Google has announced that they are making a dramatic change to their algorithm in May 2021. The Page Experience Update may have a dramatic impact on your website’s SEO and online rankings, so it is essential to take the time to make adjustments before May. By planning ahead, your practice can avoid losing the SEO benefits you have gained over previous years!
What is Google Page Experience?
Google uses several metrics to decide what websites make the first page of search results, and page experience is one of their key factors. Page Experience refers to how visitors interact with your website. Are they spending a lot of time reading your content? Do things resize correctly on smartphones and tablets? Do your pages load quickly? All these factors come together to create your page experience score.
Why Is Mobile Optimization Important?
Google has spent the past few years emphasizing mobile optimization, and this update will have severe impacts for websites that do not load correctly on mobile phones. If your website loads correctly on smartphones and tablets, you may see an extra boost in your SEO rankings after the update in May. However, if your website does not load well on mobile—or takes too long to load—you could see a drop in your overall rankings. To put these impacts into perspective, we can look at Google’s last major update, called “Google Panda.” Google Panda impacted 12% of all online search queries, including local search results. So, it is essential to start making changes now, so you do not lose all your hard work!
How to Mobile Optimize Your Website
When patients visit your website on their smartphones, it is essential that everything works just as well as on a desktop computer. Visit your practice’s website on both an iPhone and Android to see how your site loads on these major devices. Does the background shift at all? Are you able to click on buttons without them jumping around on the page? Do images shrink to fit your screen? When you flip the phone, does your website adjust to fit the wider view? Once you answer “yes!” to all these questions, you will be prepared for Google’s update in May. If you still need some work, you can reach out to a website design company like ProSites to help you fully prepare for Google’s new algorithm update.
The Importance of Page Load Times
In addition to mobile optimization, page load times will also play a significant role in this upcoming Google update. Your page load time is the time it takes to load each page of your website. To deliver a good user experience, your pages should take less than 2.5 seconds to load completely. Pages that load quickly generate higher user satisfaction and give you a boost on your SEO score. Google also states that conversion rates can drop up to 70% for every extra second of load time, so you will lose out on new appointments if your page does not load quickly.
How to Get Started
With less than a month to go, it is essential to take the time and adjust your website now! Reach out to your website provider if your website is not adjusting on mobile and loading quickly. And if it is time for a complete refresh, ProSites can help you design a sleek, modern website that automatically resizes on mobile and meets all of Google’s qualifications. ProSites is an endorsed partner of VDA Services and offers exclusive discounts for VDA members! To learn more about how to market your practice, reach out to ProSites at (888) 932-3644.
Piper Bloom is the Senior Marketing Manager at ProSites and loves helping small businesses optimize their marketing.