Going beyond mere information value, 'page experience' is a set of signals that measure how your website users perceive the experience of interacting with any specific page on your website.
Remember this quip from our Services page where we say 'perception is reality'?
Your website's worst user perception is about to become part your website's ranking reality, thanks to a new Google algorithm update.
Page experience is the virtual embodiment of user perception, and it includes all the metrics that measure real-world user experience for your website's loading performance, interactivity and visual stability (together known as the Core Web Vitals). And it also includes existing search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, security (SSL certificates) and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
The simplest way to define page experience is it measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimising for 'user delight' will go a long way in helping your website evolve towards your website visitors' expectations, especially on mobile.
Since Google works on identifying and measuring various aspects of page experience, they continue to add more and more signals every year to align with user expectations as well as increasing the aspects of user experience that can easily be measured.
Google is in the process of combining the signals they derive from Core Web Vitals with their existing Search signals to provide a holistic picture of page experience. Now, whenever Google publicly admits that they 'will' be doing something, it usually means they are already doing it - how else would they know page experience is a good signal to include in their algorithm?
What this means for your website is that every single page on your site will have a page experience ranking from Google. There is no cause for alarm though, because they won't include page experience as a ranking signal until 2021.
And they've promised they will give us all a 6 months' heads up. It's probably in testing right now. So let's get to work.
If you want to beat your competition next year, you need to get on top of the grievances your website visitors have, now! So this might be a good time to send out a survey to people who have already opted in to your newsletter, to start collecting some valuable feedback.
And why not? You want your website visitors to find the information they want without delay, without any confusion and ideally, in a manner that delights them. After all, this will only improve your bottom line.
Will this update affect your existing rankings negatively? That really depends on your current website design and how it measures up to current standards:
- Is your website optimised for mobile?
- Is your website secure?
- Do you need to review how you place your ads and images? (Is it hard to tap on links on mobile?)
- What's your page load speed?
It is still unclear exactly how Google will bring about the the change in its algorithm when they turn the switch on for page experience. All we can say is that we need to be prepared for it.
So call your digital marketing team and ask them to install some heatmaps and record some users' activity around the site.
Launch that survey and collect some feedback.
Ask your team to head into Google Search Console and identify opportunities for improvement. Let's see how delighted your users are at the moment.
Perhaps get in touch with someone that can do website design and development with page experience in mind and get a quote for the work that you may need to do to optimise for page experience. Maybe you need a new website?
Remember, your goal shouldn't be to match your competition when it's too late, but to beat them with forward thinking.
If you need any advice, we offer a few consultations every month for free, and you can book them right here.