Optimising Page Experience for SEO

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24 September 2021 | | Blog, Search Engine Optimisation

With Google’s new algorithm changes to rankings and around 1,040,000,000 results for the phrase “dentist near me”, it’s important to consider how users experience your website. 

Page experience is a set of signals used by Google (and other search engines) to measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a website. These signals are grouped into two categories, core web vitals and search engine signals. In the blog, we’ll break down the different signals, how they can affect your SEO and how to optimise page experience for your website. 


Core Web Vitals

The core web vitals apply to all web pages and represent a distinct facet of user experience. There are three aspects of core web vitals that Google is currently focusing on: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – measures loading performance 
  • First Input Delay (FID) – measures interactivity 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – measure visual stability 


Search Engine Signals 

Google also takes search engine signals into consideration when it comes to page experience. These signals offer important reference points to determine the quality or relevance of a website/web content following a search query. The key signals Google are focusing on regarding page experience are:

  • HTTPS – page security
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • No intrusive interstitials 


How does Page Experience affect SEO?

Great page experience offers users the best browsing option and enables them to engage with your website content more deeply. Having a poor page experience could stand in the way of a user finding valuable information about treatments or taking action such as filling in a contact form. This is why Google has included these elements as a part of the hundreds of signals they consider when ranking search results. 

So what does this mean for your SEO? Your website must be technically optimised to support the best possible user experience in order to achieve higher Google search rankings for the keywords you’re targeting.

However, it is important to remember that Google will still priorities pages with the best content (in relation to the search query) overall – even if not all elements of perfect page experience are achieved. Content is still king when it comes to SEO, but if your website’s content and your competitor’s content are similar, optimising page experience can give you that edge when it comes to Google ranking and search visibility. 


How you optimise Page Experience for your website

You can check how well your website is performing in terms of core web vital using free tools such as Google Search Console and Page Speed Insights. By optimising your website for these factors, users journey across your website will improve and you will slowly start to see positive changes in your SEO. 

Though many core web vital fixes may require a web developer, there are a lot of actions web editors can do to optimised websites for pages experience. 


Make your website mobile-friendly

You can check if your website is responsive via Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. You can also see a list of page loading issues under view details. 

If your website is built on a CMS platform such as WordPress, plugins such as WPtouchPro (makes your site mobile friendly) and WebP Converter (converts all images on your website to WebP files) can help improve user experience.

Google has also listed a few tips on what makes a good mobile site: 

  • Keep menus short and organised. It’s a good idea to merge similar fields into one to reduce the number of links in the menu bar.
  • Make sure that your logo on your mobile website takes users to your home page.
  • Don’t hide your search box in the menu bar. Your mobile visitors should access it with ease.
  • Your text and images need to be responsive, which means they must be readable on devices of all sizes.
  • Avoid CTA buttons that open new windows.
  • Place CTA buttons above the fold and in the centre. 
  • Avoid weak CTA’s such as learn more.


Improve your website speed

Your website loading is a large factor that can make or break user experience. According to Google, the probability of user bounce rate increases by 32% as the load time of your website goes from 1 to 2 seconds. Tools such as PageSpeed Insights can help you understand how fast your web pages load on desktop and mobile devices. It also offers suggestions on how to improve your loading speed as well as estimated savings in sections for each suggestion. 

Other actions you can take to improve your loading times: 

  • Compress all images to  WebP format – smaller, richer images files that can allow websites to load faster.
  • Use a content distribution network (CDN) – this enables various copies of your website to be saved in multiple locations, allowing the nearest version to be delivered to the user.
  • Increase the load time for returning users by enabling browser caching. 


Improving website security 

Poor website security can harm your SEO ranking. Installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on your website will provide authentication of an encrypted connection for your website making it HTTPS. Our Technical SEO team can help with this one!


Focus on content

As previously mentioned, Google still prioritises content when it comes to search rankings. Here are our tips to enhance the quality of your content.

  • Write content for your audience, not to please Google. Consider how users journey through your website and create content that nurtures them during each stage.
  • Use examples such as before and after pictures of treatments to help users better understand your content. 
  • Make sure your page title sits within a <h1> tag, and subheadings sit within <h2> or <h3> tags. This helps Google understand the important elements of your web content. 
  • Avoid using grammatical and spelling errors. 
  • Include relevant images and videos so your readers understand your content better. These also help break up long blocks of text and create a better user experience. 


Remove intrusive interstitials

Users visit your site to find an answer to their questions, therefore it’s important to provide them with easy, accessible content. Interstitials such as pop-ups that block information can lead to bad user experience and negatively impact the page experience. Consider what information is current in your website pop-up and if there is a better way to display this on your website. 


There’s a lot to manage when it comes to core web vitals and page experience, but at the end of the day, it’s all about providing the best user experience possible for your website visitors. As part of our SEO packages, our technical team and web developers can help improve your website’s page experience. To find out how your website is currently performing, get in touch with our team today. 

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