Page experience is one of the vital organs of on-page SEO. Think of it as a bit of the appeal and experience users get on your website. Google is constantly rolling out new updates to improve internet users’ experience as they search for information. If you’re worried about ranking, you should definitely worry about your page experience. This article tells you what you need to know about page experience.
What is page experience?
Page experience is a set of factors identified by Google to help website owners and webmasters improve user experience. The factors are interrelated and often help website owners avoid over-optimization.
Google understands that it is possible for webmasters to overdo things, especially in a bid to create attractive websites. They may also go overboard when trying to monetize. The page experience guidelines help to keep things in check while ensuring that visitors get what they need out of the page.
Google came about the term “page experience” when it combined all the important page ranking factors like secured pages (think HTTPS), mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, and intrusive interstitials.
Page experience also relies on the three web performance metrics known as Core Web Vitals. These metrics include Cumulative Layout Shift, Largest Contentful Paint, and First Input Delay.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of your webpage. This is essential because some web pages tend to glitch or shift as users scroll through them. This can be a problem, especially for sensitive web users. Google is on a mission to ensure that its users get the best experience without necessarily suffering such glitches.
By eliminating such glitches, especially on smaller screens like mobile phones, Google expects to contribute to the user’s experience as they surf the internet.
Google has created a rating to guide webmasters in optimizing their CLS for better ranking and page experience. A CLS score below 0.1 is good, a CLS score between 0.1 and 0.25 requires improvement, while a CLS score above 0.25 is poor.
Webmasters in the “needs improvement” and “poor” CLS categories can improve their CLS scores by optimizing their page design, fonts, and on-page media to comply with Google’s terms.
The largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading and load speed. It gives an idea of how long it takes for the page to load from an average internet user’s standpoint. Recall that the attention span of an average internet user is short. Google wants to make sure that you’re able to deliver the needed information or resource as quickly as possible.
By ranking, Google breaks down what it considers as good and bad LCP. For example, LCP of below 2.5 seconds is considered good, between 2.5 seconds and 4 seconds is considered to require improvement, and anything above 4 seconds is poor.
First Input Delay (FID) measures webpage interactivity. This determines the time taken for the page to load to a point where users can interact. According to Google standards, web pages whose FID falls below 100 milliseconds are considered perfect.
Those that fall between 100 milliseconds and 300 milliseconds need improvement to become better. However, web pages exceeding 300 milliseconds are considered poor.
How does page experience relate to UX?
User experience (UX) is an important part of a webpage. It deals with how relatable the webpage is to the users. A website is said to be UX-friendly when it is easy to navigate, secure, fast-loading, etc.
In the context of internet experience, page experience is a subset of UX. Google also understands the importance of page experience and ensures that pages wherein internet users spend more time are ranked higher than those with high bounce rates.
Why Pay Attention to Page Experience?
Google is on a mission to provide useful information and experience to its users. This means that its evaluation of your website and page experience matters in the grand scheme of things. The search engine focuses on ranking websites that meet its page experience guidelines and offer useful and valuable content.
This means that you may be losing out on traffic if you’ve only focused on one aspect, quality content. Webmasters can start optimizing their websites from the visitor’s point of view with Google’s page experience metrics as the rulebook.