In May 2021, Google will start to roll out its latest update – page experience update. This is important to know if you get website visits from natural search.
A drop in your search results will result in a reduction of visits, enquires and sales.
Google makes periodic updates to the algorithm (the algorithm is what decides who ranks where and for what search terms), to improve the user experience.
Google will prioritise pages with great user experience, which means that if your website has a poorer user experience than your competitors website your ranking will drop.
Google are also investigating a way to indicate to users which websites have a good user experience which means that users are informed and can make their own mind up.
In this blog I will be walking you through how to prepare for the update, so that you can protect your site’s current ranking and performance.
How is your site performing?
Before you start panicking, lets look back at how well your website is performing and which pages are most at risk. This will enable you to create a plan.
To do this you will need to log into your Webmaster Console, it will enable you to more precisely identify which pages are most at risk. Don’t panic if you don’t have Webmaster Console set up for your site, we can work around it.
If you have one –
Log into your Google Search Console
Navigate to “Core web vitals”
Select “Open Report” for the mobile report
Here you will see which pages are affected. Copy the URL of those pages that have poor scores so that you can assess in detail what the issues are.
If you do not have access to your site’s Search Console, select five to 10 pages that have the highest number of visits from SEO and we can look at these.
How do you get your website ready for the update?
So where do you start?
Googles PageSpeed Insight tool is a great place. Simply copy and paste your URL into the tool and click Analyse.
You will be provided with your score for each page, there will be a mobile score and a desktop score. Focus on the mobile score, as anything that you fix on mobile will be fixed on desktop.
I scored 75 which I am pleased about but will be working on driving it to between 90-100.
A number of the recommendations will be technical fixes that will require a development team to help you to implement the changes.
Your team will be able to help you to understand the effort required to implement these changes, with this information you can decide if it is worth the investment. If you don’t have a team and are strapped for time, I can help.
What else can you do now, to help reduce the impact?
Whilst you may want to work to create a bespoke plan to prepare for the update, these three steps will help you wherever your site is at.
1. Keep creating great content
Content is still king. Regardless of how well your website performs technically, if your content is not interesting, relevant and useful your rankings will be poor.
2. Compress your images
Ensure that all your images have been compressed and are the appropriate size for their placement on the page. Jpeg compressor is a free simple to use tool that will compress your images for you – Compress JPEG Images Online . Large images will slow down your page download time.
3. Internal linking
Linking from one page to another within your site enables search engines to identify important pages, the more links to the page the more important it is. Googles Search Console can provide you insight into your top internally linked pages.
When do I need to do this?
The next Google update is just around the corner, so April is your opportunity to get your website ready and protect it from any potential drops in ranking.
Understanding your current performance will help you to understand where to focus your time and effort and starting with these three steps will make a difference.
But if you would like help to understand your risk or get prepared for the update, please do get in touch at email@example.com