How Google is Measuring Page Experience

Jackie L.


Are you wondering why your ranking on Google may have decreased or didn’t even reach the first page at all this year?  It could be due to Google changing the way it ranks web pages.  Earlier this year, Google pushed page experience to the top of the list when it comes to ranking websites.  If your website fares poorly in this area, expect to see a decrease in traffic or even short visit times. This is why 70% of online businesses fail due to bad user experiences.

Google uses new metrics to gauge page experience: LCP (largest contentful paint), FID (first input delay), and CLS (cumulative layout shift).  Now, don’t panic.  This is all to help you create and audit a more successful website!

Largest Contentful Paint

Looking at this literally can be quite a head scratcher.  What this metric does is measure when the largest piece of content on your website loads. This isn’t to measure the exact timing, but whether it loads quickly or slowly.  The most important part of the website may be an image or video.  If this is loading slowly, it will decrease your rank in page experience.  This is an easy fix, which will require optimizing the video or image to a smaller file size or a different file extension.

If you need help in measuring your LCP, you can use Google’s Page Speed tool.

First Input Delay

This metric measures the time it takes a user to make their first interaction with your website.  This is connected to the LCP metric we mentioned above.  If your most important element isn’t appearing fast enough, this will affect the FID.  Even if your page is loaded, how are all the links responding?  If it’s delayed, this can be a problem! Important Tip: your score can only be collected by real time data.  If you have no users going to your website, you can’t measure FID, sadly.  

Talk to your website developer to see where you can improve this metric by working with Javascript or how you can optimize in other areas.

Cumulative Layout Shift

This metric measures how much your website elements shift as things load.  This can be a button for a CTA or text loading first but there’s a huge image that hasn’t loaded yet, and it will shift the position of the other elements.  If your layout is constantly shifting, this will 100% downgrade the page experience and cause a lot of user frustration.

One of the best ways to improve this is to specify a width and height for images and video.  That way, there will be less shifting, and definitely less frustration for the user.  You can also look into your ads, as most are using Javascript, and try to improve areas where you can to get less shifting.

With these three metrics, you can easily improve your website’s user experience, keeping your traffic on your page and getting more sales.  The better the user experience the higher your ranking on Google will be.  

Need help with increasing your page experience ranking with a website designer in Austin?  Message us today!

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram