How Will Google’s Core Web Vitals Affect Your Dental Website?

Important: Prepare now for upcoming Google algorithm update

Every year, Google updates its algorithms and this year is no different. In fact, the ranking signals Google uses to gauge where websites should be ranked are going to shift in 2021.

Google recently announced that Core Web Vitals will become an official ranking factor.

How will this upcoming algorithm update affect your website?

And what should you do now to prepare?

We will answer these two important questions in this post.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals refer to a group of metrics that measure real-world experience for users interacting with your website. They include how fast your website loads, how quickly it becomes interactive, etc.

Google is using these metrics to determine the user experience expected when people visit your site using their computers or mobile devices.

These new metrics join a list of already existing Page Experience metrics such as mobile (responsive) friendliness, whether the site utilizes SSL (HTTPS), or if there are obtrusive elements, like persistent popup messages.

As you can see, moving forward it’s not so much about the text that is on your dental website; it is about the user experience. Google is trying to gauge how useful your page is to visitors — how relevant and easy-to-use they find it to be.

Google has defined these elements as the Core Web Vitals:

Largest Contentful Paint

This is the time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.

First Input Delay

This refers to the time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift

This is the amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.

What do these algorithm changes mean for your website?

Your current site should be audited and a plan of action should be created to ensure new Core Web Vitals metrics are met or at least improved to the median standards of your surrounding competition.

One thing to keep in mind is that these metrics are not set in stone, meaning they will change from year to year depending on what users “tell” Google a good user experience is. In other words, they are largely based on user behaviors — the way real people interact with your website.

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When will Core Web Vitals be implemented?

While these new metrics have already been announced, the new page experience signals won’t be implemented until May of 2021.

However, now is the time to talk with your marketing agency to see what plan they have in place to help you meet these new Page Experience metrics.

Will there be a “Verified By Google” badge?

Google has long believed that providing information about the quality of the experience of any single webpage is helpful to other users in deciding which result to choose from search engine results pages (SERPs).

In line with that, there will be a badge or visual indicator that will identify pages that meet the page experience criteria. In fact, Google is already testing these badges on sites and is expected to roll out the visual indicator at the same time they implement the ranking algorithm changes.

Is it time to update your dental website?

If your dental website is more than three years old or you are considering a brand change, ask us for a complimentary website audit to learn if you should invest in a new website with Page Experience as a top priority.

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