Well, hello, everybody Thank you for joining us for another Facebook live session. Today, we’ve got two of our own team members joining us, So I’d like to introduce Kelsey and Alex They are part of our SEO team and they have some great information on some changes that we’re going to be seeing in 2021 and how it affects websites how It affects ranking and why everyone should physically, why they should care about it.
So it’s Google updates is our subject and we know that every few years We actually probably more frequent that, but every couple of years Google makes some pretty major algorithm updates, And this is another one that we know is coming. So, let’s start I’ll kind of bounce back and forth between my two experts here and asking questions.
But Kelsey can I start with you.
What are the core web vitals that we’ve been hearing so much about when do they come out, and why should we care about them? Well, actually, these the web vitals are metrics used to measure somebody’s experience with your website. They’Re, not new. Actually They’ve already been out there. They were released middle of last year, but now they’re becoming more important.
Google has recently announced that, coming in 2021 that they’re going to become part of their ranking algorithm, So they’re becoming more important than what they were before They’re made up of three main metrics. One is measuring your loading time.
The other one is your interactivity.
So how long does it take before someone can actually do something on your website? Can they scroll down, or can they click on something on your site And then the other one is to do with your visual stability or being able to have something?
If maybe the items are too close together or you’re, trying to close something or you’re trying to buy something or trying to do something, but you can’t physically click on it, because something else is in the way, And it happens all the time and he’s okay.
These three different metrics are broken down into: what’s called an LCP or largest Contentful paint, Meaning it measures your your main elements: You’re loading performance for key visual elements, Whether that be your navigation, your font, styles, maybe main images, your logo et cetera. You want that particular metric to be around two and a half seconds.
That’S your ideal goal to have that load in that percentage of time, especially if you’re on a mobile device, maybe you’re on a slower connection, something like that.
You want to be able to have your site display fast.
The second metric is referred to as your first input delay, So this is also to do with loading, But it’s a little bit different, because now it’s measuring how quickly someone can do something on your site.
So the metric here is obviously a little bit faster. You don’t want to wait two and a half seconds before you can scroll or click on something You want that to be as fast as possible. This obviously the goal on this one is about a hundred milliseconds. That’S give or take that’s the ideal world, Obviously, for some sites, some verticals different things:
It’S going to be a little bit longer, It’s just the way it is.
The third metric is the cumulative layout shift.
And that’s the one that has to do with the visual stability or those different elements, working together and or blocking one another from being able to interact So another example, I’m not as if you’re going to tap on a page and then it’s gone or it moves Or if you tap on something that’s supposed to drop down, but it doesn’t or now it drops off and then it blocks something behind it.
And you’re literally left not being able to interact with that site, which of course leaves it as a poor experience. So those are the three metrics that were already in place, but now they’re becoming more important, more crucial to focus on So a lot of those things that you described sound a little bit more on the technical side like as a user being the doctor or being The practice administrator, I I understand page speed –
I understand the concept of all of those things you’re talking about, but I may not really understand the specifics of it, but I know that what is going to be important to them is how are these changes, or these updates going to affect rankings?
How important is it going to be, How much do they need to care about it?
Yeah I mean it’s going to affect it quite a bit and all that Alex Alex jump in a little bit later on that, but these metrics are gaging The experience. The overall experience someone’s having with your site
So it’s now it’s gone beyond simply having great content, It’s gone beyond being the authority in your world or your domain.
Now it’s providing the absolute best experience for someone that wants to learn that content. That wants to read that content that wants to assimilate that content. So it’s it’s!
Taking that end user experience not just providing something, but now it’s. How do you provide it? How are you giving
Okay, thank you So Alex I’ll. Let you take a turn here. We’Re talking.
Kelsey was talking a lot about the user experience Page speed. Can you dig a little deeper into how that’s going to affect SEO or why it would affect SEL
Yeah And I’ll back it up for a second and think of it from the Google side of things Yeah. If you think about Google’s overarching goal as a search engine provider, the way they’re going to be successful, the way they’re going to make money and the way they’re going to retain their users or they’ve done a fantastic job of to the fact that you do all The learning that we all know internet they’ve done it
Those are pretty standard, but they have to remain there because if they start to allow sites with a poor user experience or with inaccurate results or false information or harmful information to rank, I’m using Google and suicide assertions from providers and they’re gon na stop making money.
So overarching goal for Google is to provide the best results, the most result and the best experience online, And that is how they continue to do. The best experience for the customers, And so everything that we can do to align our site and our standards with Google’s overarching goal, because we are off the table for us or our practice or our sites for our customers.
But patience is creating a great user experience And then so that’s the reason that SEO factors into this There’s a lot of ranking specific ranking factors but overarching overall. We want to create a better user experience, not just for SEO, but just for conversion in general, with creates it a better experience with our brand
But some of the specific ranking factors include that over 70 80 % of most of your guys’s customer base, your patient base is viewing your site on their mobile device.
So we haven’t revisited that for awhile, There’s a good chance that there may be something – probably not optimized or not looming efficiently or not moving very fast on a mobile device, especially with a standard 3g connection. Something to consider I’m going to look into
It’S: how fast is it loading on mobile device early? That’S all part of this user experience update 20 21 Also, if it gives you insight as an HTTPS that little SSL certificate at the top of your URL.
Well, I didn’t tell you that any sort of secure information – and that was kind of the scene there, because we usually will sites anywhere where money, changing hands And then other days, it’s a standard across every website, because
Nowadays, all information that we’re sharing across needs to be secured and make sure that it may not be 100 % confidential by any means, but we really want to make sure that the sites that we’re on are secure and that we can trust them.
And so Google uses that as a ranking factor as well as well as measuring, if there’s any intrusive interstitials for means, if there’s any abrasive, popups and just loads of popups or the way things are loading. I think we’ve all been on sites. Perhaps we’re trying to look up a recipe, and it’s just ad after ad after ad or pop up pop up, Is it possible to actually read with the thumbs on the page or absorb any content? And so, although there is some balance there, maybe a pop-up to get some lead captures, maybe still fine, but I would definitely want it.
Don’T don’t want to overdo it, and we want to be conservative to make sure that we’re we’re only using it when we need to to to benefit leads.
But Google is analyzing all of these things and kind of packaging them into the core web vitals and the user experience update to make sure that W everybody creates the best experience online and that’s the new standard. And the other thing to keep in mind is that’s. It’S not actually new. It’S Kelsey brought out this.
This new update, that’s coming up in May 2021, But it’s more of a. I would say it’s more of a public release that Google can use so that internal teams can kind of leverage that to get the buy in that they probably haven’t been able to do for awhile. But it’s currently a ranking factors.
So if, if we’re thinking, Oh well, let’s put it off for six months or a year, because it’s not going to happen for a little while
It’S actually happening right now, So if your site isn’t up-to-date, if it’s not modern, if it’s not responsive, if it’s not loading effectively, there’s a good chance that it’s affecting your performance in SEO. Okay, So how could a practice improve these things?
What would their goal being in seeing those things improve?
Yeah so, like Kelsey mentioned with page speed, anything around two and a half seconds or less is always a pretty good goal and a marker There’s there’s a lot of different things that roll into that and can factor into that.
If you have a lot of images, if you have a lot of videos playing on the site, those types of things are gon na slow down the site, But there’s also they create a good user experience. Sometimes So, there’s a little bit of a balance where some of those things are beneficial.
I think sites with really amazing photography are really clean and crisp photos really stands out, but they don’t always have to be as as large as people put them on the site.
Often they can be condensed that their file size can be condensed quite a bit. Some of that stuff that happens on the back end And then again making sure that your your site is looks great on a mobile device. You haven’t done it in awhile If you’ve only been visiting your site from a desktop computer, because that’s what you’re using at work!
Pull up your phone and check out your site on your on your phone and see? Does your site still look great on a on a mobile device?
Are all the same images there? Is it the same? Url Is anything changing because that’s actually how Google was indexing sites
Now the mobile first index or mobile, the way Google is approaching websites
I was actually looking at it from the mobile device first and not the desktop. So so, if, if, if something is missing on the mobile device, Google’s, possibly not even index, not even reading it themselves, because they’re only looking at the mobile version as that’s where 70 80 % of your S, your patient base is dealing your site as well. Yeah.
That’S really interesting And I’ll I’ll give you a break. Thank you for all that.
And kind of jump back to Kelsey for a second, because I know Kelsey with our clients. That’S something that, like you guys have mentioned, we’ve been considering in the factors in our development for quite a while, and I know that we’re revisiting it for all of our clients also based on this update. But what, if someone is not a client Of our roadside?
How would an office manager or a practice know if their site needs physically? You know how would they judge does it need to do something? Do I need to be more proactive,
How, because a lot of the things you guys described, some of them yeah totally
Totally can track ourselves, but some of it I’m like that sounds like more technical stuff that I, as an office team member, I wouldn’t know. So what would you recommend to the practices that are working with other agencies, How they can make sure that their website’s going to qualify and they’re not going to get penalized in may The easiest way to do? That is just simply ask your agency.
You know how: what is your plan of action?
Where’S my site right now and you know what are your goals and what do you have in plan to get me where it needs to go If you’re a little bit more savvy yourself? If you want to try to test it yourself and see those stats or see those metrics, you can use the Google page, speed developers, tool or the Google lighthouse tool, And you just simply just put in your domain and run the scan. Obviously, looking at those metrics that come back, you may not be able to translate all of them or understand, but you’ll be able to see okay, green, yellow or red, and what do I need to work on? What do I need to improve?
Alex mentioned something to keep in mind that if your site’s a couple years old chances are, it already has room for improvement and or it was built in a way that was good or optimized. For that particular time,
Maybe you’ve got eight different fonts that are being used on your site or maybe you’ve got 23 megabytes of images, because you took fantastic photos right And that’s great, but is that delivery? Now of that content? Still the best way to give it to your patients or give it to the people that are coming to your website. So you can kind of do a physical, technical audit, but also just a visual audit of your site and see if there’s anything that that could be improved.
So I’m gon na I’m gon na put you guys in the hot seat a little bit for a minute and play devil’s advocate because, as I’m gon na take myself out of the roadside role and put myself as
Somewhat in the practice and my website, that is maybe two or three years old, but we invested a substantial amount of money to make a very cool site. You know three years ago,
And now we’re being told, Google has changed again and we have to do something different and some offices get a little frustrated Like. Why are we not able to keep up with the changes? So you know what would How could you kind of explain to an office that is feeling frustrated by the fact that their site is okay, five years I get, but if it’s only two years old, why do I have to do something to it again?
Alex do you have any I’ll put you on the spot?
First, What would you say What would you say Because I know I hear that And you guys probably do also
Yeah And in some cases, improved there’s other cases that might need to be redone, And the best analogy I can think of for that is was the last time you bought a new phone. I mean we think about how often phones go out of date. Technology
And that’s something that we are more than happy to spend a thousand dollars on or more for the new iPhone, because one we either like it, but often after two years, three years that they slowed down, they stopped working a second degree all of life because we’re All using it on a daily basis on a regular basis,
Yeah we’re willing to invest that for one person using utilizing it
So if you’re, a business is not investing in and re-evaluating something that’s being used and viewed and evaluated by hundreds or thousands of patients on a regular basis on a daily basis on a monthly basis. It’S a serious thing to consider, because, if we’re willing to invest in it in a new phone every couple of years, there’s a pretty good indication that our site needs to get revisited as well. Okay, that’s fair!
I get that
I’M I’m guilty of wanting the new shiny phone as soon as it comes out So Kelsey. I know that historically, Google has made some, usually they they named them after an animal I’ve noticed in the past, but they you know they historically will make some kind of big algorithm changes, And when that happens, I hear from the practices that they get bombarded with I’Ll call it scare tactics, Everyone that you can imagine is blowing up their email and calling their phone and saying the sky is falling. Their website’s going to blow up They’Re going to go completely invisible, So what would you say to that? How much legitimacy is there to that? Is it just a way to drum up business or are they actually evaluating people’s websites when they’re getting emailed Cause they’re, probably going to get a lot of scare tactics?
Yeah, Without a doubt, Absolutely You’re going to get these emails. These agencies seem to just come out of the woodwork and they blanket with a template email that looks and reads the exact same way for every single person.
They send the two No on the surface. Is that a bad thing? No?
As Alex, and I mentioned it – is a factor and it is going to be something that’s taken into consideration for where their website is going to rank, But as the sky fallen. No, it’s not
So when you get these emails and you will you’ll get them, the easiest way is again go back to your agency. Talk to them have a real conversation and say: look here’s what this says. Where am I currently? What are your goals?
Where am I going to be
Or what is a realistic expectation Just because the ideal statistic or the ideal metric is this by Google? You may not fall into that category and neither will your competitors
So find out specifically for where you are, what is your expectations And then put a plan in action? So that actually brings me to kind of one other quick question that I didn’t ask, but we’re talking primarily our audience is the dental medical healthcare field. But this algorithm update this changed for Google’s websites.
It’S not necessarily targeting medical healthcare practices in general, it’s across the board, So I guess does either one of you have any other opinion of how you can speak to, how much of that is all agencies every website and how much of it affects.
You know more health care, dental practices Like how does that come into play? Yeah, I think I’ll, maybe Alex I’ll, have something to jump in on that, but I will say it: it’ll probably have a heavier effect on e-commerce sites.
You know, sites that are physically trying to sell goods and or have a high rate of interactivity. Those types of sites will hardly be more affected.
But it will affect the dental medical field, They have a lot of images.
You have videos, you have these, these sources that do slow down a site, So there will be an effect on these types of websites as well. Okay,
Thanks And to follow up on on Kelsey’s point there, there’s kind of a bucket that Google classifies Ultra sensitive industries or something they put a place high priority again, because if they create inaccurate or false results, it actually causes serious damage or potential harm to people. I know that some of the top engineers at Google, who are public facing on Twitter and stuff, like that they talk about the negative effects of if somebody is looking for doing cancer research for a sick relative or for themselves.
And they get some inaccurate pill that somebody is trying to sell or some some false research
That can kill somebody or negatively affected. That’S an ethical, serious decision that Google has to weigh on themselves And so, in the same way, anything that affects what they call your money or your life.
They place a little bit more weight on because it’s in the same way,
Now it’s a little bit different than in the dental or medical industry, depending on the type of information we’re putting out. You know we’re not web MD, necessarily
But we do put out medical information or helpful information. Insights, explaining services providing services for people in Google does take it a little bit more seriously than if you know you’re, some random blog about a random topic.
That’S less weighty, And so this this does affect the medical and dental industry, As well as e-commerce, essentially anything where money changes, hands or advice that affects your health or your life in some serious way like that, Yeah
And thankfully, most of our medical dental practices are not going to have ads on their sites, So that is one of the things that we’re not worried about our medical practices having pop-up ads or having things like that. So that’s that’s one.
One benefit of the field. We’Re in So just to kind of summarize, I know that as a company, We are looking at our own clients, websites and doing a real, deep dive analysis to make sure all of them are up to date and we’re staying proactive.
But for all of our other clients, I know that we’re also our non-clients, I just anyone else in the community. I know that we’re offering these website audits, which basically these two gentlemen right here – are the two that are doing the work. If you guys one to have the analysis on your website, how is it doing?
We are doing complimentary, no obligation website analysis. I think They’ll put a link here in the chat and you can just simply write reach out to us and ask us to evaluate your site and how it’s performing
And we’ll give back a complimentary report and you guys can decide from there if there’s any changes that need to be made based on that for 2021 or if you guys are sitting pretty So yeah Feel free to reach out to us as a company and I’ll Be happy to Set up the tasks. Look at these two gentlemen. Do all the research for you and then I will report it back to you.
So yeah we’re happy to help And thanks Alex and Kelsey for taking time today.
I know a lot of our audience has been asking about this They’ve been hearing already this, the kind of hubbub of there’s going to be a change, and that always makes people start to get a little nervous and anxious
So thanks for taking the time to break it down,
And hopefully we can stay ahead of the game. My pleasure Thanks Thanks, Bye,