Want your site to show up in Google Search? Time to focus on the user experience.
Learn all about Googles new Core Web Vitals so that your site shows up high in Google Search.
Google recently shared that they are introducing a new ranking system called Core Web Vitals which will rank sites based on a number of things, including user experience.
What does that mean for your website? Google is now going to be factoring user experience into its search results, meaning that if your site is not keeping user experience in mind and/or is poorly designed, it might get excluded from the top search results.
It will come into effect in 2021 so that everyone has time to prepare. While this is great news for users, it can be overwhelming for businesses who haven’t even considered user experience of their sites till now.
But it shouldn’t be — it’s great news and a push needed for site owners to improve their websites. I combined a list of things Google will now look at so that you know what you need to look out for.
What can you do to make sure your site complies with the Web Vitals?
To help you out with this transition, I compiled some of the findings from the core web vitals list so that you understand the areas for improvement.
As Google said: “Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.”
Core Web Vitals will evolve over time, but for 2020 Google is focusing on the three main aspects of user experience. You can already see how your site is performing by installing this Google Chrome Extention.
You might look at the main aspects of Google is currently focusing on and think — what do they mean? Here’s a quick breakdown:
Largest Contentful Paint
This measures the loading performance. It measures the loading speed of the largest piece of content of the site.
To provide a great user experience for users, you want your site to load as quickly as possible. Users expect pages to load in two seconds and if it takes any longer, you might lose up to 40% of your users. If your site takes longer than 2.5seconds, you need to improve your loading speed.
First Input Delay
This measures the time it takes for the site to respond after users’ first interaction with the page ie. clicking a button. To provide good user experience, you want this time to be less than 100ms.
Cumulative Layout Shift
This is all about the visual stability of the page. If the page unexpectedly shifts at any point ie. the content is unstable and moves while the user is interacting with the page, which can cause users to create mistakes. The CLS score should be less than 0.1
That’s not all.
Google believes that the Core Web Vitals are critical to all web experiences, but as I mentioned before, these will evolve over time and become more and more accurate. You should make sure that your website follows the best user experience practices.
At Threefold, we can help you meet your business goals while providing users with a seamless user experience, but there are small improvements that can implement yourself to improve your sites experience:
Make sure your site is mobile friendly and responsive.
More and more users browse on the go and your site needs to be responsive and easily usable on mobile devices. If your user is finding it hard to complete tasks on mobile, they will simply just leave and go somewhere else. Make sure your navigation makes sense, the text is readable, and calls to action are easily clickable.
Optimize your images.
This is something that Google is already considering in their Lighthouse audits. Large images slow down your website, and speed is extremely important — if your site is slow, users will get frustrated and might turn elsewhere to find the information they need.
There is a misconception that the larger the image, the better the quality. This is not true at all. You should scale your images to the size you will be using them — larger images can slow down your website, and in turn make you users drop off. There are many free image resizers and optimizers you find on the web.
You can also batch edit images in Photoshop, or use Image Optimizer to optimize many images at once.
Make sure your site is accessible.
This is again, something that Google is already looking at. There are many things you need to be looking at to improve accessibility.
This is very important as many users can stop using the website just because it’s not accessible. You can check the accessibility of your site by using HTML Code Sniffer as well as Google Lighthouse audit. You’re not doing so well on accessibility?
Find out tips on how to quickly improve it.
You want to make sure that the design of your site is consistent. This improves the functionality and usability of the website, as well as how pleasant it is to look at.
Your navigation, fonts, page layout, and any other design elements of similar pages such as articles or posts should be consistent. Users will find it easier to find information on a website that uses consistent elements, and in turn — trust you more!
Give it all some more space.
Negative space is a very important tool in grabbing users’ attention. By using space, you are making your content more legible and helping users focus on what matters the most.
Chunk your content.
This is also related to space, but just as important. One easy way to help your users consume and engage with your content is to break it down into sections that are easy to understand and scan through. Want to find out more about chunking? Nielsen Norman Group wrote a great article about it.
Make user’s lives easier.
If users are findings something hard or annoying to do, they are more likely to leave. See if there are any frictions in the journey your user has to take. Put yourself in your users shoes— would you be annoyed or frustrated with the experience?
Make their lives as easy as possible. Remove any distractions, inconsistencies, unnecessary actions and simplify as much as you can. You can find out what is annoying them by talking to them…
Talk to your users.
You can create the most beautiful website or app in the world, but it might not perform well.
In order to make your users happy and meet their needs, you need to find out what they want! You can get in touch with an expert to conduct user testing, but there are also things you can do yourself.
Setting up surveys, asking for users' feedback, or even analyzing HotJar or Google Analytics can help you understand your users.
This is just a drop in the ocean, but I really hope this article gave you some quick ideas on how you can quickly improve the overall experience of your site — or at least identify that you need to tweak those areas.