OnMax Host Digital - User Experience

User Experience As A Ranking Factor In 2021

Google recently announced a new initiative known as “Web Vitals”. Core Web Vitals or Web Vitals are essential metrics for a healthy website. You must therefore pay attention to them in your Google Search Console. This initiative has been created to help websites know and improve their important user experience metrics. If this comes off as fairly new to you, I suggest you to first read that update.

OnMax Host Digital - User Experience - Core Web Vitals
Source: webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/05/evaluating-page-experience.html

With just a few weeks of sharing the news, the search engine giant released yet another information-packed announcement explaining users about how they would be incorporating these user experience metrics into the upcoming algorithm update, planned to be out in 2021, and their factor on the page level.

Read how Google plans to calculate these user experience metrics factors in the future:

Quantify the experience of your website. Identify opportunities to improve.

“We’re combining the signals derived from Core Web Vitals with our existing Search signals for page experience, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, to provide a holistic picture of page experience. Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.”

What Is User Experience?

The expression “User Experience” has now gained popularity within the information architecture industry, even though it is not a new concept. But What is user experience? How do we incorporate it into our digital marketing strategy? How do we strike the proper balance between competing priorities in our design projects?

In his article on ‘User Experience Design‘, Peter Morville stresses the need to strike a balance in all our design projects between business goals and context, user needs and behavior, and content.

OnMax Host Digital - User Experience - Circles of Information Architecture
Source: http://semanticstudios.com/user_experience_design/

While the concept of ‘User Experience Design‘ has been practiced for many years, today, we are stressing the concept of ‘User Centered Design‘. This means designing with the user in mind throughout the process. Our design process begins with defining the user, understand the user’s needs, figuring out the user’s communication preferences, etc.

Google Quality Raters Guidelines are intended to help entrepreneurs and business owners to focus on providing their audience with specific answers to their queries within the user’s context.

User Experience Factors

OnMax Host Digital - User Experience - User Experience Honeycomb
Source: http://semanticstudios.com/user_experience_design/

The Each of the factors contained in the diagram above defines various factors that characterize user experience. But it also helps move the conversation to prioritization. You must determine which of these factors is more important in your design project.

It can be obvious to say that findability is one of the key factors of user experience. We also use the expression visibility online. But then accessibility is also an important factor online. Your prioritization shall be based on your user’s profile.

The credibility factor is what is clearly defined in E-A-T Quality Guidelines. Following these directives, you will be able to demonstrate your Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. This diagram therefore reflects the purpose of Google Quality Guidelines. And this should be integrated into your Marketing and overall Business Strategy.

Web Vitals

In business, measurements are tied to performance. Achieving Quality in your performance requires you to be able to collect data, analyze data, draw insights or data intelligence from your data, single out your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to focus on, and make the necessary decisions that lead to performance improvement.

Anyone of us who has been to an Emergency Room in the middle of the night knows the routine. They will check key vital signs on your body by running a number of basic tests such as blood pressure, blood and urine tests, checking your eyes, etc. Experienced business leaders understand the need for data analysis.

Google Web Vitals provide a unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to providing a great user experience to your audience.

In order to simplify the process, Google has singled out a number of metrics that business owners can focus on to pass Google’s test for quality user experience. Needless to say that your aim should not simply be to pass Google’s test but rather to meet the real needs of your audience. So, at OnMax Host Digital, we go beyond these signals and provide a comprehensive report to our customers.

So, User Experience, also referred to as UX, includes a number of technical and content design aspects that your audience encounter when they visit and interact with your website. Whereas Google search engine algorithms measure over 200 factors on your website for ranking purposes, the following are the essential metrics that are included in the Core Web Vitals for the purpose of measuring user experience quality:

  • Loading.

  • Interactivity.

  • Visual Stability.

  • Page Load Speed.

  • Page Mobile Friendliness.

  • Content Layout.

  • Safe Browsing.

  • HTTPS Access.

  • Accessibility.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are a subset of Web Vitals – a set of user-centered metrics that help quantify key aspects of user experience on your website. All of Google’s tools for web developers now support measurement of Core Web Vitals.

Why Is User Experience Important?

Focusing on providing your website visitors with the best user experience is the best strategy for success online because success is largely dependent on customer satisfaction and experience. Brand loyalty has been demonstrated to play a major role in buying decisions. User experience can be defined as the how a person feels when interacting with your business at every touch point: website, mobile applications, software, etc.

Businesses that focus on providing a positive user experience will be rewarded with customer loyalty to their products, services and brands. They will also be able to clearly define customer journey along every touch points and execute strategies that are most likely to achieve their business goals.

This requires businesses to develop a relationship with their target audiences. Get to know your users – their tastes, desires, aspirations, interests, values, etc. Learn how they use your products or services. Brief, have an open channel of communication through which your target audience can freely reach to you. Invest in feedback channels that enable them to share their thoughts, how they feel, what they want, etc.

One of the factors that many entrepreneurs often overlook is the need for HTTPS connection. This is largely due to not understanding the importance of protecting your website’s visitors need to have their personal information safe from being intercepted at the point of interface with your website. Safe browsing refers to protection from malware and hackers. The web is a very dangerous place. You need to have a security service that not only scans for malware but also provides malware removal and remediation solutions. You also need to have a website backup solutions that enables you to download a copy of your backed up files to a local drive, in addition to being saved in the could.

I will not dive into describing user experience design or user-centric design design methodologies here – I will do so in another article. Here, I want to stress the need for you to get to know your audience. This will enable you develop experiences that relate to your users – their emotions, voices, etc. In other words, create your user persona – a representation of your particular target audience segment. You can achieve this through interviews, surveys, etc., which


My primary goal in this article is to introduce the importance of User Experience and share with you the fundamental areas that you need to focus on to prepare for the coming Google Algorithm Core Update. Generally, Google does not announce a core update in advance. The reason they are giving us this heads up is because, I believe, of the critical importance of the coming update.

Generally, whenever Google releases a core algorithm updates, many websites suffer the loss of rankings, etc. These core updates can therefore feel like an ambush. So, I believe Google is now working with the SEO community by giving us advance notice so that we may get ready.

This coming update will focus primarily on User Experience as a ranking factor in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The last core update, which focused on E-A-T Quality, commonly known as The Quality Raters Guidelines clearly set the stage for the coming update. I am tempted to think that Google is simply giving us an advance notice before the algorithms begin to actually penalize websites for failure to provide good user experience.

I will continue to provide and publish tips and updates to help you improve your website performance. Should you need any assistance implementing these guidelines, please contact us. We will perform a FREE SEO Audit of your website to uncover areas that require improvement. Then we will work with you to improve the Quality of your website.

Please provide your questions, comments, suggestions in the comment section below. Participate in the conversation to help many others. I also ask you to subscribe to our Newsletter to receive the latest Digital Marketing news, tips, information, and updates delivered straight into your email inbox.

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2 thoughts on “User Experience As A Ranking Factor In 2021”

  1. This is a very interesting article. I have learned quite a number of things. Could you write an article elaborating on the 7 User Experience Factors listed on the Honeycomb in your article? That would be quite helpful. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I am happy to hear that you learned a number of things from this article. I will be writing more and also publishing videos on our YouTube Channel on User Experience and on E-A-T Guidelines in general. Please subscribe to this Blog, our YouTube Channel as well as our Facebook Group. You can find the links on our website. Click on WordPress Resources and scroll down. Thanks.

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