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How Your Salon Can Prepare for the Google Page Experience Update

Come May of this year, Google is updating its algorithm so that “page experience” is a ranking factor. So, what defines a positive page experience? What does the Google page experience update entail for your salon?

Well, a lot of things.

No need to panic yet, though. Google has surprisingly revealed ahead of time what specific elements will be included (this never happens) in this algorithm update, which makes it easier to prepare before summer rolls around.

Page Experience Ranking Elements

The already present Google Search Signals…

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Safe-browsing
  • HTTPS
  • Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines

 

In addition to this, the Google page experience update will focus on Core Web Vitals.

These web vitals measure a user’s experience with your page, focusing on three key performance metrics.

Loading

Known as Largest Contentful Paint, this metric measures the time for a page’s main content to load.

Interactivity

Known as First Input Delay, this metric measures the time it takes for the user to be interactive on the page (clicking a link, tapping an icon, etc).

Visual Stability

Known as Cumulative Layout Shift, this metric measures the scores of any unexpected movement or layout shift that isn’t caused by an interaction, but rather by content that is rendered late.

What does this mean for my salon?  

While we still have a little over a month before the Google page experience update goes live, we recommend that you optimize your salon’s website for these upcoming changes to Google’s ranking factors. The goal is to ensure that users visiting your site have a positive experience, specifically concerning the three core web vitals. Here are a few adjustments you can make when optimizing your site to prepare for May:

Improve Mobile Usability

When improving the mobile usability of your website, we recommend interpreting your mobile site as a separate site and optimizing accordingly. In other words, build both a traditional site for your salon to be viewed on a laptop or desktop and a mobile site to be viewed on a phone or tablet. To give you a clearer idea of what areas to focus on when doing this, you can run a Mobile Usability Report using Google Search Console or Google Lighthouse. This will show you which pages might have issues being viewed on a mobile device. Once you have this information, you can begin optimizing your mobile site for usability by focusing on features such as a responsive menu, clear CTA’s, and easy navigation. Mobile optimization will not only assist you in ranking higher once the Google page experience update goes live, but will help you reach a larger audience and increase your online traffic.

Secure Your Site

One of the first things you can do to secure your website is run a security report to check for any viruses or malware. To ensure that your site is safe and appears trustworthy to potential clients, use HTTPS protocol, which secures the connections between the data on your computer and the site that you’re on. Using HTTPS protocol will also improve your overall search ranking. If your website says “Not Secure” in front of your URL, then you are not using HTTPS protocol. Additionally, purchasing an SSL certificate so that any exchange of data is encrypted and combining it with your HTTPS will improve security on an e-commerce site where information is being entered.

Specify Your Image Sizes

Not specifying the dimensions of your images will directly affect the visual stability, or the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) of your site. This is a problem because if you don’t have specified dimensions for your images, the browser wants to download the image first in order to determine where the text should fill in on the page. If your images aren’t specified, any text on your page could potentially shift as the page continues to load, contributing to a negative user experience on your page.

Improve Your Site Speed

Another one of Google’s Developer Tools, PageSpeed Insights, will help you in measuring your site speed on both your traditional site and your mobile site. Once this is completed, some features that you can focus on when optimizing for page speed are file sizes, image file formats, render-blocking JavaScript, and minifying CSS.

 Key Takeaways for Your Salon 

  1. Google is launching a new algorithm update in May of this year and for the first time ever, they’ve given insight on how to improve your site ahead of time.
  2. The focus of Google’s new algorithm update is Core Web Vitals, which center around loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
  3. Some of the ways that you can improve your website to rank higher with this algorithm update are optimizing for mobile usability, site security, and page speed.


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