Google UX Update - A Message from Sitewizard and Bira

16 Mar 2021

The Google UX Update is almost here, with the launch set for May 2021. Google will often introduce updates to their algorithm to help ensure the best pages are appearing at the top of the search results. Last year Google announced that there will be another such update, this time focusing on User Experience. 

SiteWizard are working with Bira to help prepare its partners for this new update and show you how you can make helpful changes right now. As a large body of retailers, you will understand just how important good customer service is for your business and this extends to the internet, where your online business is now being required to meet the same standards.

Google typically keeps information regarding algorithm updates close to their chest but due to the current climate and challenges businesses are already facing, they decided to give an insight into what they will be looking for as of May. The clue is in the name and the update will focus on whether users have a positive or negative experience when using a website. Those with a user-friendly interface will see favourable results and those without will potentially see a drop in their ranking position.

They have also mentioned a plan to introduce Visual Indicators in the search results to highlight which websites are likely to provide good experiences. This is important as it could heavily impact the number of people choosing to click on and interact with your site.

So, what are some things you can focus on right now to ensure your website is providing a positive experience for visitors?

Page Speed

Fast Page Speed is something that Google values highly and is already a ranking factor. It is proven that users will typically stay on a website longer, convert more often and bounce off your site less if the page speed is good. A slow site will provide a negative experience for the user and more often than not means they will leave, resulting in a high bounce rate and ultimately, Google pushing that site further down the search results.

HTTPS:

In 2017 Google told users that they would begin flagging websites without SSL Certificates as ‘Not Secure’ and began doing so in 2018. An SSL Certificate is a technology used to protect any sensitive data submitted to your site. Once an SSL Certificate is added the application protocol (HTTP) will change to HTTPS. Those with HTTPS will often find a Lock symbol appearing next to their domain in the browser, signalling to users that the site is safe to use.

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Knowing they can interact with your business safely creates a positive experience for the user and as this is something that Google has previously flagged; we think it is important to update your site as soon as possible. To learn more about this read Sitewizards blog on website security here.

Mobile-Friendly

Mobile browsing is becoming increasingly important with Mobile accounting for approximately 50% of web traffic Worldwide. With a large portion of users browsing your website on their Mobiles and Tablets, it is important that your site adapts to these platforms. Navigating a website that is not mobile-friendly can result in a bad experience for users. This is because while the site will still function, it will often shrink on the screen forcing them to zoom in and out to navigate pages and read information. As well as this, pages are often slow to load which as we have already explained is never a good thing!

Being mobile-friendly is incredibly important to Google and has been a ranking factor for a long time. Mobile-first Indexing is also in effect meaning Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking.

Site Usability:

Look at your website from the perspective of a user and try to create a site that is easy to navigate. Pop-ups, broken links, buttons that do not work, and messy layouts are all things that can lead to a user wanting to leave your site. Try and create something easy to read, explore and buy from.

Content

Google has made it clear that websites with useful, relevant content will be placed above those with little to no information. Sitewizard have written a blog all about how to create great content which you can find here.

While details are yet to be determined and we cannot provide an exact A-Z of what Google will be looking for after the update in May, we do know that the above are all things that they currently value and attribute to a good user experience. Getting ahead of the curve and having these elements in place before May should put you in a good position. Not only are these updates essential to staying on Google’s good side but they are also going to mean your customers can interact better with your business online.

Businesses across the board have faced a very challenging year and as lockdown rules look set to relax over the coming months, more companies are looking at how they can get back out there and start thriving once again. As retailers you will have likely felt the impact of recent times the hardest and the journey to rebuilding your brand and customer interaction could be best started with your website.

As Bira partners, through Sitewizard you have direct access to our marketing experts who can help you with a wide range of services and offer advice on the best way to market your business and indeed provide a good user experience. As well as analysing your site with the Google UX Update in mind there are also beneficial services such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Facebook Ads and Google Ads (Pay Per Click) that will help gain more visits to your website, increase brand awareness, and achieve more conversions.

As part of your membership, SiteWizard are offering a free no obligation report where we can show you how online marketing can benefit your business.

If you would like a report or have any questions about how to implement any of our recommendations, please get in touch as we have a dedicated team who will be happy to help!

You can get in touch via our Contact Form, by email at enquiries@sitewizard.co.uk, or by phone on 01622 200 045.


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