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If you have been blogging for anytime now, then you will have heard that there is a google page experience update coming up anytime now. Around mid-June is the word on the virtual street. That means, it will be happening if it hasn’ t started already. I know this because my inbox has been full of rather good advice about what I should be doing to prepare for this.
These are from some of the SEO experts and wordpress specialists. They are all taking heed and preparing for the google “page experience update” in 2021.
As you can probably tell from the term, “page experience update ” it is all about the user page experience when they visit your site.
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What Does Google Say About Page Experience Update
I have read what Google has to say about “page experience update ” here.
I suggest you take time to go and read it for yourself as well. But I will share my understanding about what Google is saying regarding this new update. And what this means in terms of page ranking for your blog.
From the horse’ s mouth, Google says that there will be a gradual rollout starting in mid-June 2021.
Details on what will be included in the update and I quote directly from the google developers page :-
“A new Page Experience report in Search Console
Support for signed exchanges for all content on Google Search
Gradual rollout starting in mid-June 2021
We’ll begin using page experience as part of our ranking systems beginning in mid-June 2021. However, page experience won’t play its full role as part of those systems until the end of August. ”
Google goes on to say that :-
“while this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes. In addition, because we’re doing this as a gradual rollout, we will be able to monitor for any unexpected or unintended issues.
We hope that this adjusted roll-out schedule will help you continue to make refinements to your website with page experience in mind. ”
There’ s no doubt in having read the above, that page user experience is going to be something that is going to be important.
But it is not the only thing.
It is just one of the things that Google will use to rank your website.
Another thing to note is that the rollout will be gradual.
So hopefully, there won’ t be the overnight loss of traffic that bloggers experienced in previous google rollouts from PANDA or PENGUIN, to name a few.
With the rise in the use of mobiles, it is no surprise that the update will be around mobile users experiences.
But you can be sure that user experiences on other devices like tablets and desktop will also become vital in time. So, I would not overlook these either.
The great thing is that Google is going to give you tools to help with this update.
One of the tools is the “page experience ” tool. This will allow you to look at urls on your website and analyze these page by page. At the moment it is only available for mobile.
My understanding is that they will also be bringing out additional tools to help you with making the changes that you will need on your website, to improve page experience.
Consequently, what should you do?
Whilst, I’ m no expert in SEO, I have been following those who are and have been in this SEO space for a while now.
What are your options?
Option 1 – You can do nothing and wait and see what happens to your blog. (you could lose traffic)
Option 2 – You can wait and use the tools that google will be providing (you could lose traffic and then make the changes)
Option 3 -You can start to make some changes to your website now. In anticipation, of what you think might be a good user experience of your page. (you could hold onto your traffic and then add the google tools once available to continue to increase traffic).
I’ m sure you will agree that the third option seems the most sensible one if you want to try to hold onto traffic and not only that, to try to gain more traffic in the future.
I thought Neil Patel broke down well the page user experience in his post.
What Steps should you take to ensure a positive user experience
I don’ t know about you, but I’ ve been taking a look at my website and doing a deep dive.
I am following the 3 suggestions that Neil Patel talks about in his post about the Google June update.
He suggests that Google will be taking into account individual page experiences on your website.
What this means is if you have 5 good pages, and one poor page, this does not mean that Google may down rank your website, but it could have some effect.
How To improve your website
The first step is to improve page site speed and to reduce 404 errors.
Go to this page analyser and enter your website.
Hit analyze and you wait a few moments.
Depending on how many pages you have, there will be suggestions about how to improve your website page speed.
You can also use your Google Search Console Account,
You will see a report about your website performance.
If you click on core Web Vitals, in the bottom left hand side, you will be given more suggestions. If your site is new then there may not be enough data held to do this.
And then you will get an overview of any URLs on your site that have issues on both mobile and desktop devices.
After this go to “open report ” next to the mobile heading. Have a look at the errors and find out how to fix them.
Not sure how to do fix those pesky errors. Then go to google themselves as they provide an explanation of all the terms and what they mean.
The next thing you can do is use the Page Speed Insights on Google.
Google will give you results in these categories:-
0 —49 — RED – You need to do some work to improve
50 —89 — YELOW — Needs some improvement
90 —100 — GREEN — Well Done — this is where you want to be
Let’ s just say, I have some work to do on my website, and this gives me a good starting point.
But page speed is not the only thing you should look at. You should take an holistic approach to looking at your website.
Vicky Etherington, is a wordpress specialist. She has a great blog at Website Mentor about how to speed up your blog.
She discusses that there are 4 mains things that you can do to improve page user experience:
- Have a good hosting provider
- Optimise your images
- Enable lazy loading for long pages
- Keep your site updated
You will know from your own searches online, that page speed really does matter.
When a site takes longer than a few seconds to load. 3 seconds to be exact. What do you do?
You are ready to click off and search for the next best thing. Right.
You don’ t have time to hang around waiting.
It’ s no great news that fast loading webpages improve user experiences.
How to check your WordPress site speed
As mentioned earlier, you can get page speed insight directly from Google and that is probably the best place to get started.
But there are other tools that you can use to learn more about how your website is doing.
Isitwp is a simple, easy to use tool that will help you understand what is slowing down your website.
Pingdom is another great website speed monitoring tool
It gives you a breakdown of what is not working well and what you need to do to make changes.
Some of the results can sound a bit technical, and you may need help in fixing some of those errors that are causing slow site speed. But it is at least a good starting place in knowing what you need to do to improve your website based on the forthcoming google page user experience update.
Here are a few more thing that you need to consider to improve page experience for your users
It goes without saying, that you will need to have good hosting for your wordpress site.
Having a good hosting provider is key in your website speed.
Some hosting providers are better than others and you can find that this will affect your site performance over time. What happens when a user arrives at your site and finds that it is down due to your hosting provider issues?
I use Siteground for my hosting they are exceptionally reliable and provide great performance.
#2 Updating your website.
If you have wordpress site, you will know that WordPress is updated regularly.
Each update will ensure that any bugs are fixed, or any security issues dealt with.
This is why you need to make sure that you also update your wordpress when these updates happen.
This will keep your website secure and that it is working as fast as possible.
To do this go to your dashboard > updates. You will see if you need to complete any updates.
#3 Images Are Optimised
In order to improve users page experiences, you need to have good images.
People like pictures. It is that simple.
Images helps them to break down content.
Images keep them engaged in your content.
But what’ s important is that all your content is optimised.
What is image optimisation?
What does it mean to optimise your images?
It means making sure that the size of your image does not slow down your website.
Large images take more time to process. It makes sense to squash them down.
Before you upload any images to your website, you should always optimise them to the smallest you can.
How can you optimise your images?
Use tiny.png. It is simple to use and it is free.
Best of all you don’ t lose image quality.
This is an easy to use image compressor tool. You simply drag the png or jpeg file into their image compressor.
But what happens if you already have many images on your website that you have not yet optimised.
If you are wondering whether you have to re-size and upload all of these again.
You’ ll be glad to know that the answer is No.
There are some plugins that you can use to re-size and compress your images that you already have on your blog. Try Smush –
To install this plugin, go to your wordpress dashboard.
Go to tools >plugins>in the search box enter “smush ”.
#4 Loading Page Speed
It goes without saying that the load time for a page on your website is important.
It only takes a few moments before someone will click away due to low page loading.
WordPress users will be pleased to know that if they have version 5.7 or later, then they will have lazy load included. WordPress updated this, so there is no longer the need to install an additional plugin.
This means that everything above the fold will be loaded first.
After that when the user starts to scroll down, the rest of the page will load.
Therefore, as long as you have your wordpress site updated with version 5.7 or later, you don’ t need to worry too much.
However, if you want to have your own control over this there are some plugins that you can use for lazy loading and this is covered in depth at Blog.hubspot.
Best WordPress Lazy Load Plugins
A3 Lazy Load
Lazy Load by WP Rocket
Speed Up — Lazy Load
BJ Lazy Load
Let’ s Summarise
We covered that there is a Google update coming imminently.
The update is focused on page user experience.
Basically, Google wants people visiting your website to have a good experience.
That means no broken links, clear navigation, a fast loading site to name a few things that will improve overall users page experience.
Also use Google’ s console and tools to help you to analyse your website.
Follow Googles tips to improve the performance and page speed on your website.
Get ready. Get Prepared. Keep informed about the page experience update in 2021.