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Are You Prepared for Google’s Website Ranking Update?

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When Google announced an “update” to the way it ‘ranks’ a website’s Page Experience and Core Web Vitals, it heralded a major change in the way the world’s most-used search engine will prioritise and score your website against set performance criteria, in any organic search.

Originally planned for rollout in May 2021, Google has since pushed the launch back to mid-June; with the ‘new ranking method’ due to play a full role in how website searches are prioritised by August – and this ‘extra time’ offers a critical window of opportunity to any enterprise that’s not yet fully optimised its website.

A critical window to protect your visibility and traffic

You’re far from being alone if you’re one of those organisations yet to prepare for the Google update, with the next few weeks giving you the chance to make the improvements you need to protect your organic visibility and traffic. The good news is that there are clear actions you can take to maintain or even enhance your current online competitive advantage (you can check your current performance by plugging your URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and many lessons have already been learned on how to achieve the ‘Google green’ ranking that will ensure you have a high-performing website.

Box has helped many clients make this journey, evolving our customers’ websites to align with Google’s Core Web Vitals – which centre around three key metrics :

“Largest Contentful Paint”:  the time it takes to display and make visible the largest element on your device.

“First Input Delay”: the time taken for the browser to begin processing your user’s first interaction with your page.

“Cumulative Layout Shift”: the length of time it takes for your website to become stable, as images and other elements are loaded.

There are clear actions you can take to make the journey to a high-performance website

The lessons learned so far?

While these metrics may seem highly complex, there are established pathways to improving how well your site performs. Every website is different of course – with each requiring its own combination of fixes to receive a green ranking in Google. That’s why we work closely with clients such as Dexerto to assess their current setup and prioritise those fixes that will have the largest and most positive impact on their scores. Performance can sometimes be viewed as a more intangible metric when compared to feature development, but Google has made it very apparent that doing nothing is not an option – so it’s good to know you can get an accurate picture of the achievable return on investment, especially as changes may need to be made at a content, platform and infrastructure level.

Taking scores from the 20’s and 30’s up to 90+ in just a few days

Our preferred route to developing a high-performance website is to take an iterative ‘test and learn’ approach to implementing any improvements – reviewing after each deployment made, monitoring the impact on performance and measuring the RoI. We practiced what we preach on our own website and in just a few days we had taken the website’s scores against key performance metrics from the 20’s and 30’s up to 90+ – learning a huge amount along the way, from the importance of typography and unused elements, to the imperatives for images, videos and animation.

Google is already viewing the changes we have made to the Box UK website favourably, as we’re seeing a steady growth in search visibility and organic traffic. We’re helping our clients achieve the same results too. – and we’d be happy to talk further about how you can raise your scores.

To find out more about making this journey to a high-performance website, contact us for a no-obligation discussion.