Google Algorithm Update: Boost your SEO on 2021
Yes, you read that right! A new Google algorithm update is coming to life this year. It actually was going to happen sooner, but Google decided to give us a heads up due to the coronavirus crisis.
It’s super important to always be up to date with any marketing or advertising news happening that can affect your site.
Google’s new algorithm update is going to be related to page experience, so let’s take a look at what it is and how you can get your site ready for it.
What does page experience mean?
Page speed measures the usability of a website from the user perspective, meaning the site should provide users with a quality and optimized experience in terms of interaction, and not only of content.
Page and user experience has always been an important factor for Google to determine a website’s value and worth, but now that it’s becoming a new ranking factor, you should be careful. If you’re creating a page experience that your visitors hate, this new ranking factor may penalize you.
Page experience is closely related to engagement; the more engaged users seem to be in your site, the better page experience you’re potentially delivering. It’s also related to having your site optimized for all web browsers and devices. Google is actually evaluating how usable your website is.
Evaluating page speed
Let’s see what criteria Google is going to use for evaluating page experience:
- Page speed insights: Ideal loading time is 2.5 seconds or less.
- Mobile friendliness and responsiveness.
- Safe browsing and HTTPS encryption security.
- Visual layout stability: A CSL (cumulative layout shift) score of less than 0.1 is the baseline for a good user experience.
- No intrusive interstitials.
- Interactivity: FID (first input delay) of 100 milliseconds or less is considered optimal.
This update is really important and constitutes a big shift in SEO. As Google wants to rank sites at the top that users love the most, branding has always been an important factor to position your site.
Google is adapting its algorithm to show the sites that people love. However, most sites don’t have large brands and Google knows that, too. The same brand queries are one of the ways Google knows what sites people love; user and page experience is another one.
Optimizing your site for this Google’s algorithm update.
Let’s see what steps you can take to start optimizing your site for this new Google algorithm update.
When doing it, take into account that the algorithm is going to work from a page-level basis, because if you have a couple pages with a poor experience but most of your pages are good, they won’t penalize your whole domain.
Optimize your page loading speed
The faster your page loads, the better experience you provide. Over 50% of visitors will leave a site if it takes more than a few seconds to load, and 80% of them won’t return to the site.
Try to get your website load time for both desktop and mobile to under three seconds. You can check your site speed by entering your url here.
Large visuals and unnecessary code can contribute to a slower loading time, so these are good things to check when trying to improve the loading speed of your site.
Many people navigate online and conduct searches through mobile devices, and this trend is only increasing. This is why your site should be perfectly optimized for mobile, so that your content loads quickly and seamlessly across all devices.
Compare with your competitors
You might think you are providing a great user experience, but is it better than your competitors’? Go navigate your site and theirs to try to find out which pages you could still be improving.
Your goal is not to match your competitors, but to beat them.
Check your landing page and visual stability
Make sure your site is well-structured and that it runs properly, facilitating navigation for both visitors and crawlers. Remember to check that interactive features are glitch-free.
Heatmaps, for example, are a good way to find usability issues. If you can see recordings of users navigating your site, that can also provide you with great insights.
Create quality content
On-page content should always be relevant, SEO focused, appealing and interesting for visitors. It should also be updated regularly.
Ensure safe browsing
It goes without saying that your site shouldn’t incur any security issues or threads. It should be free of malware or deceptive content and contain HTTPS encryption.