Anticipate the Page Experience update of 2021

1ère Position

A few months ago, Google expressed its wish to take the quality of the user experience on sites into consideration in the ranking of its results pages. Theoretically the Experience update page from Google is scheduled for May 2021.

It has been several years since, as an SEO expert, we understood the importance of UX (User eXperience). Even though we do our best to put strategies in place for you to gain visibility and traffic, it is of little use if the site doesn’t transform. SEOs like to see growth in Sessions, new users, time per session or page type metrics, or a drop in bounce rate. At 1time Position, we know and always keep in mind that our customers are looking for an increase in their conversions, whether in the form of leads or sales.

The term “SXO” (Search eXperience Optimization) appeared in 2018 (we already talked about it in a previous article) and corresponds to strategies for acquiring qualified traffic on sites whose UX has been optimized in order to create a good browsing experience and maximize conversions.

How to improve the UX of your site?

Several signals should be taken into consideration to improve the user experience on their site. Google recommends several axes of analysis and optimization.

1. Core Web Vitals metrics

Experience Update page: Core Web Vitals metrics

The analysis here is based on 3 axes: the loading, interactivity, visual stability.

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) : Measures the performance of a page load time. A page should be able to load in less than 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID) : Measures the time that the site takes between a visitor’s interaction (be it clicking on a link, a button / CTA, or others) and the response provided. Less than 100 milliseconds are recommended.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) : Measures the stability of the site when loading its content. Google believes that the elements (text content, images, various blocks) that move while the page is loading can be annoying for the user.

Find Google’s feedback on Core Web Vitals metrics issues right in your Search Console, in the Essential Web Signals section.

2. Other criteria to improve your user experience

  • Have a fast site: Reducing the weight of a page can be done by various actions:
    • Reduce the volume of redirected links
    • Reduce the weight of images
    • Reduce the weight of CSS and JS resources
    • Increase the performance of the host server
  • Minimize unwanted site exits: Be careful of your 4xx or 5xx error links; remember to configure the opening of your external links in a new tab.
  • Offer a simple site architecture: the Internet user must be able to access any page in 3 clicks or less. Help your visitors to locate themselves thanks to the presence of a breadcrumb trail.
  • Make your content easier to read: Presence of a clickable summary. Content structuring (Hn) with short, easy to read paragraphs.
  • Meet the needs of Internet users: Use of questions / answers. Quality content. Respond to search intentions.
  • Have a secure site: If this is not already the case, opt for an SSL certificate to switch your site to HTTPS
  • Facilitate navigation: Allow the identification and quick access of links and action buttons to your conversion objectives (CTA)
  • Have a responsive site: As the share of mobile traffic continues to increase, a mobile friendly site has become essential
  • Review your Title and meta description tags so that their content corresponds to what the Internet user can find on the page, that this encourages clicks and increases your CTR.

The keys to detecting UX optimizations on your site

Anticipate the Page Experience update of 2021

Before any UX optimization, it is important to go through data analysis upstream in order to identify the brakes and try to resolve them. Several KPIs can guide you:

1. The bounce rate

In the majority of cases, a high bounce rate indicates dissatisfaction on the part of the Internet user. This can be linked to the loading speed, but also to a gap between the promise (content of Title and meta-description tags) and the proposal (content of your page), or to low quality or poorly presented content, not meeting the requested need. You have 8 seconds to capture the attention and interest of your visitors, 8 seconds to load your page and allow your proposal to be quickly identified.

2. Time spent on the page

This notion of time can also be linked to the satisfaction of the Internet user. We read on average between 200 and 250 words per minute. The time spent on the page will allow you to estimate what is read and this can guide you to reorganize your content. Adding video is also a way to keep your users on your page longer.

3. Loading speed

No one likes to wait. More than 3 seconds to load your content and the risk of premature departure skyrockets.

4. Conversions or flows to the conversion tunnel

Analytics tracking of certain actions makes it possible to identify pages that are performing poorly or poorly.

In the next 6 months, we recommend that you audit your site (or have it audited, contact our SEO experts and Data, they are there for you) in order to determine the possible areas of optimization to be implemented by the Experience update page of May 2021, and thus avoid loss of visibility in the face of your competition during this update.

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