Did you know that user experience for your website visitors is not only helpful in general, but that it also impacts SEO? In fact, Google’s recent algorithm changes now rank websites based on how easily a user interacts with the page. The new ranking factors for page experience are as follows, via Google Developers:
Core Web Vitals:
The page provides a good user experience, focusing on the aspects of loading, interactivity, and visual stability:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
- First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
Here are some tools that can help you measure and monitor Core Web Vitals.
The page is mobile-friendly. Check if your page is mobile-friendly with the Mobile-Friendly Test.
The page doesn’t contain malicious (for example, malware) or deceptive (for example, social engineering) content. Check to see if your site has any safe-browsing issues with the Security Issues report.
The page is served over HTTPS. Check if your site’s connection is secure. If the page isn’t served over HTTPS, learn how to secure your site with HTTPS.
No intrusive interstitials
The content on the page is easily accessible to the user. Learn how interstitials can make content less accessible.
We’ve covered all of the above topics in-depth on the Boston Web Marketing SEO blog, but we also understand that it can be hard for business owners of all sizes to effectively track all these needs. The above factors have to do with optimized page design, website speed and content loading, security protocols, and mobile-friendly content.
New changes are going to require a potential overhaul of your search engine optimization efforts, which specifically revolve around user experience factors. If you already know that you’re in need of a new website or an SEO overhaul, then contact our team today to get started.
For any business that may need to double check its website’s user experience, here is a checklist to help you get started:
Check your website’s speed
Website speed is one of the most overlooked factors when auditing for user-friendliness. A slow website is more likely to lead to higher bounces and potential consumers leaving your website. Poor site speed also makes it harder to load high-quality content and landing pages. Site speed is already a factor in how Google ranks websites and can be potentially fixed in a few steps:
- Compress any image files as best as you can to reduce loading times on your pages. WordPress plugins are especially helpful in this process if your site is hosted through WP or a similar CMS.
- Minimize your server’s response time and see if you can remove unnecessary web resources. Again, you’ll likely need to contact the person that manages your website
- Enable browser caching so that previously loaded elements can load faster as users click through your site. Browser caching allows an internet browser like Google Chrome to “save” web elements to help load faster.
- Minimize the use of redirects for outdated content and see about other ways to reduce the need for redirects. Redirects are useful for managing outdated content, but too many can slow a site down.
Enable mobile-friendly use on your website
Mobile-friendly pages like accelerated mobile pages (AMP), mobile-versions of detailed webpages, and mobile-formatted call-to-actions are all easy ways to improve UI on mobile devices. However, mobile strategy should always be at the forefront of your SEO efforts. Mobile browsing, booking, and purchasing continues to skyrocket and outpace other forms of browsing. To build a comprehensive mobile SEO strategy, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Mobile SEO guide:
Build a secure site and enable secure browsing protocols (HTTPS)
Websites that have a secure browsing protocol (https vs. http) rank higher than non-secure sites. To check if your site is secure, see if the “https” at the beginning of your URL contains the letter “s.” If so, that means your webmaster has purchased an SSL certificate to ensure it is secure. If not, then make sure to purchase one and install it through your domain provider.
Audit any spammy links, comments, non-secure contact forms, and any other potential security risks for spam or hackers. Additionally, you may want to speak to an expert to get started on building a more secure website. The benefits of a secure site include improved traffic, ranking, and user engagement: