Google updates can be a headache for us SEO’s. They are random. Break down our work and make things worse. But, they carry loads of opportunities as well. In this post, we will share some insights on How to rank in 2021, provided your have already done a wonderful job on On Page SEO.
Latest Google Updates
Google announced that as of May 2021, page experience signals shall be one of the prominent factors in Google Search ranking. This will update the Google algorithm to incorporate new signals to determine search ranking.
What does this mean for search?
Let’s take a closer look at ranking factors and what you can do to rank your websites.
What are Page Experience Signals?
PAGE EXPERIENCE IS A SET OF SIGNALS THAT MEASURE HOW USERS PERCEIVE THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERACTING WITH A WEB PAGE BEYOND ITS PURE INFORMATION VALUE.
To break it down, Page experience signals include Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPs, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Let’s break it down even more.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web vitals are subset of web vitals that matter the most. It’s a basic part of page experience. We can break it down in 3 parts.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Back in 2015, Google made it clear that Mobile is the future. Your site has to be mobile friendly for it to rank. If you don’t have a mobile friendly site, now is the time to get it done, considering it improves user’s experience and helps scoring in ranking factors.
No one wants to visit a website full of Trojans and viruses. Neither do they want to visit a site that has hidden links or redirects. Hence Google came up with Safe browsing as one of the main ranking factors.
Safe browsing allows webmasters to resolve security issues with their website.
Webmasters can use Google Search Console to access the security issues report, which detects six security issues: malware, deceptive pages, harmful downloads, and uncommon downloads.
In 2016, Google provided an update on websites transitioning from HTTP to HTTPS to incorporate secure browsing, enable the best performance, and introduce features to benefit site conversions.
Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines
Generally, everyone wants to make money from their websites. Hence you’ll find websites with too many ads, popunders, popups or floating ads that disrupt a users’ experience. They can’t navigate to a page or post without triggering a popunder or ad clicks.
To maximize and allow a better user experience, Google, in 2017, announced that in the transition to mobile search results, pages without easily-accessible content would not rank as high.
So, what now? How do I rank?
Since Google believes providing information about a website’s user experience is helpful, they will begin testing visual indicators to identify pages in search results that meet all of the page experience criteria. This feature will roll out in May 2021.
This Google update should serve as a reminder to always put your audience first. This means you should ensure your content and user experience cater to user preferences and accessibility.
Tools you can use
There are plenty of free tools available to you that will allow you to monitor these new ranking factors on your website.
Using them to consistently monitor your own website will not only help your user experience metrics soar but bring more potential customers to convert.
A few examples include:
- PageSpeed Insights: Here you can check multiple metrics that go into your entire website’s page speed rating.
- Mobile-Friendly Test: Check here if your website performs as well on mobile as it does on desktop.
- Chrome User Experience Report: This report collects real-time data for each Core Web Vital, as listed above.
- Google Search Console: This gives you a glimpse into what is happening within your website, based on real-world usage from actual consumers.
Audit Your Site
With Responsinator, you can test out how your website looks on a plethora of mobile devices, from phones to tablets. This is a great, free way to ensure that the actual rendering of your page is not lost in translation between different devices.
Improve your PSI Score.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool helps you by telling how well your website performs on both desktop and mobile browsers. It also provides detailed information that can be used to deliver a faster user experience. If your PSI is below the average score of 80, you should start optimizing your website.
You should optimize your images, compress and get them in proper sizes to decrease load times.
Also, Browser caching is another simple fix that significantly improves the speed of your page. Essentially, a browser cache allows a web browser to remember commonly occurring elements of your site, such as header and footer material.
To get ready for the upcoming update, get down to the basics. Monitor your website from a searchers / visitors’ point of view. Minimize intrusions, secure the site, improve load times and maximize user experience.
Since the Google update is expected in May 2021, we can’t be sure how it will affect websites in SERP’s. What we can do is provide best practices, advice, and predictions based on our experience, historical examples, and industry knowledge.