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Search Engine Optimization and Page Experience

Google is constantly changing the algorithm: what matters the most to get your website ranked highly in search results. “Some time ago, Google announced Web Vitals — a new set of metrics to measure websites’ speed and user experience.” These Web Vitals, as well as something called “page experience,” are now officially coming into play, with the entire process due to have been fully rolled out by the end of August. So, what does that mean for those looking to implement a strong strategy of SEO Baltimore, and what changes might you need to make?

SEO Baltimore Affected by Page Experience

It’s been a no-brainer that site speed affects your page rank, because site speed is directly related to user experience. Obviously, if people are getting frustrated just trying to load your site, then they’re not going to have a very good experience! More recently, “Google announced a new update that looks at various new or updated metrics — combined with other user experience factors, to form the page experience update.” This announcement came in May 2020, which means that since then, Google has been awarding more “points” to websites that not only load quickly, buy which also offer a complete (and positive) page experience.

So, what exactly does that entail? Google itself defines page experience this way:

Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply; in contrast, a bad page experience could stand in the way of a person being able to find the valuable information on a page.

Makes sense, right? Of course, that itself isn’t a literal roadmap to success. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that the main intent here is for mobile, but that doesn’t mean these changes shouldn’t also be made on desktop.

What Factors Should be Considered?

The areas to focus on to create a good page experience, as identified by Google, are “loading, interactivity, and visual stability.” Let’s break these down further:

  • Loading refers to how long it takes for the largest item in view to load on to the screen
  • Interactivity refers to the amount of time taken for the browser to respond to the first interaction triggered by the user, such as clicking a button
  • Visual stability is the percentage of the screen affected by movement, such as if the screen is shifted automatically by the variable amount of text in a slider, for example

You may notice that none of these explicitly refer to the amount of time it takes the page to load, and instead focus around “how long are elements taking before they’re ready to be used.” It’s a slight, but key distinction. Additionally, of course, we have to consider previous factors that played into ranking, such as the security of the site, mobile-friendliness, and more. All of the considerations of the past come together to form one complete, frustration-free user experience.

Keeping Up to Speed with SEO Baltimore

As always, the above isn’t all that will get your site ranked. High-quality content that is targeted for your audience is as important as ever, so you should maintain that strategy while working on page experience. The nice thing, though, is that Google has been more transparent lately about the changes that are being rolled out, as well as what websites need to do to keep with the updated guidelines. With that information available for all to access, there’s really no excuse for leaving a website in a state that’s less than ideal, and, really, your online experience should change and grow all the time (for the better).

If you need a partner to get your website aligned with Google’s new page experience factors,  then get in touch with Eyler Creative today for professional help with SEO Baltimore.

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