Six Expert Tips to Improve Your Page Experience
In May 2021, Google’s algorithm will incorporate page experience as a new ranking factor. This planned update, which could produce a significant shake-up in the organic search results landscape, will see the updated algorithm officially include the user experience of pages based on their ‘core web vitals’ metrics.
Failure to comply with Google’s new core web vitals could see law firms hit hard in the pocket as low-performing websites significantly slip down search results pages, directly reducing website visits and losing new enquiries to better optimised competitor websites.
To view your current site’s performance, along with historical data, check out our live chart that tracks on a weekly basis the website performance for the top 200 law firms’ against the ‘core web vitals’ that are the basis of the next Google update.
Having taken time out to analyse the performance of these websites (you can add your own to the list as well), we now turn our attention to helping you understand more about page experience and how to get your law firm’s site ready.
Although page experience covers areas such as page stability, improved mobile usability, and smoother, faster loading of a site. Everyone needs to remember that it just isn’t about meeting certain criteria for search engines, it’s ultimately about providing the best possible experience for your clients – and who doesn’t want to invest in that!?
In today’s world, where competition continues to rise each day, you need to take crucial steps to make sure your law firm stands out from the crowd, and is easy to do business with. A good website experience supports this, and is a key part in the customer’s journey to making an initial enquiry.
This is why it’s worth your time and money to make sure your site appears within the first page of search engines to provide your target client a seamless experience in making a new enquiry.
Google has always considered the user experience when deciding where to rank web pages. But those existing metrics will be joined by the new core web vitals in affecting the algorithm.
The full list as supplied by Google that will determine the overall page experience include:
Core Web Vitals
A combination of three key performance metrics – Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift – that measure the visual loading, interactivity, and visual stability of a page as it loads for users.
Reviews how easy websites are to navigate on mobile devices, including the readability of content and accessibility of links.
Assesses whether a user can browse safely. Looking for issues such as malware, phishing and hacked content.
Focuses on whether the connection of a website is secure.
Ensures that crucial on-page content is not obstructed for users as they are browsing.
Websites are typically the first and main touchpoint a potential client will have with your firm. First impressions matter and the experience they have interacting with the firm should be optimised online.
To help make sure your law firms’ website is ready for change and delivers the best possible experience, here’s Legmark’s top six tips to improve page experience:
Don’t obstruct important on page content with pop-ups: Consider redesigning, or repositioning any pop-ups and interstitials so they don’t obstruct important on-page content. Users hate having to physically close these to be able to continue their journey on your site.
Speed up loading times: Visually review the loading time of your above the fold content using the Performance tab in Chrome DevTools. Consider using methods like preloading resources to speed up visual load times.
Reserve space for images and embedded resources to load into: Another new Google core web vital metrics, CLS score, looks at the amount of visual layout a page moves arounds as it loads. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this one! You go to click on a link but the page moves and you end up on a different page. Right? This happens as there is no space reserved in the page’s structure for images and embedded resources to load into.
Check for any security issues: Google will be ranking sites that are safe for users to visit. A quick way to check for any issues is by looking at the security issues report in the Google Search Console.
Optimise for mobile: Double check that all your layouts and usability of the site lends itself to delivering a great experience across a number of mobile devices. Can they see important content without the need to zoom in? Check out the mobile usability report in Google search console. This will highlight any issues on individual pages and spot the issues prior to running a Google mobile friendly test.
By following these tips and incorporating updates into your planned SEO activity this will have a positive effect both in the short and long term. It will make certain your law firms’ site is in the best possible position to capitalise on the upcoming algorithm change.
After all, page experience is much more than meeting certain criteria for search engines, it’s about providing the best possible experience to also increase conversion rates.