Guest Post by Prudence Shank, Haley Marketing
Last summer, Google announced yet another critical update to its algorithm: Page Experience. This update will have a significant impact on your staffing website’s ability to rank well in search. But what is this update all about, and do you need to be concerned about your site?
What Is Page Experience?
“Page experience” is all about how users interact with a site and whether their experience is simple or challenging. To determine a positive page experience, Google will be looking at very specific signals:
- Mobile friendliness
- Safe browsing
- Intrusive third-party ads (rarely a concern for staffing companies)
Google has added Web Vitals to help site owners monitor the way Page Experience is judged. These new vitals focus on:
- Page loading: How quickly your pages fully display to users.
- Interactivity: The time that elapses between a user’s click or tap on a link/CTA on a page to the time the browser processes the interaction.
- Visual stability: preventing unexpected moving of page content.
Why Does Any of This Matter?
For starters, humans have a rapidly decreasing attention span. Twenty years ago, we all had to wait quite some time for our dial-up connections to load pages, but today, people want instant gratification. Google’s data and research support the fact that the longer your pages take to load, the less likely someone is to stay on your site – especially on mobile devices. According to them:
- As page load time increase from one to ten seconds, the probability that a mobile user will give up and back out increase by 123%
- One to three seconds: Probability of bounce increases by 32%
- Three to five seconds: Probability of bounce increases by 90%
- Five to six seconds: Probability of bounce increases by 106%
- Six to ten seconds: Probably of bounce increases by 123%
- As the number of elements on a page increases, the probability of conversion drops as much as 95%
So, the longer it takes for your pages to load and for users to view and interact with your pages, the less likely they are to take action, which can cost your staffing company both potential applicants and potential clients.
And, if you rank well today for pages that are taking too long to load, you will likely see a decrease in rankings this summer.
How Can You Enhance Page Experience?
If you are concerned about Page Experience, these are the factors to consider:
- Is your site optimized for mobile search? Mobile devices are responsible for 51% of global website traffic. If your page is not mobile-friendly, talk to Haley Marketing about getting there. Your website should be simple and responsive, so it appears attractive on mobile screens. If you aren’t sure whether your site is mobile-friendly, Haley can help you determine that, as well.
- Does your site load quickly? Google’s data and research show that a single second delay during load time can decrease conversions by 70%. One single second. Google recommends a load speed of three seconds. Improving load speed is a bit technical, so if you aren’t a webmaster or don’t have one at your staffing agency, talk to Haley Marketing.
- Does your site have clear CTAs? Your site has some form of calls-to-action (CTAs). These are the places where you ask visitors to click or take action, like signing up for a newsletter, applying for a job or requesting talent. Your CTAs should speak to the appropriate audience, they should clearly stand out from the rest of the copy (like in button form), and they should be bright and positioned properly on pages.
- Do your images have Alt Text? Alt Text is HTML code that describes an image on your page. This text is displayed if there is a page-load error and the image can’t be shown, and for visually impaired visitors that use software to read web pages aloud. Alt tags should be short, specific, and ideally should include a keyword, as they can help boost your rankings.
- Is your content relevant and useful? Quality, relevant content is still Google’s number one ranking factor, and this is never likely to change. Your content should be simple, it should answer a need, and it should be unique.
Page Experience Is Important – But You Can’t Neglect Content
At the risk of sounding repetitive, you cannot neglect quality content.
Page Experience as a ranking factor will carry more weight and significantly impact your ability to do well in search engines, but that doesn’t mean that other best practices will carry any less weight.
In fact, Google has said that a great page experience won’t override great page content. So even if your site is mobile-friendly and loads lightning-fast, if your content is not relevant, high-quality and useful to visitors, you still will not rank well.
The pages on your website-proper should be well-structured, unique and useful, but you can’t stop there. You should update your blog regularly because quality content is not a set-it-and-forget-it factor. Staffing companies that blog regularly (four times per month) and use their blogs to answer common questions and fill needs always see their rankings improve drastically over time.
Is Your Website Ready for the Page Experience Update?
If you are worried that your website won’t pass muster in this new algorithm update, talk to the experts at Haley Marketing Group. Every site we create is built with user experience in mind, and we have always focused on page load speeds, security, and mobile friendliness.