How To Improve Your Google Ranking and Page Speed for Therapy Websites
If you’ve been following me, you’ve probably heard me say that blogging is one of the best ways for to supercharge your therapy website’s SEO. That remains true (so keep blogging!), but Google has now made some algorithm changes using speed as an additional ranking factor. It’s important to understand how your site speed may affect how your therapist website ranks in search results.
There is no need to panic as we are going to cover some bite-sized actionable steps you can take to get your therapy websites zipping along to make Google happy.
Google’s Core Web Vitals
In May 2021, Google started considering three different speed measures (called Core Web Vitals) as a ranking factor.
Whereas Google’s previous metrics focused on mobile responsiveness, pop-ups, safe browsing, and security, Core Web Vitals considers “page experience” a critical factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Page experience describes how real-world website experience impacts your therapist website visitors and focuses on the following three measures:
- Loading Speed: How fast do your therapy website pages load?
- Interactivity: How long before a visitor can interact with your website pages?
- Visual Stability of Page Content: How quickly does each website page become stable?
You must address these key metrics for your therapy websites. A poor page experience will directly impact your Google page rankings leading to a decline in traffic and visibility. See Google’s own graphic below which illustrates their new search ranking guidelines.
Page Experience Checklist
What can you do on your therapy websites or counseling websites to address these new changes? Here are some actionable steps you (or your web designer) can take:
- Access your Core Web Vitals report on Google Search Console
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
- Fix mobile usability errors
- Implement HTTPS
- Remove pop-ups
- Include useful content
- Have strong content readability scores
- Fix broken links
- Improve your website layout: Above the fold elements are most important for loading speed
Helpful Tools to Test for Core Web Vitals
Want to test your website speed? Here are some popular options, and they all test slightly different things. Please note that it’s important to set the server location to your location (for example, USA).
- Google Page Speed Insights (Tests mobile + desktop versions of your website. A reasonable goal is to get above 50.)
- GMetrix Speed Testing (Free account tests only the desktop speed of your website. You can measure mobile speed by signing up for a paid account, but Canada is the only server location available.)
- Google Chrome Lighthouse (Use incognito mode)
Tools to Help Speed Up Your Website
- WP Rocket: What I use on Growing Therapists website
- Nitro Pack
- Short Pixel: What I use on Growing Therapists website for image optimization
We Can Help
Feel free to reach out to us at Growing Therapists if you’d like assistance in ensuring your therapist website is up to speed and ready for Google’s new ranking algorithm.