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Google's New Page Experience Update: What It Could Mean for Your Local Business

Google has announced that it is finalizing its search algorithm update that will come into effect in May 2021. People are calling it the Page Experience update because it focuses on the usability of a website instead of the usual things like keywords and search relevance. We have already received some information that the update will monitor and possibly rank a user experience on a web page.

 

The update is definitely going to affect organic search results, but we are not sure whether it will also impact Google My Business rankings. That is why we decided to consult some of the SEO experts at Smart Digital Marketing in Glasgow.

 

These experts have helped local businesses to optimize their websites for SEO in Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, London, and other cities in the UK. According to them, the constant warnings by Google and the prolonged time for the update to take effect shows that businesses must take it seriously.

 

Even though the update will affect the Google algorithm in May 2021, business owners and SEO experts should ask themselves how it can affect their local SEO efforts. So let us take a look at how the update will work. We will also discuss some actionable steps to optimize the local SEO efforts on your business website.


The Page Experience Update

Our first impression is that the Page Experience update will finally administer the Core Web Vitals in the search algorithm that Google announced in 2020. The metrics are aimed at providing a reliable and safe web browsing experience for users across all devices. These factors were already crucial in the search algorithm. But their importance will increase manifold with the release of the update.

 

The truth is, the Core Web Vitals are going to measure your website performance in greater details, such as:

 

  • Largest Contentful Paint: the largest piece of content on your website should load in less than 2.5 seconds. Anything that takes more than 4 seconds to load will be deemed poor.
  • First Input Delay: your web page should respond to the user input in less than 100 ms. Webpages that take more than 300 ms to respond will rank lower.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: the visual elements on the web page must be stable

 

Google has also updated their suite of tools to support the Core Web Vitals with a few new tools. You can take advantage of these tools to gain significant Core Web Vitals and become the search engine ranking leader for local search terms. These are some of the aspects you must take care of for your business website.

 

  • With the increase in intrusive elements like accepting cookies, newsletter opt-ins, shopping basket reminders, and exit reminders, Google has finally decided to take action against these negative experiences.
  • The mobile-friendliness of a website will become a top priority, especially for local SEO.
  • A website should provide privacy and safe browsing to rank higher. You will have to get an SSL certificate to ensure that your local SEO efforts matter in 2021.


Ways to Improve Your Website for the Page Experience Update

You must be thinking about how to make sure that your local SEO efforts do not get hampered by this update. That is why we got some tips for you from the SEO experts at Smart Digital Marketing.

 

The first thing we learned is that the Page Experience update would probably apply to your web pages since Google ranks pages instead of the entire website. These are some steps to form an action plan to stay on top of the Page Experience update.

Improve Loading Speed

It does not matter whether you are a local store owner trying to optimize your product pages or promoting your services for the B2B market. The first thing you have to do is to ensure that it loads extremely fast. It is no surprise that Google has launched several tools that can help you achieve this objective.

 

For example, you can compare a page loading speed with the Chrome User Experience report to understand how it performs for different users. You can also use Google’s page speed toolkit and run regular local search audits for your website. It will enable you to understand which of the pages are running slowly and need attention.

Compare Your Website Experience With Your Competitors

You may be under the impression that your business website offers a good user experience because the metrics say so. But have you compared those metrics against your local competitors? Performing competitive rates will enable you to understand if your website is performing better than your local competitors or not.

 

That way, you can take the necessary actions to rank higher for local searches. You can find the competitor websites that rank for specific local search terms related to your products and services. Enter those websites in Google’s page experience tool to find out if they are performing better than yours.

 

While you are at it, also focus on other aspects of page experience that your competitor sites might be doing better to understand your shortcomings. For example, do they have more positive reviews on their website or have a live chat feature? It will help you to come up with ideas to make the user experience better for your website.

Analyze Your Website Design

Website design is one of the crucial factors that contribute to user experience. However, make sure that you do not go overboard to capture the attention of your target audience.

 

The website design should balance between increasing user engagement and fast loading speed. You also have to make sure that your website pages are optimized for Google My Business, cross-browser, and cross-device usage.

 

The skeptics might point out that the Page Experience update is an attempt by Google to prepare against transparency blowback. But the experts feel that in reality, this is an attempt to become more transparent.

 

Google has given us almost a year to adjust to the update along with a set of tools and metrics to optimize the Code Web Vitals so that businesses can maintain the productivity of their SEO efforts. So make sure that you take maximum advantage of these resources instead of regretting things once the algorithm gets updated.

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