Google uses a number of factors to determine where your website appears in the results to relevant search queries. Over the past 18 months or so, we’ve talked to you about how important it is for sites to be mobile friendly and secure. Google’s started ranking sites that limit the use of interstitial ads over those that don’t, and the expectation is there that your site offers a safe browsing experience.
Now Google has announced it’s adding a new criteria to the mix: page experience. Paraphrasing from their announcement, Google explains a great page experience as one that enables people to get more done and engage more deeply whereas a bad page experience stands in the way of the user finding out more.
The Three Components of Page Experience
Google has identified Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability as the component elements of page experience.
- Loading is measured by how long it takes for the largest content element to become visible.
- Interactivity measures how long it takes the browser to respond when a user interacts with an element on your websites, such as clicking a button.
- Visual Stability is the measure of how much of the content on the screen affected by movement.
You’ll hear Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability referred to as core – that’s what Google named them – and if you want the best site ranking possible, you’re going to need to work on your core.
3 + 4 + 1 = 8 Elements Your Site Needs to Rank Well
When Google introduced the elements of Page Experience, they made it clear that they’ll be including it in their site ranking decisions six months from now – in other words, the beginning of 2021. At that point, you’re going to want your website to be performing well in these 8 areas:
- Loading, Interactivity & Visual Stability: These are the 3 components of page experience.
- Mobile-Friendliness, Security, Safe Browsing & No Bad Pop-Ups: These are the 4 areas Google has been prioritizing most recently.
- Unique Quality Content: Google continues to emphasize original, well-crafted content as an extremely important ranking factor.
Get Up to Speed One Step At a Time – But Start Now
Realistically, most retailers and similar small businesses need to have their website in good shape before the holiday shopping season begins. The most efficient way to improve site performance is to do an audit that determines how well you’re currently performing, identifies areas of improvement, and allows for prioritization so you can make the most impactful changes first.