Prepare Your Hotel Website for the 2021 Google 'Page Experience' Update
In 2021, Google will roll out a major new ranking algorithm called ‘Page Experience’ that has the potential to greatly impact how your website ranks in search.
If your first question here is “what is the Google search algorithm?”, let’s start with the basics: The Google search algorithm is a complex system that ‘crawls’ millions of websites and takes note of everything it finds there, including the website’s written content, the design, the way it’s coded, how fast it loads, and how people are behaving on the website.
When you search for a given phrase on Google, the algorithm serves you websites by pairing your search query and perceived intentions with websites that match them. The websites that rank the highest will be the ones deemed to be most relevant to your search and most likely to satisfy your intention.
Google is constantly tweaking this algorithm in small ways. Occasionally, they will release a more major update to it. This is one of these occasions. Their intention here is to give greater weight to website criteria that relate to a user’s experience a website, rather than just the information provided by the website.
We don't know when exactly they will launch it, but they are targeting sometime in early 2021
What Do They Mean by 'Page Experience'?
Think back to your high school days. Remember that brilliant teacher who never failed in putting you to sleep? He may have been imparting the best information possible, but your experience of that knowledge transfer was not exactly pleasant.
It’s the same with websites. It’s not just about the information and objectives that the website serves, but the experience you have of that website. Is it visually compelling? Easy to navigate? Quick to load? Are you able to get what you want without a hassle?
Traditionally, Google’s search algorithm put a heavy emphasis on the written information that a website presented. For example, if you searched for turtles, it would give you a website with the most detailed and well-written information on turtles. Increasingly, however, that it changes. Google’s algorithm has gotten smarter. It will now try serve you the websites that have both the best info and a user experience they think you will enjoy.
The 2021 ‘Page Experience’ represents the latest advancement in this area. More than ever, factors such as the following will be crucial to how well your hotel website ranks on Google.
-Is your website fully compatible with all mobile devices?
-Is your website interactive and engaging to users?
-Can a user be sure that your website is safe and secure?
-Does your website load quickly with no errors?
-Is your website intuitive and easy to navigate?
What Can I Do to Prepare?
Start by evaluating your existing website according to the above criteria and do the following
1.Check how fast your site loads across devices using this tool
2. Make sure you have an SSL certificate installed to keep your site secure
3. Compare your website to your best competitors. How does it stack up in terms of design, layout, and content?
4. Put yourself in the shoes of a guest. Spend time navigating through your website and ask yourself—am I easily able to find the information I need? Is it easy to make a booking? Am I impressed by the ‘wow’ factor of your hotel?
Who Should I Ask for Help?
Here at Digital Hospitality, we would be happy to look at your existing hotel website design and offer suggestions on how to respond to Google’s upcoming update. We have helped hundreds of hoteliers take their website’s user experience to the next level and we would be happy to serve you, even if all you need is some friendly advice. Give us a call today.
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