You may or may not have heard of Google Page Experience. But in the SEO industry, it’s all a lot of us are talking about. It’s our business to keep up with everything Google, or search engine related, and act preemptively so that your SEO strategy continues to be successful. Failure to keep up with Google’s changes can cause your ranking in search results to plummet, which is why we are already at work for our clients, updating their websites as needed. SEO, or search engine optimization, is both an art and a science. With the Google algorithm update rolling out in mid-June, we’ll be focusing on the science/technical end of things. And by the way, if your web team hasn’t already mentioned the Google Page Experience changes to you, ask them why not. They should be on top of this.

What Is Page Experience and How Do You Measure It?
Page experience is a group of signals that Google uses to measure how a visitor to your website perceives the experience of interacting with a web page. This goes beyond whether they find your content informative. These signals include the new Core Web Vitals, as well as the existing signals of mobile friendliness, HTTPS security, Safe Browsing, and no Intrusive Interstitials. As for how to measure page experience, Google will create a Core Web Vitals report and a Page Experience Report as part of your Google analytics. We apologize for all the jargon, and will try and explain things more simply, below.

Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals measure metrics affecting the user experience (UX), including page speeds, interactivity, and visual stability.

Largest contentful paint (LCP) measures how fast your web page loads. A user should not be met with a page where they can see portions of the page loading bit by bit. In fact, your site should have LCP within 2.5 seconds of when the page starts to load. And keep in mind, according to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.

First Input Delay
First input delay (FID) measures the responsiveness / interactivity of your website. In addition to the LCP, FID measures things like how long after the click of a mouse or tap on something new does the form pop up or the new page appear. Again, speed matters. Your FID should be less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative layout shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of your website. You may have had the experience of reading an article online when something unexpectedly changes. The text moves and you’ve lost your place. Or you go to click or tap on a link and it moves, and you end up tapping on an ad instead. You want your page layout to be extremely stable, and have a CLS score of .01 or less. So that’s what the Core Web Vitals are all about. If it sounds confusing, that’s because addressing them is a highly technical task best left to experienced web developers and SEO experts. This is not something the average business owner is capable of doing. Next, we address a few signals that factor into page experience that your web team should have already addressed.

Mobile Friendliness
For a while now, Google consistently ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). According to Statista, 90% of internet traffic worldwide originates from a mobile device. In the United States. 43.89% of total web traffic originates from a mobile device. The vast majority of Americans research online before hiring a service company or making a purchase, so you want to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Make it easy for people to find what they need. Use this tool to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

HTTPS Security
See that little padlock in the search bar at the top of this page? That simply means that we are using the best internet security protocol. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It’s a combination of the old HTTP and the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) / Transport Layer Security (TLS) internet protocols. Put simply, it encrypts information to keep sensitive information like names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, etc. from falling into the wrong hands. If you don’t have HTTPS on your website, Google may post a warning page telling a visitor to “go back to safety.” Or it may say Not Secure in the search bar. You don’t want either of those things to happen.

Safe Browsing
Safe browsing is related to security, but rather than an internet protocol, this means your site is not infected by malware, for example. Keeping your website security up to date is crucial, in more ways than one.

No Intrusive Interstitials
Intrusive interstitials are something on your website that is annoying, or blocks/disrupts a user’s ability to read the page content. Examples include large pop-ups, banners, and overlays promoting your business. Make them difficult to close by hiding the little x, and they’re an offense Google may penalize you for. You can still use smaller pop-ups for your cookie policy, small chat pop-ups in a lower corner, age verification popups, and legal pop-ups or site agreement pop-ups.

Content Is Still King
With all of these highly technical measurements of page experience, solid, informative content is still the major ranking factor. According to Google, “Google will still prioritize pages with the best informative content. 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.”

Partner with a Maryland SEO Company You Can Trust
We know you have choices when it comes to choosing between SEO agencies. We think you’ll find we are uniquely qualified to provide you with local SEO services that deliver a good return on your investment. You see, we’ve been helping small business site owners with search engine optimization since it first became a thing. We stay up on all of the latest changes so we can help keep you ahead of your competition. Contact us today for a FREE SEO analysis by calling 410-420-9390 or using our contact form.