recommended CLS is 0.1 or less.

To qualify for a “Good” page experience in Google Search Console, a page must meet the “Good” threshold for both CLS and LCP, and either “Good” or “Not enough data” for FID.

Optimizing for Page Experience

Now that we understand the key page experience signals Google uses, how can we actually improve them and boost our clients’ SEO performance? Here are some actionable tips:

  1. Conduct a Comprehensive Site Audit: Use tools like Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, and Google Lighthouse to identify specific areas for improvement on your website. These platforms will provide detailed insights and recommendations to address issues related to Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, security, and more.

  2. Prioritize Core Web Vitals: Focus your efforts on optimizing for the three Core Web Vitals metrics. This may involve techniques like compressing images, minifying CSS/JavaScript, and implementing lazy loading to improve loading times, as well as optimizing JavaScript execution to enhance interactivity.

  3. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness: Review your website’s performance and user experience on mobile devices. Make sure your site’s layout, content, and functionality are easily navigable and accessible on small screens.

  4. Secure Your Site with HTTPS: Migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS is a must-do, as Google has made it a clear ranking factor. This not only improves security but also demonstrates to users that your site is trustworthy.

  5. Minimize Intrusive Interstitials: Be thoughtful and strategic when using pop-ups, banners, or other interstitial elements on your site. Ensure they don’t significantly disrupt the user experience or block access to the main content.

  6. Continuously Monitor and Optimize: Regularly review your website’s performance and user experience metrics, and make adjustments as needed. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Google’s page experience guidelines to ensure your optimization efforts remain effective.

Remember, while page experience is an increasingly important factor in SEO, it’s not the only consideration. Creating high-quality, relevant content that aligns with user intent will always be the foundation of a successful search strategy. But by optimizing your website’s page experience, you’ll be well on your way to improving your rankings and providing your visitors with a seamless, engaging online experience.

As an SEO agency in Manchester, we’ve seen firsthand how a focus on page experience can make all the difference for our clients. By following the strategies outlined in this article and staying vigilant about the evolving nature of Google’s algorithms, you too can unlock the power of page experience and drive lasting success for your online presence.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to work on improving your page experience and taking your SEO to new heights! Visit our website to learn more about how we can help.

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