The latest Google update… what you need to know!
Google is constantly updating algorithms and making technical changes, but generally speaking these updates are minor and shouldn’t have a huge effect on your website. However, every once in a while they announce a big update and that’s when it’s so important to take certain actions to ensure your website (and your Google rankings) won’t be penalised.
One of these big updates is coming soon! May 2021 to be exact…
So, what’s this update focusing on?
The update coming in May is all about page experience. In a nutshell, it will look at how your website performs for the user. Whilst Google doesn’t give everything away, we know that it will focus on these key elements:
- Load speed – how long would you stay on a website for that wasn’t loading certain elements? As consumers, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and to be honest, none of us expect to be waiting around anymore! Reducing load speed can actually be a relatively simple task to improve. (Quick hint: what was the size of the image you last uploaded to your website)
- Mobile responsiveness – mobile users take up over 50% of web traffic. Now, imagine if 50% of all your users were having a bad mobile experience? Whilst this has been a key factor of a lot of the updates for a while now, we reckon Google will be really cracking down on those sites that aren’t appealing to the masses.
- Navigation – confusing menus, a million links, call to actions flying everywhere… Google sees past this. Make your navigation clear and concise!
- Engagement – Google doesn’t want users to land on a website that bombards them with salesy pop ups and flash notices to spend money. It wants you to take a slightly more subtle approach and engage properly with your audience.
- Security – you may remember back in 2017 a huge Google update came out to push all websites to be HTTPS secure. Did you action this? You may be surprised how many websites ignored this huge update.
What will happen if I don’t take action?
Not every business will be negatively affected by this update, but it’s good to be prepared and know what you could improve. Let’s be honest, no website is perfect, so this is a great time to make some positive changes.
If no action is taken and you haven’t tried to make changes you may notice some of the following:
- Drop in keyword rankings
- Reduced presence in organic SERPs (search engine results pages)
- Fewer website visitors overall
- Lower quality scores, and higher costs per click on Google Ads
- Higher bounce rate
Google still loves content
Whilst the update is suggesting it wants navigation to be easy and engagement high, it still recognises the importance of good quality content so this is as key as always. It basically wants you to remove the guff and focus on what genuinely adds value to your website’s users.
Have a look at your web pages and check you’re not repeating yourself too much, and have a think about what is missing. There’s still time to create yourself a content plan to try and get as much done as possible by this May deadline.
Another content related action you can take is to go through older pages or blog posts and optimise them, ensuring you have things like clickable phone numbers and internal and external links which can make the world of difference.
What are the first steps my business should take to be prepared?
Well by reading this article, you are well on your way to making positive changes that Google will thank you for. Hopefully, you now understand what needs to change but maybe you’re struggling to work out how you can do this yourself… Or maybe you just don’t have the time.
This is where we can come in.
All the team at CW Marketing have been enjoying their night time reading researching the Google update (ok, well maybe we haven’t gone that far) but we think we know what to expect, so can help you to get your site up together before May.
The first thing we’ll do is an audit of your site.
This will give us important information about your website such as load speeds, mobile responsiveness, whether there is enough content on your pages (and whether that content is relevant) and much more. We can then start working through the priorities.
Even little things like what type of headings you’re using can have an impact on how Google views your content.
The frustrating thing about these updates is that generally it’s all background ‘stuff’ that needs to happen. 9 times out of 10 you may not even notice that your website has been touched, but Google will!
Contact CW Marketing for a website audit and Google update review
If you’re unsure if your website is set up correctly to deal with the page experience update coming in May, then get in touch with our team today.