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How to Optimize Your Website for Enhanced Page Experience

Whether you have just heard about Page Experience or you are looking for something specific around Page Experience, we have it all covered.

What we will cover

What is Page experience

Why does Page Experience matter in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Metrics that go into Page Experience

How to optimize Page Experience for SEO

What's best for the user is best for your organic search ranking! Yes, you heard it right!

SEO has been evolving since its inception and User Experience is driving the Future of SEO with the advancements in AI (Artificial Intelligence) & ML(Machine Learning). We have been noticing some significant changes and updates by Google such as Mobile-First Indexing, Voice Search influence of the content creation, and high-quality product review algorithm update. Now in 2022, It is time for us to learn about Page Experience and How to optimize our website for a better User Experience.

Chapter 1:
 

What is Page Experience?

Page Experience comprises a set of factors that help us understand how satisfactory it is for a user to interact with a page

A decade back in 2010, Google announced that Site Speed would be considered to determine the rankings. Post that, Web Vitals were announced by Google as a new set of metrics that would measure websites’ speed and user experience and rank them accordingly. In 2020, Google stated that Web Vitals would play a significant role in ranking a website based on the page experience offered by that website. In June 2021, the Page Experience Update was announced which was completely rolled out by August 2021.

Page Experience

Page Experience update is a big and important update leading towards the future of SEO.

Importance of Page Experience for your SEO Strategy

To understand the importance of page experience and how it affects your SEO Strategy in 2022, let us take an example. There are 3 content-producing websites that put together the same quality of content. Now, when all the websites have great page content, the visibility of the website in search results will be determined by the page experience that it offers to the viewers. While the relevancy of content is an important ranking factor, page experience still has the upper hand.

Page Experience comprises the following factors Core Web Vitals:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • HTTPS
  • No Intrusive interstitials

The existing ranking factors for Page Experience such as Mobile Friendliness, Intrusive Interstitials, and Safe Browsing have been joined by the metrics of Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals like FID (First Input Delay), CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) and LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) are crucial factors and joined with the existing ranking factors give us a holistic picture around everything a user experiences on a website to understand the performance of the website.

Chapter 2:
 

What are Core Web Vitals?

These Web Vitals monitor and analyze the website’s Loading, Interactivity and Visual Stability. These focal points are monitored with the help of three important metrics named Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) which are explained in detail below:

  1.  Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) identifies how long it takes for the largest content element on the page to load
  2. First Input Delay (FID): This metric tells us how long it takes for a browser to respond to an interaction triggered by the user i.e. the user clicking a button
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the percentage of movements on the screen i.e., the shifts in the elements loading on the screen
LCP, FID & CLS

Loading Time is not only about Page Experience, but also about how the user experiences all the optimizations. These Core Web Vitals simply do not look for the page speed or how quickly the page loads but also look for the user interaction i.e., how quickly a user can interact with the page and the overall page experience – ease of use to the user.

Before rolling out the update for Core Web Vitals, Google made sure to give websites insights about these web vitals via core web vitals feature in GSC (Google Search Console). The report presented in GSC would give you an idea about how your content and page are performing with respect to these three metrics.

Google has also prepared other web vital tools that would give you more insights into how a user experiences your website.

Chapter 3:
 

How to analyze Page Speed for website?

Following are the tools that can be used to get a detailed analysis around the Page Speed:

–   PageSpeed Insights – This tool helps you understand how fast the pages on your website load. There are two types of data where SEO needs to work – lab data and field data. We can compare field and lab Core Web vitals performance through this data.­

–   Lighthouse, Web Vitals Extension, and DevTools by Chrome – These tools help you extract more technical data and analyze the experiments carried out by you to improve Core Web Vitals.

–   Chrome User Experience Report – This report helps you understand user experience metrics for how real-world chrome users experience websites on the web. You can also use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to gather in-depth real user measurement (RUM) data for more detailed URL level; analysis and insights into the site’s performance.

Search Console’s New Core Web Vitals and Page Experience Report- This report would help you understand how your website performs by segregating the pages into Good URLs, Poor URLs, and Needs Improvement URLs. You can work on these pages to improve the Page Experience.

Now that you have understood Core Web Vitals and the importance of Core Web Vitals, let’s move towards understanding other important metrics of Page Experience:

  • Mobile Friendly – Through a mobile-friendly test you can understand whether your site is optimized for Mobile.
  • HTTPS – This means you are using a secure connection for our website. This helps in encrypting the communication between the website and its visitors.

No Intrusive interstitials- You should avoid using intrusive interstitials and dialogues that obstruct users' view of the content. This activity is usually carried out for Promotional Purposes.

Chapter 4:
 

Optimizing website for UX

How to optimize a Website for Best User Experience?

To begin optimizing the website for the best user experience, you can start with Core Web Vitals, then move towards content that is already present on your website and finally check if the website is safe for browsing.

  1. Optimizing the Core Web Vitals:
  • You can extract the Core Web Vitals report from Google Search Console, and work on optimizing the pages that require improvement.
  • You can use Page Speed insights to determine the lab and field issues for the pages.
  • For Lab Data, you can use Page Speed Insights and for field data, you can use Chrome User Experience (UX) Report.
  • For further details, you can go to web.dev/measure. This tool helps you measure your page and present the Field test data for further optimization.
  • You can also use Lighthouse CI to ensure that there are no issues in Core Web Vitals before you execute the changes.
  1. Optimizing the Content Present on the Website:
    Improving Core Web Vitals helps you improve the rankings on SERP (Search Engine Ranking Pages). You need to create content that would engage users to stay on the site for a long. Google also made it clear that ‘Great Content is Supreme.’ Great content would help websites rank higher in the SERP. Therefore, optimizing the content present on the website and providing relevant content to users would help you achieve higher rankings in the SERP. Google has also rolled out a Core Update regarding “Helpful Content” on 18th August 2022 which states that websites should create People-First content i.e., generate helpful content for the users.
     
  2. Providing Safe Browsing to the Users:
    You should make sure that your website is served over HTTPS and that the pages on your website do not contain malicious content. You can check if your website has any safe-browsing issues with Google’s Security Issue Report.
     
  3. Making a Website Mobile Friendly:
    You need to ensure that your website passes the mobile-friendly test which would ensure that the website is optimized for mobile use.
     
  4. Avoiding use of Interstitial:
    Interstitials are a type of pop-ups that come in the form of advertisements on our website. You should avoid the use of nasty pop-ups on your website
     

Some Last Words,

Optimizing the website for user experience and speed in the past was a bit difficult as we did not have insights into what makes a site fast and improves the user experience. Over the years, Google understood the need for these metrics and the demand of users for an interactive and fast-loading website. The metrics released by Google help us understand and score the websites in terms of Page Experience. It is important for businesses nowadays to focus on a Page Experience that provides users with a highly intriguing website.


FAQs

Google rolled out a broad core algorithm update called “The Page Experience Update” on June 16th, 2021. This update focused on bringing a better user experience to users by prioritizing pages that offer the best quality page performance. Google released important metrics like First Input Delay, Culminative Layout Shift, and Largest Contentful Paint which helps us create a high-quality performing page i.e., fast load, non-shifting, and a stable page.
Yes, Page Experience is a ranking factor. Google announced that Page Experience Signals will be included in Google Search Rankings. Page Experience Signals majorly comprises Core Web Vitals metrics released by Google. Businesses should be focusing on improving the Page Experience of their websites for better rankings.
Following are the steps that would help you to check the Page Experience of your website:
Step 1: Open Google Search Console
Step 2: Go to Page Experience Tab on the Left-Hand Side Navigation
Step 3: You will get the URLs with Page Experience for both Mobile and Desktop
Step 4: You will get rankings signals like URLs passing Core Web Vitals, Mobile Usability & HTTPS.
Google has confirmed that Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor. Therefore, yes, Web Vitals affect SEO. Google’s Web Vitals i.e., LCP, FID, and CLS help us to improve both the user experience and website rankings.