What to Expect from Google’s Page Experience Update

Google’s Newest Algorithm Update

The launch of Google’s Page Experience Update is set for May 2021, and this critical SEO algorithm change will have a dramatic impact on your dental website’s online rankings in search results. Read on to discover how your online position will be affected and how you can prepare so that your practice website stays visible and outperforms the competition.

Page Experience refers to how users perceive their online interactions with the pages within your dental website, and Google is implementing a series of new benchmarks to quantify, measure, and reward exceptional user experiences. These new “Core Web Vitals” include Loading Time, Interactivity, and Visual Stability, and they will directly impact your dental website’s ranking determinations. Since Google has adopted a mobile-first indexing approach, this means that these metrics will be based entirely on the mobile-friendliness of your dental website. This is why it’s so important that the dental website design process takes these factors into consideration.

Why Google’s Update Matters

Current dental SEO strategy focuses on readability, but now, SEO strategists must also include functionality, which means Google is rewarding dental websites that act more human. In a nutshell, if your page experience (i.e., your dental website’s relatability and interactive ability) rates highly, Google will direct more patients to your dental website’s pages by placing your site at the top of search results, leading to enhanced visibility, increased organic traffic, and ultimately, increased production and bookings. A bad mobile user experience, on the other hand, will produce the opposite effect, leading to a decrease in rankings, exposure, traffic, and bookings. To put things in perspective, past algorithm updates, such as Panda, impacted more than 12% of all online search queries, so this critical SEO update is something you cannot afford to ignore.

How to Achieve a Great ‘Mobile’ Page Experience

There are many factors that affect a user’s experience on your dental website. For instance, nothing delights a site visitor more than quick load times and an easily navigable content structure that intuitively guides them to the information they seek. Further, nothing is more frustrating than layout elements that unexpectedly shift and change shape while they are attempting to interact with your site. These baseline fundamentals are encapsulated by Google’s new “Core Web Vitals,” described below:

Page Loading Times: Your dental website’s loading performance is measured as a function of the time it takes to render the largest content element on pages within your dental website. This should not exceed 2.5 seconds, which is the accepted standard for a good user experience. Pages that load quickly not only generate higher user satisfaction, but they also give patients more time to consume your content and convert. Google’s own research also indicates that conversion rates can drop up to 70% for every extra second of load time.

 Site Interactive Responsiveness: Your dental website’s responsiveness is measured as the time the browser takes to respond to a page event, such as clicking a link or tapping a button, and is critical to maintaining high user engagement. A delay of less than 100 ms is considered optimal and is especially important for calls to action, such as when a patient requests an appointment or submits an online registration form.

Visual Stability: The interactive stability of pages within your dental website is the degree of shift that occurs in the page layout during the loading phase of each page. This is important so patients don’t accidentally tap a button that shifts unexpectedly under their fingertips. Stabilizing the movement of page content as it loads and preventing the layout from shifting is what Google is looking for when ranking your dental website.

Put simply, the delivery of an exceptional page experience within your dental website, should enable patients to get more done and engage more deeply. To this end, Google’s update will serve to reward web pages within your dental website that demonstrate the core fundamentals of rapid load times, foolproof page stability, and dynamic responsiveness of all interactive elements. These Search signals will be measured against the mobile version of your dental website and will be added to the growing compendium of key indicators that determine your position in search results. Use the dedicated Google Search Console reporting tools to analyze your dental website’s performance across these metrics and take immediate action to ensure your practice does not experience a drop in rankings as this update takes effect.

Looking for help?

PBHS is the exclusively endorsed provider of dental marketing, website design and SEO services for ADA Members, and if you’re ready to take the steps needed to create a great user Page Experience that ensures your continued online visibility and rankings, contact us today at (800) 840-5383.

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