UX As A Ranking Factor
Last May, Google announced a new set of metrics that will measure the user experience of websites which is called Web Vitals. These metrics will be part of the new core algorithm update called Google Page Experience that is due to arrive sometime in 2021.
What is User Experience (UX)?
One of the main requirements of a good user experience is meeting the exact need of a visitor without any complexities but it doesn’t end there. Aside from giving users what they want, your website should provide a seamless experience that comes from multiple factors such as marketing, graphical, and interface design.
So, what about Google Page Experience?
Page experience consists of multiple ranking factors, for instance, mobile responsiveness, page speed, HTTPS, no intrusive interstitials, and safe browsing. These ranking factors are being continuously updated and modified by Google.
The company has given us a detailed developer document about the criteria of page experience. But put simply, these are a combination of metrics related to the key aspects of UX. These entail the following page experience signals or Core Web Vitals.
Largest Content Paint (LCP):
These metric measures the loading performance, and the largest content element should load within 2.5 seconds to provide a good user experience.
First Input Delay (FID):
This metric looks at how long does a browser takes to respond to an interaction done by the user, such as clicking on the buttons.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):
A metric designed to measure visual stability. Web pages should have a maintained CLS of less than 0.1 to provide a good user experience.
The Next Steps
Before, optimizing your website for user experience and speed was a challenge but over the years, Google saw the needs of site owners and provided tools to start testing and improving. Since Google mentioned that this update will not go live until 2021, you still have time to prepare your website for the upcoming changes. To start checking and monitoring your Core Web Vitals, you can use the following resources:
While these are all important ranking factors for SEO, Google clarified that great content will still rank higher despite not having a good page experience. As per the company. “While all the components of page experience are important, we will rank pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search,”
Another way to prepare for these changes is to work with professionals that closely monitor the latest trends and who work attentively to ensure that their clients are equipped and ready to adapt. You might be already providing good and quality content to your website visitors, but it’s worth the time to take a fresh look at your site by reviewing your current Core Web Vitals.
Contact us today for any questions or inquiries!