Google Introduces Game Changing Algorithm and What You Should Do About It
SEO is eternally dynamic. Google is always deciphering the best way to credibly rank websites. This dynamism is understandable given the mammoth crowds of sites strewn online, all fiercely battling for a spot on Google's top pages. Sort of a digital World War 3, right?
The incinerating competition among websites to rank higher explains why Google is always tweaking its ranking algorithms to ensure the best deserving sites rank higher. For the SEO (search engine optimization) community, while we can't say winter is coming as in Game of Thrones, Google will be rolling out significant search engine algorithm updates in 2021.
In 2021, Google will execute a Page Experience update to its ranking algorithms. Sounds as complex as Elon Musk's Space X rockets? Actually, it is far simpler. Google will be ranking websites with an enhanced user experience more. Sure, this will be a direct measure of the usability of your website.
This means that if your visitors enjoy your website pages or gain more value from their time on your website, Google will add you to its good books and rank you higher. I bet this is no good news for those gluttonously chasing traffic and profitability at the expense of a user-friendly UI.
Alright, I hear you grumbling that you want to hear from the horse's mouth itself. Well, I wouldn't keep you waiting for long. Here is Google's announcement about the upcoming algorithm update:
"The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction."
Yes, you read it right. Don't sweat it, there is little to be frightened about if you can take early steps to prepare for the upcoming updates. I think it is a fair play that Google is giving us a heads-up about these coming changes.
From now till 2021 is quite a while, correct? So let me assume that you have ample time to effect the needed changes to improve your user experience.
The more pressing question now is what changes you need to make to improve your user experience. You are in luck, I will tell you!
How to optimize your user experience
Make the best of white space
Indeed, many website owners are greedy about the display space of their sites. It stings them to have unused white spaces, especially as they could be filled with some ads that pour in some sweet dollars.
If you ask me, I will say using white space is tremendously beneficial to your site's user experience. First, it is a core component of good UI design. Trust me, your audience loves the white space as it garnishes your content with more visibility. This way, your visitor can better focus on elements bordering the text.
Do you want me to burst your bubble? Crazy Egg reveals that have white space around your text white makes your readers 20% more attentive to the text. For me, I love the freshness and openness that white space embellishes a website with. It is as savory as walking into that spacious, beautiful palace. Oh, sweet home!
Nonetheless, given the fact that white space takes up considerable real estate on your site, we want to keep it modest. Make sure you find the appropriate balance between the crucial things to communicate to your audience. That way, you would highly enhance such text and image with white space bounding it.
Use images the right way
I love images. And I am confident most of your website visitors like me have a sentimental attachment to stunning visuals. But, more than this, we are all getting cannier in determining your company's credibility from the quality of your images.
If you want to throw us off, just load your website with some generic stock photos. Chances are we have seen it before on other sites; therefore, it would lack that personalized flavor on your website. This would make me doubt your credibility.
For a website stacked with images it has no copyrights to, I would be skeptical about buying or staying long on that website. This means the user experience of your website is sliding down fast. Uh-uh!
Make sure your page has the right speed
Ever wondered why the Fast and Furious franchise is always a blockbuster? Speed, my friend! In our contemporary world, speed is a virtue while patience the vice. Everyone loves it CRAZILY FAST.
This applies to your website too, buddy. I don't want to sleep off on your website because of its lethargic loading speed. The same applies to your website visitors. They want to access your content and move on quickly. Some have got appointments waiting.
So if your website pages load too long, they are jumping off like they are on fire! This translates to increased bounce rates. Statistics from Section.io makes it even scarier! According to this, if your website takes an additional five seconds to load, 20% more visitors are going to close your website.
Ah, I can see the sweat profusely dropping off your forehead by now. Well, this is not a death sentence for your website. You can take concrete steps to increase your load speed.
First, you want to compress images before you load them in. The size of your image file will significantly contribute to the speed of your website. You can use this tool to reduce this size and aggressively speed up your page's loading speed.
Now, given the increasing proliferation of people accessing the internet from their mobile phones, you want your website to be mobile friendly as well, loading fast and navigating intuitively on mobile. Here is a lovely Google resource on upping your loading speed.
Make sure your call to actions charm more
Call to actions (CTAs) are excellent in directing the procession of visitors on your site. The capacity to cautiously lead them from one page to another contextual value-adding page is crucial to the user experience of your audience.
But I will tell you what, we are all naturally stubborn! It is the inherent tendency of people to skip past your call to action. They are like, "Who are you to tell me what to do? Brad Pitt???" and they moonwalk off their own way. But if your call to action is more charming, they would stop in their tracks for a moment or two and click it!
The first question is, how compelling is the message of your call to action (CTA)? How psychologically delicious is this concoction of words you dish out to them? Does it grip them? Does it "kidnap" their attention? You want to go with words that trigger your audience.
Thinking about Harry Porter's spells? Yes, something that kind of hypnotic! Well, it is more than the words. The color and design of the call to action would determine the mental pull the CTA has.
I wouldn't need to remind you that different colors will evoke varying responses in your audience. Also, take note of the emotional profile of your visitors. This explains why you need to pick them delicately.
There you are! This is an encompassing guide on how to improve your page experience and party like it is '99 when Google rolls out this algorithm update in 2021. Implement them appropriately, and you can thank us later.
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