How to navigate Google’s latest May 2021 update
I know how important Google rankings are to small business owners, because I am a small business owner myself.
I also know that while the web development world has been in an uproar with Google’s anticipated algorithm update, most of the small business owners I deal with have no idea what’s coming.
And in the world of Google and online marketing, what you don’t know is coming your way can kill your business. Or at the very least, it can wipe out search engine rankings, which can be the same for small businesses.
It may sound like technical language, but if you have a small business, read on. If you want to stay competitive, you need to understand the fundamentals of the Google Web and what they mean for your website.
What are the fundamental elements of the Web?
Core Web Vitals are metrics that Google can use to evaluate your website when deciding whether or not to show it in search results. Starting May 1, 2021, there will be a Google algorithm update that will begin including Core Web Vitals in the page ranking.
Google’s Core Web Vitals measures how easy a website is to use. Specifically, Google will now measure these three critical aspects of your site:
1. Website speed
Google has never liked slow websites, but with the new user experience of 2021, it has upped the ante. Load Speed is a new Core Web Vital that measures how long it takes for your main website content to load.
Google calls their core content the ‘Largest Content Paint’ and they recommend loading in 2.5 seconds or faster, on both mobile devices and desktops.
2. Responsiveness of the website
Do you have forms on your website, maybe a contact form or email signup? When someone clicks send, do they have to sit back and wait, watching that little spinning wheel spin?
The second Core Web Vital is called ‘First Entry Delay’, which refers to how quickly these types of interactions take on your site.
Ideally, interactions on your website should be less than 100 microseconds. That’s basically the blink of an eye, so your website really needs to perform well to rank well.
3. Website stability
Have you ever been to a website that is nervous? So when you scroll and try to click on a link, the layout suddenly moves, maybe due to an ad?
You probably hate this, and so does Google. In terms of technology, this is called ‘Cumulative Design Change’ and it is another metric that Google will track on your website. The ideal measurement is less than 0.1.
At the end of the day, these three Core Web Vitals record how easy it is for a user to interact with your website. As Google gets smarter, it uses these metrics to help determine not just what it is us your website, but your website itself.
READ: Time for a website makeover?
The websites need to be renewed from time to time. That doesn’t mean you need to review everything completely, but many business owners don’t spend enough time keeping their most important marketing tool up-to-date.
Read about 8 reasons you might want to consider a website makeover.
Read more in our blog.
What the latest Google update means for small business websites
Google will be tracking web fundamentals for all websites beginning in May 2021. Therefore, going forward, small business owners will need to pay much more attention to the usability of their websites. .
Many small business owners try to create and manage their own sites. If that’s the case for you, then you need to check your page information, along with how mobile-friendly your site is. Make sure your site is also configured in Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Google is only getting more competitive and demanding, so you really need to do your homework if you are going to manage your website on your own. You should be comfortable handling the ins and outs of how it is set up so that you can make any necessary adjustments.
It’s also important to note that websites built with pre-made WordPress themes and drag-and-drop builders tend to be overcoded, which can slow things down.
Ultimately, Google’s 2021 update further illustrates that if you want your website to work (that is, if you want people to be able to find you and your offerings), then you need to have all of your technical aspects lined up in a row. .
It is not okay for your website to be just pretty.
It has to work well in the front and rear. If you don’t have the time to not only create an efficient website, but to update it as needed, it probably won’t work the way you want it to.
Google is constantly updating its algorithm and best practices in web design are constantly changing. This latest update is just one more reminder that web design and functionality are complex and multifaceted. In fact, proper web development requires continuous learning and continuous adjustment.
Remember the main goal of Google
Lastly, this update is also a good sign-up reminder for small businesses. If you want to reach people who surf the internet, you need to keep your website up to date and follow all best practices, all the time.
And remember that Google is a business too. The people who use it for their Internet searches are your customers. And your goal is to keep your customers happy by offering them pleasant experiences.
Content is still king.
Google says, “A good page experience does not negate having excellent and relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, the page experience becomes much more important for search visibility.
So this is a great opportunity for small businesses, especially startups that are having a hard time moving up the ranks. If you have a competitor who has more authority on Google than you, you may be able to beat them with the right content and good Core Web Vitals.
Ultimately, Google’s primary goal should match yours. You want to delight your potential customers. The best way to do this is to have and maintain an efficient and user-friendly website with lots of great and rich content.
My team helps small businesses create search engine optimized websites that their customers (and Google) will love.
Start with a professional website that perfectly shows your business and is found in search engines, generating more leads and sales for your business.
For the success of your business,