User experience, or UX, is long something that brands have been urged to take seriously when it comes to the design and optimisation of their websites. However, one recent development that could step up your urgency to look again at this side of your own brand’s site, is what Google has called its “page experience update”.

This particular change to Google’s search algorithm has turned heads among many a marketer and website owner, because it treats UX as a direct page ranking factor. In other words, Google is now emphasising to everyone that for webpages to achieve the highest possible rankings, they need to offer a strong user experience.

According to Google, the global rollout of the page experience update was completed by early September 2021 – in other words, it will be exerting its influence on your website’s search engine ranking performance right now.

So, what are just some of the ways you can help optimise your site’s UX to ensure it continues doing well on the search engine results pages (SERPs)?

Check for any security issues that could harm UX

One major change brought by the new Google update is that webpages will be demoted in the rankings if they use deceptive software – otherwise known as ‘malware’ – to effectively trick users into supplying their personal information.

Steps that you can take to prevent security issues from compromising your rankings in the wake of the “page experience update” include eliminating any unnecessary lead generation forms your website might have, as well as ensuring your site only has links and ads from reputable and verified sources.

Get rid of intrusive and annoying ads and pop-ups

While we’re on the subject of adverts, the Google “page experience update” has the most problematic ones in its sights. Specifically, if your site uses intrusive pop-ups that disrupt the browsing experience, or standalone or native interstitials that obstruct a page’s principal content, you can expect Google to hit you with a ranking penalty.  

Now, then, is the time to look again at how the ads on your site might be affecting its UX. Going forward, you will also need to apply discretion with the use of pop-ups on your site, and look for relatively unobtrusive places – such as sidebars – on which to place ads if they are needed.

Ensure your site provides a positive mobile experience

It has been a while now since Google started closely considering mobile friendliness when determining where sites appear in its rankings. The latest “page experience update”, then, is just one more thing that should be compelling you to scrutinise what user experience your site provides on smartphones.

Are the fonts that your site uses, for instance, large enough to be read on mobile devices without too much trouble? Is it easy to click on your site’s links if you access the site via a mobile browser? What about the amount of white space your site design has – is it good-looking and straightforward to navigate on a smartphone, or have you crammed so much content in there that it looks far too ‘busy’ on the small display of a phone or tablet?   

The above isn’t the ‘be all and end all’ of making sure your site fares strongly in the rankings in light of the Google “page experience update”. However, they are definitely things we would urge you to do, now that the update has been entirely rolled out and will be making its impact felt.

Contact the Jumping Spider Media team via phone or email today, and we will be pleased to advise you on our services, and to even give you a free website review to help your brand do better online.