4 ways to optimize for Google’s Page Experience Update

page experience

It isn’t too late to prepare for a Google Page Experience update even as it is rolling out.

Learn how to gain a competitive edge in Search.

If you have got your finger on the pulse of Google and its changes in algorithm, you have likely seen plenty of news on the Page Experience update over this past year.

The great news? The update is finally here! Should you still have not gotten around to optimizing for Page Experience metrics and your competitors have; you may just find that they are enjoying a rankings boost you are missing out on.

In this blog, you will learn about 4 key regions of priority that can helps you prepare for Google’s Page Experience update, as well as several other issues to have on your to-do list.

Work on Your Loading Speed

The first of Google’s CWVs is largest contentful paint, which pertains to the largest and most important piece of content on a web page. This metric will determine how rapidly your page displays the most important content, so users may see it. There are several ways to optimize for LCP. The one thing you may do is to optimize your server, since sluggish response times can occasionally be linked to slow servers.

Speeding up a server might involves running some performance guidance so the server turns up a static page when requested as opposed to building the page each time someone clicks on it. Other webpage components that may slow down LCP loading include images, videos, and block level elements with text features. If these items on your pages are above the fold, the slower they load, the slower your LCP. To fix these things, you will need to compress your images and text files, cache some assets and preload some of your elements.

Work on Your Interactivity

The 2nd CWV cis first input delay.

That’s the time it can take for users to be capable to interact with element they have clicked, like a link or button. In Google’s eyes, your FID should aim to be shorter than 100 milliseconds. But let us talk about what that means. Readers are no doubt familiar with webpages that keep them waiting forever after they have clicked on an element to go to a brand new page, edit shopping cart, and the like. Well, that is not good for users.

But why is it even happening?

It is mainly since the browser is too busy with some other tasks; like analyzing and carrying out a hefty JavaScript file. Now, we would like to focus mainly on the first interactions of users with a web page; meaning how long it can take to load. Just as with meeting someone new, first impressions matter. If users know from the get-go that your site is slower than a snail; they will probably leave and not come back.

However a strong first impression – as in, a page that loads rapidly – will go a considerable way toward increasing user engagement with that page overall.

That is why FID is such an essential metric.

How do you fix it?

It depends on your specific website. Use tools like Speed Insights page to see how you are doing and where one can improve. This is some severe web dev stuff. You will want to look into dividing up long tasks, reducing JavaScript; and prioritizing script loading so that the most crucial elements are available to users first.

Work on Your Layout Shift

Lastly, we’ve the 3rd CWV, cumulative layout shift. It is measure of how much your webpage’s content layout moves around whilst the page is loading. You have probably experienced this problem, too. You are waiting for a page to load completely and go to click something just to find this other element loaded on the page and therefore pushed the desired element into another direction.

As a result, you clicked on something you didn’t want, such as an ad or even a Submit Order, button. Which makes for a bad user experience; and it is why CLS matters enough to be considered a key element of the page experience. How may you fix this in order to take benefit of the rankings boost CWVs can provide? You’ll need a CLS score of 0.1 to pass, Google’s test. That is the maximum that Google wants to see. Any higher, and your webpages are likely shifting quite a bit. Google considers the score of 0.25 to be poor.

If you are utilizing a WordPress site, then you will probably notice that the following elements are causing your CLS:

  • Dimensionless images and videos
  • Dimensionless advertisements along with other embedded objects
  • Animations along with other dynamic content
  • Flashes of unstyled text

Fixing CLS applies mostly to mobile, as Google prioritizes mobile first, but additionally because mobile devices have weaker processors and smaller viewports. What will you’ve to do in order to eliminate that layout? It depends upon what is causing it, but if we take two examples from above:

Browsers will not know how to space images and videos without dimensions, meaning the areas where they’ll ultimately be will probably change as a page loads. You can lock this down by adding specific dimensions to your images and videos.

Then, with regards to flashes of unstyled text, you’ll must preload your fonts. That tells browsers to load your fonts as a priority element, in the first meaningful paint. In that case, you will not have any jarring font changes which will cause cumulative layout shifts.

Other Page Experience Elements to Keep in Mind

Obviously, Core Web Vitals are not the only things you need to study up on to optimize your site for the Page Experience update.

Take mobile usability.

Google will now judge each site by its mobile friendliness, especially regarding problems like small text size and the use of Flash media, which today’s mobile devices do not support. There is also the matter of the Page Experience report in Google Search Console.

That is a breakdown of how your site is performing for the page experience update, but what about all those site owners saying they are not seeing any data? Google has confirmed that an empty report just means there is not enough conclusive data to say one way or the other how your site is performing.

Even when you’ve decent traffic, the answer is most likely that you simply need more traffic, and for that traffic to generate relevant data, if you would like the report to populate. Google wants to see a good user experience not just in organic content, but with advertising, as well.

Check and make sure that the advertisements on your site aren’t interruptive or distracting. And do not forget, your site needs to be secure if you wish to do well by the Page Experience update. Insecure HTTP just doesn’t cut it anymore. Users need to know that their data is safe with you on your site, and Google needs to realize it, too.

The Page Experience Update Is Here, So Get Moving

There is a lot to manage with regards to your Core Web Vitals and to your page experience, but towards the end of the day, it is on providing the best user experience possible.

If you have not carved out time by now to check over and optimize those elements, you will want to do so as quickly as possible. But do not panic. You will not be algorithmically penalized for not getting in line with all CWV and Page Experience elements. This update is a kind of a tiebreaker, according to Google. If all other stuff are considered equal, providing a better experience because based on the above metrics can give you an edge.

And if you are seeing rankings drop, it isn’t because you are being punished. It might be that your direct competitors are prioritizing these optimizations and you are not.

That is an incentive to get moving!.

Rohit N Shetty

Rohit N Shetty is a Digital Marketer, having over 13+ years of experience in various domains.