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Optimizing Your Legal Website for Google’s Page Experience Update

Google’s Page Experience update will arrive in May 2021. Google will use three new ranking signals called Core Web Vitals (loading, interactivity, visual stability), as well as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials to determine search rankings.
March 24, 2021

Legal websites can be powerful marketing tools. While customer reviews and your firm’s professional reputation are essential to building client trust, firms that maintain a current and active website are more likely to see increased client engagement. While having an informative and inviting website is a solid marketing strategy, legal practices that continue to update and optimize these sites can see their rankings and visibility to potential clients increase more rapidly than firms that do not take such steps. As we prepare for Google’s Page Experience update in May 2021, here are some ways to help you optimize your website for the upcoming shift.

What is Page Experience?

By now, you’ve probably heard of the term “user experience,” or UX. This measures how easily consumers or clients can navigate your website and how likely they are to contact you to schedule an appointment. Websites that anticipate client needs and present clear, useful information tend to elicit more engagement from potential clients. As Google tweaks its search ranking algorithm, it has implemented a new metric called Page Experience to boost more UX-friendly sites. Google will use seven signals to measure Page Experience, including three new ranking signals called Core Web Vitals (loading, interactivity, visual stability), as well as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials.

Optimizing for Core Web Vitals

To optimize the Page Experience for your legal website, you’ll need to examine the three Core Web Vitals. First, check to see how long it takes users to load your page. Google has decided to use a new standard, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), to measure page speed, ranking sites loading in under 2.5 seconds highest. Second, assess the site’s interactivity. Google uses First Input Delay (FID) to measure the delay between user clicks and site responsiveness. Tools such as Chrome User Experience Reports and PageSpeed Insights can help you measure and improve your FID scores. Finally, pay attention to when and how elements move position after they’ve rendered. Tools like Google’s Search Console and the Chrome User Experience Report can help you measure your Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

What Happens After the May 2021 Page Experience Rollout

Google maintains that the rollout won’t have an immediate impact on search rankings. While quality web content still takes priority, the Page Experience rollout increases the importance of UX. So, channel your efforts into ensuring your website addresses client needs clearly and straightforwardly. As Google’s algorithm sees that you’ve met the Core Web Vitals benchmarks, you’ll likely see a boost in rankings. While this shift is important, Google anticipates that additional metrics will be introduced and evolve in the upcoming years.

We’ve Got You Covered

Sites we build and manage have covered these bases for over a year. Staying ahead of algarithm updates is key in growing and maintaining ranks for your targeted search phrases.

Don’t have a website actively managed by us? Reach out to LegalRev to discuss how to make your digital marketing strategy more effective by scheduling a call back today. We’re offering discounts to new and returning clients through the end of May 2021.

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