For the first time in the history of Google, they told us in advance of an algorithm change and it’s going into effect in June of 2021. They gave us an advance warning in early 2020. Yet most marketers are ignoring the new requirements for website SEO as they are hard to accomplish without programming experience. Google is calling this update the Page Experience Update. To do well in Google searches in 2021, Google is requiring that your website must load fast on 3 critical core web vitals: LCP under 2.5 seconds, FID under 100 ms and CLS under .1. You don’t need to know what these mean but you do need to know how to run a test to be sure you meet these criteria.
How do you know if your site meets Google’s 2021 load speed requirements?
It’s easy, Click here to use Google’s site speed testing tool to test your site or in Google’s Search Console. Below we show our score, while it may not be practical to meet all core web vitals for small businesses, you need to have a passing score and get close!
Your webmaster may tell you that it’s impossible to meet these requirements meets. It is not. Here are a few tips on what they need to do to speed up your website.
- Add additional servers for load balancing.
- Set up Google Search Console and fix all 301’s and any unnecessary redirects
- Set up Google Tag Manager
- You may have to change up your fonts so that you are not loading multiple files
- Change your image format from .jpg and .png to WebP
- Optimize your CSS files don’t load any css that you don’t really need
- Set up browser caching
- Use a CDN – we love Cloudflare
In addition to speeding up your website, you will need to drop the annoying pop-ups
Rule #2 is No Intrusive Interstitials. This is a fancy term for annoying pop-ups. It’s a page that the user must click past to get to the actual page they were looking for. Exceptions to the penalty are popups that are required for legal reasons. Read more about it on SEMRush.
Want a free performance audit? Contact me, the first call is free of charge!