While Google releasing a new algorithm isn’t groundbreaking news on its own, sometimes they announce one that makes site owners stand up and listen. And the update it plans to roll out in May 2021 is one of those.
With a focus on user experience, the incoming Google update will force businesses to focus more on the technical aspects of their website. Now more than ever, content – while still king – needs technical SEO to function. And that’s what you’ll learn more about in this article.
What is Google’s spring 2021 update?
The new Google update will focus more on user experience. Mobile optimisation will continue to play a role in page rankings, as will safe browsing capabilities. Google will also consider HTTPS security, as will “intrusive interstitial guidelines” – i.e. pop-up ads.
Google also mentioned that both “AMP” and “other web technology” can be used to deliver what they class as a “great user experience”.
Google’s incoming changes are essential to you because your SEO strategy will focus not just on keywords and authoritative links, but also on the technical performance of your site.
The importance of early preparation
With over 600 million blogs on the internet today, it’s natural that content on a lot of them will overlap. Since the standard for content creation is high, site owners must look at other ways to gain the upper hand on their competitors.
One particularly-saturated industry is online gaming. FindMyUKCasino.com is seeking new ways to stand out as a UK casino affiliate, and head of content James Ashton explained how they’re doing this. His revelations give an idea of what other site owners should consider before May:
“In the highly-competitive online casino comparison sector, most of our rivals have achieved the same standard of content that we have. So, we have looked to other areas of improvement to gain an edge in the SERPs. To this end, we have invested resources into improving site speed and the user experience on mobile. Since doing this, we have seen our rankings increase.”
Actionable tips to prepare for the Google update
Your business must carry out a full site audit in the next few months. Look at both high and low-performing webpages and blog posts. Unnecessary pages should be deleted, while the information and links in your content also need to be up-to-date.
Every webpage should load within two seconds at most, or users will click away. To improve page loading times, consider compressing the images on your website to smaller file sizes and think about the theme you use too.
You will also push away your visitors if you keep irrelevant or intrusive pop-ups on your site. Google has already taken action against such forms of advertising, introducing a Chrome extension feature to block them in 2018.
Pop-ups both annoy users and interrupt their online experience, neither of which you want for an update focused mainly on… user experience.
Don’t disregard your content marketing
Content marketing will still play a key role in your Google search rankings. As Ghostfoundry Director Araminta Hannah explains:
“Ultimately, Google will prioritise pages that provide the best possible information based on the users’ search query. However, if two pages from two sites provide the same quality content, other factors will determine which site ranks above the other. So, long as your content is better than your rivals’, you should rank well once the update has been rolled out.”
Aside from giving users information they’re looking for, content can also help to improve your user experience. For example, video works well on all devices and helps to increase the average time spent on your pages. This, in turn, reduces your bounce rate.
Instead of fighting against Google, cooperate with them
Google wants users to have the best possible online experience and gain value from their time on the internet. In that sense, they’re no different to you.
The spring 2021 won’t be the last time that a Google update factors in a seamless online experience. Therefore, you need to partner technical SEO with high-quality content for the long run.
By carrying out regular site audits and trimming down irrelevant pages, optimising your site better for mobile and continuing to provide the information users are looking for, your site will keep ranking highly beyond next spring.