Faster phones have definitely succeeded in doing one thing: Making the average mobile user very picky.
Most of us have zero patience for a bad mobile experience. We will quickly hit Back to leave a slow website to find something faster. Google knows this, which is why their upcoming Core Web Vitals update is very mobile-focused.
The update promises to reward websites that offer the best mobile experiences while punishing the sites that drive us all nuts.
If you’re looking for someone to help you properly optimize your mobile site, you still have time to reach out to an experienced SEO expert like Paul Teitelman to ensure that you’re ready for the update.
In the meantime, here are some of our mobile pet peeves and how the Core Web Vitals update could make them a thing of the past.
1. Slow load speeds
Google has always rewarded sites with good load speeds, but this next update will take that to the next level. They are actually focusing on three new, more granular speed statistics that we’ll explore a little bit later.
Everyone hates waiting for a mobile site to load. In 2018, Google reported that mobile sites that loaded in 2 seconds or less had a 15% higher conversion rate than average. That was published over two years ago, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the gap were even wider today.
Again, speeds go up, and so do our expectations.
2. The last-second shift
Does this sound familiar? You load a mobile site. You know what you want, and you go to click on the button. But, the page isn’t done loading and shifts at the last second. You end up clicking on the wrong thing.
It’s absolutely maddening.
The new update will bring this problem front and center by forcing webmasters to pay attention to their Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). We now have to move beyond simply looking at how quickly a given page loads. We need to be mindful of how quickly it completely loads and how long it takes for the layout to stop moving around.
3. The frozen button
This situation may also sound familiar.
You try to click on the button that you want, but your click does nothing because the rest of the site is still loading. You click it a few more times out of frustration. You don’t care about anything else on this site — you just want to click that one button.
The Core Web Vitals update could help this problem by bringing attention to a page’s First Input Delay (FID). This metric measures how quickly a page becomes interactive or how quickly the user is actually able to start clicking around.
4. The block-out interstitial Ad
Maybe the site you’re visiting loads quickly enough. But, right as you’re about to scroll to what you want, a big red interstitial ad pops up asking you to sign up for their mailing list. You’re not interested, but this ad is preventing you from doing anything else. The “No Thanks” button is hard to find, so you just leave.
Google has established some clear guidelines on how interstitial ads should look and function. If your ads don’t meet those guidelines, you could be taking a massive SEO hit. Removing (or changing) these ads could quickly help your SEO rankings and unlock traffic by fixing the user experience.
It’s worth noting that Google doesn’t just hate these ads on websites; they also hate them in apps. In fact, they just pulled 600 apps from their store because of “disruptive ads.”
Everything that Google does is in the name of creating a better web for everyone. They know that users hate encountering the mobile barriers we’ve discussed today, so their search algorithm seeks to reward the websites that provide the best overall experience.
If you have already optimized your mobile experience to avoid these barriers, bravo, you’re going to be just fine. You’re most likely already ranking pretty well, and you may even see a boost in the New Year.
On the other hand, if your users are still struggling with those issues, you’re probably not ranking as well as you could be today, and things may get worse when the Core Web Vitals update goes live.
But the good news is that you still have time to fix them. Take full advantage of this opportunity!