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How to Prepare for Google's Page Experience Update

Google is constantly rolling out new updates to their search algorithm. Some updates are announced, while others roll out silently. The latest upheaval to SEO has nothing to do with links, keywords, or black hat behavior. This hugely impactful update boils down to one simple concept: the experience of using your website.

The fact that 'Content Is King' will continue to be true, but some more technological aspects of the experience of visiting a site will suddenly become far more important as a ranking factor.

  • Is your website slow? That's going to be a problem.

  • Is your website secure? If not, then you need to address that ASAP.

  • Is your site mobile friendly? Considering it's 2021, it had better be.

But then you might hear people in your company throwing about the phrase Web Core Vitals. Does your website need to see a doctor to have its vitals checked? In a sense, yes it does.

What Are Web Core Vitals?

Web Core Vitals are a set of signals used to measure the usability of a website. They measure things like page load speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. If a user has a great internet connection and a powerful machine, your site may look amazing. But if that same user is out in the sticks on their mobile device, your site may load slowly and shift around as sections appear on the screen. Here is the technobabble describing these metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): What this boils down to is whether or not your site's largest image or block of text renders within 2.5 seconds. If it doesn't, then you're in trouble.

  • First Input Delay (FID): This measures how soon a user can actually begin interacting with your site. If someone sees a clickable button and clicks it, does something happen right away? In order to stay on Google's good side, you should aim to have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Everyone has had the experience of trying to click on something but the button or image suddenly shifts while the page is loading and you end up clicking something else. Basically, make sure that doesn't happen on your site. You'll want to make sure your CLS score is .1 or under.

But how do you know what your CLS score is? How do you know if your FID is fast enough? Is your LCP going to KO your SEO? The best place to measure your site's Web Core Vitals is in your Google Search Console account. If you don't have one, then set that up immediately or contact us to do it for you. There's a major storm brewing in the world of SEO, and businesses that aren't prepared will inevitably be left wondering why their online leads have dried up. Make sure you stay ahead of your competition.

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