The Google Page Experience update has generated a lot of buzz since it rolled out in March 2022. If you’re still not familiar with it, it’s a set of metrics that track a user’s experience from the moment they open a web page.
Specifically, Page Experience focuses on:
- Core Web Vitals (loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability)
- Security protocols (HTTPS)
- Intrusive interstitials (pop-ups, ads, etc.)
Over the past year or so, proactive businesses and marketers have been putting a lot of effort into optimizing for Page Experience. If you want to improve your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rank, you should follow suit.
Now, unlike the majority of Page Experience guides out there, this article won’t offer tips on tweaking your page so that it hits all the right numbers.
Instead, it’ll focus on something that seems to have flown under the radar amid the Page Experience hype — the importance of content.
Let’s explore the side of this exciting update that you don’t want to overlook.
Optimize for People, Not Engines
If you’ve tried securing those prime spots in search results, you know it’s anything but easy. We should be grateful to have specific metrics that quantify our efforts and make things a bit easier.
The issue is, those same metrics that should help us often do more harm than good.
By making us engine-centric. We get so hyper-focused on the technical aspect of SEO that we forget who our audience is. And it surely isn’t Google’s web crawlers.
As valuable as the Page Experience update is, it threatens to exacerbate the issue of focusing on algorithms more than people.
Google is aware of this, and they don’t want you to sacrifice your content’s value for a few Page Experience points.
According to Sowmya Subramanian, Google’s Director of Engineering for Search Ecosystem:
“While all of the components of Page Experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content.”
So as the well-known saying goes, content is king. And it’s not stepping down from the throne anytime soon. While you should definitely follow Google’s guidelines for providing a pleasant user experience, you shouldn’t forget to put out valuable content.
The good news is that there doesn’t have to be a tradeoff between user- and engine-friendly content. In fact, the whole point of SEO is to bridge the two together. So let’s go over some tips for writing content that makes both people and machines happy.
1. Use LSI Keywords
By now, everyone who’s had any contact with SEO is aware of the importance of keywords. But are you digging beneath the obvious primary ones?
If not, you might be missing out on a huge opportunity to climb the search results.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are search terms closely related to the main keyword. They give context to your content and clarify ambiguous keywords, helping Google understand your topic.
For example, if your main keyword is “Apple,” LSI keywords could be “iPhone,” “Steve Jobs,” or “iOS.”
As you can see, LSI keywords aren’t necessarily synonyms but semantically-related terms.
In the above example, if your LSI keywords were “tree,” “pie,” and “vitamins,” Google would know that your content is about the fruit, not the company.
This clarity helps algorithms deliver the most relevant results to users, which Google is all about. If you use LSI keywords wisely, you can be rewarded with a higher rank. At the same time, your content will contain logical keywords instead of just awkwardly-placed primary ones.
2. Focus on Search Intent
There are four types of search intent:
- Informational (you’re looking for information on a topic)
- Navigational (you’re trying to reach a specific website, brand, etc.)
- Commercial (you’re comparing different options to select the best one)
- Transactional (you’re ready to buy something)
Understanding search intent allows you to create content that helps users take the desired action. At the same time, it shows search engines that you understand your audience, which earns you SEO points. Everyone wins!
So how to make sure your content meets the reader’s search intent?
The simplest and most effective way is to use intent-specific words and keyword modifiers in your content. These include:
- Informational - “how/what/who,” “guide,” “tips”
- Navigational - “SEMRush,” “Twitter login”
- Commercial - “review,” “comparison,” “best”
- Transactional - “pricing,” “cheap,” “coupon”
By modifying your keywords with intent-specific terms, you’re showing the reader that you can meet them at their stage of the buying journey or simply provide the information they’re looking for. As a result, Google will prioritize you over intent-ignorant results.
3. Refresh or Delete Your Old Content
Outdated content is an iron ball tied around your website’s ankles. Google’s updated Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines flag content with “inaccurate/meaningless information” as low quality. Having such content on your website makes it very difficult to climb SERPs, even if only some pieces are outdated.
That’s why you should revamp your old content to ensure it’s current and valuable. If you can’t bring a piece up to date, it’s better to delete it. Every search engine allocates a limited amount of time and effort to indexing a website, and you don’t want to waste their resources on worn-out content.
This isn’t to say that you should only write evergreen pieces. There are many times when you’ll want to jump on board a trend and capitalize on it. But when the topic no longer offers value to the reader or contains old news, use “refresh or remove” as your mantra.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
It’s easy to get blindsided by shiny new updates that change the SEO game. While you should always stay up-to-date with the best practices, don’t forget the fundamentals of online success — value and relevance.
As you go about changing your website’s structure, visuals, and other components to score high in the Page Experience Report, don’t forget that nothing trumps solid, valuable content.
Always keep your audience in mind, and climbing SERPs will be much easier.
About the Creator
Freelance writer helping businesses and other writers share their stories through compelling content.
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