Edited April 22, 2021
Here’s an exciting and relieving (whew!) update to the blog we posted this week. Google announced there’s more time, details, AND tools for preparing your website’s user experience for the next big algorithm change. Read the scoop, take some deep breaths, and get to work! https://tinyurl.com/35atdb3u
If the title of this article sounds alarmist, that’s because we’re sounding a raucous alarm. Because unless your company has prepared its website for the upcoming May 2021 Google algorithm, your SEO juice will be affected. And what does that mean to your business? A potential dramatic decline in organic search rankings resulting in less website traffic, among other things.
The upcoming development focuses on user experience, which is great news for when you’re using other websites, but when it comes to fixing one, well…it’s kind of a pain. But, according to Google, “Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.”
Ok, but what does that even mean?
What IS Poor User Experience?
Takes Forever to Load
When you visit a website, and it loads slowly, how does it make you feel? Be honest. You’re irritable, impatient, and unlikely to stick around for it to finish. If your website is one of the slowpokes, this means fewer conversions because when we don’t receive instant gratification, we move on to the next option, and it could be your competitor’s faster, slicker site.
Curious now about whether your site makes people roll their eyes and check their watch? You’re in luck. Test your load speed and find out before the algorithm takes effect if you have an even bigger problem.
“If users make it to your website and you bombard them with pop-ups, expect them to pop off.”
Why Is It So, So Slow?
One of the many reasons your website loads slowly is your beautiful imagery is way too big. Always compress your high-resolution images. You can use plenty of free tools to make your pictures load faster without losing any of the quality. Platforms like WordPress have fantastic plugins like Smush that do all the optimizing for you. Even if you’re not a website developer, you can learn how to do this task, free up some valuable space, and increase site and page speed.
Stop Harassing Me
If users make it to your website and you bombard them with pop-ups, expect them to pop off. Those annoyances are anything but friendly, and unfriendly is a bad user experience. One attempt to capture an email address is understandable (it’s one of the primary reasons you have a website, after all), but don’t follow a newsletter opportunity with a greeting followed by a chatbot and expect visitors to stick around for more.
“When visitors come to your company’s website but cannot locate the one thing they were searching for, they don’t become customers.”
One of the primary elements that the Google algorithm measures is how long people stay on your website. If users come and go in the blink of an eye, chances are they didn’t find what they wanted and didn’t like what they saw.
Why Can’t I Find Anything?
When visitors come to your company’s website but cannot locate the one thing they were searching for, they don’t become customers. How can they? Poor website design results in the inability to navigate to pages. If your product’s page hides under the sub-navigation tab where your locations are listed, ask yourself, “but why”? The intuitive element just isn’t there. Make your goods and services easy to access, your appointments simple to schedule, and your contact information straightforward to find. In other words, don’t obscure the most critical parts of your website.
What Else Does Google Want From Me?
We feel your discomfort, and we hear your groans. If you’re on the internet, you’re not immune to Google algorithm fluctuations. This time, especially if you’re a business owner, you cannot ignore this new rollout. So, Kudzu Brands is making updates, too. And, there are plenty of other things you can do to prepare, including:
- Upgrading your hosting service
- Redirecting broken links/pages
- Observing user behavior via a heat-mapping tool for cues on how to improve user flow and navigation
As much as we all love Google as users, the bottom line is that we can loathe it as owners. But, if we all work together to improve our existing platforms, that means we all will have better user experiences on the world wide web. Maybe, one day we’ll even thank Google for their incessant algorithms.