Google loves to continually change and update its algorithm, and this year is no exception as The Google Page Experience Update comes into force in May.
It’s important you take action today to prepare your website so you don’t get left behind or penalised once the Google algorithm update is rolled out.
So, what is The Google Page Experience Update?
Google wants websites that are more user-friendly to rank higher, than those that aren’t. This means that following the update, Google will be analysing how usable and accessible a website is for a visitor.
In Google’s own words, they explain the update as:
“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile.
“We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”
But will this actually affect my website?
To put simply, yes. Following the rolling out of Google’s algorithm update this year, your food website could be penalised if it doesn’t score well for usability.
For example, if visitors to your website struggle to locate key information such as opening times or find it difficult to make a booking or locate your menu, Google will class this as providing an experience that isn’t user-friendly.
If you don’t take action to improve your website’s user experience today, you will see traffic plummet as your ranking goes down.
To help you get prepared, we’ve outlined 4 simple steps to take to improve customer experience before it’s too late.
1) Optimise your speed and reduce errors
The faster your website loads, the better experience your users are going to have. This is the most important aspect of Google’s Page Experience Update.
If your website is slow to load, you risk time-poor users clicking off and your bounce rate increasing. Something that will be a red flag for Google.
Aim for your website to load in under 3 seconds – although ideally under 1 second is best.
Now for the technical areas to be aware of…don’t worry we’re here to help break it down for you.
The new update places a focus on a website’s technical health and metrics to measure the user experience.
This includes looking at how quickly your website’s page content loads, how quickly a browser responds to user input, and how stable the content is as it loads in the browser.
2) Compare your website experience to competitors
Can users quickly view your menu or make a table booking? Although you might think your website looks great, is it actually satisfying user intent?
The Google Page Experience Update could rank your competitors’ websites higher than yours if they offer a better user experience. By analysing your top competition you’ll be able to consider how their content quality compares to yours.
3) Analyse your website with an audit
Even after looking at competitor websites, it can be difficult to identify exactly why or where your website might be penalised following Google’s algorithm update.
One way to find usability issues is through conducting a website audit. At Eat Marketing, our detailed marketing audits can benchmark your website against competitors, suggesting ways to improve user experience across your site.
Using creative design to implement usability updates
Following a website audit, you’ll be able to see where improvements need to be made on your website to meet Google’s expectations.
Through creative user experience design, you can then implement these changes to increase your website’s usability whilst remaining on-brand.
How will I know if my user experience updates work?
Following the roll out in May, Google has said the Page Experience Update will test various ways to display a “visual indicator” in the search results page. This indicator will inform if a specific search result is predicted to offer a great experience to a user.
Although not 100% confirmed, Google has said we may soon see these visual indicators in search results as icons and labels that will identify pages that meet all of the page experience update criteria.
Improve user experience and make customers happy
The key takeaway from Google’s algorithm update is that the focus will be on good brands who provide the best possible experience for a user. Those who decide not to take action will see the impact this has on their website, when your competitors who have implemented changes begin to rank higher as the year goes by.
Find out how to improve your website’s user experience today with a website audit to ensure your website inline with the updated algorithm or discover other ways we can help improve customer’s experience with your brand.