A few months back, we released an article about the essential attributes of an effective website. It was quite a revelation then, but now we’ve realized that Google is trying to ask for more for the benefit of your consumers.
Google’s newly launched Page Experience Update is the whistle that signals the confirmation of Core Web Vitals as a search ranking factor effective May 2021. This implies that while quality is still the most valuable element of any website, the giant search engine also wants website owners to give more value to the technical aspect of your SEO. A quick way to make this happen asap would be to seek help from professionals offering search engine optimization services.
Core web vitals has become a hot topic lately. What is it?
In a nutshell, core web vitals refers to a set of factors that play an important role in the overall user experience of a web page. They are made up of three page speed and user interaction metrics namely: First Input Delay (FID), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
The Importance of Core Web Vitals
Simply put, core web vitals are signals that measure how fast people can interact with your website, how easy it is for them to navigate through your site, and what kind of results your website is giving. In short, core web vitals are about good user experience.
If your website is able to deliver it, your site’s page experience score will also improve.
An easy way to make it happen would be to work with an able search engine optimization agency with technical SEO expertise.
Here’s what the three core web vitals are designed to do:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the LCP measures how fast large elements such as videos, images and animations can load on your website.
Cumulative Layout Shift ( CLS) – this core web vital ensures that your website’s pages don’t make confusing movements that can distract, delay or prevent users from consuming content.
First Input Delay (FID) – is a core web vital that measures how fast your website’s browser responds to user commands and delivers results. It also reveals the responsiveness of your website’s pages when people interact with them for the first time.
At this stage, the core web vitals might sound alien to you. But to enable you to comply with the Page Experience Algorithm from Google, here are some pointers that can help you improve your core web vitals:
First off, you must see how your website performs against its core web vitals. Do this via a quick website performance analysis using Google Search Console or Page Speed Insights.
Try to do a parallel run of your performance test using different tools and compare results. It can help you to identify specific core web vital elements that impede your website’s capability to provide pleasant user experience.
While running a test is the best way to find out the causes of poor user experience, there are things you can do to improve it.
Here’s a simple way to determine if there are unused JS in your website:
1. Open your website, right click your mouse then click “Inspect”.
2. Click on “Sources”. At the bottom of the page, you will see three dots
3. Click on the three dots and a drop down menu of ‘More Tools’ will appear
4. Click on ‘Coverage’ then press the load function.
5. When the loading is finished, you will see how much unused JS is present in your web page
2. Implement Lazy Loading
Images play a crucial role in making a website more engaging and eye-catching. You must use them on your website to prevent your site from looking like a huge block of text.
While images help to convey your message to your audience, you must be sure that it can’t cause harm to your site’s core web vitals. Make this possible by implementing lazy loading to allow images to load the moment a user scrolls down the page. Image loading can hamper the loading speed of a site’s pages, but if you implement lazy loading, your site’s loading time won’t be compromised and your website can possibly get a high LCP score. But there’s more to lazy loading than seeing images at the exact moment, as it can actually give more benefits such as:
- Improve your site’s performance
- Limit your bandwidth usage
- Improve SEO for your site
- Reduce your site’s bounce rate, and
- Keep your site’s visitors longer
3. Compress and Optimize Your Images
Large amounts of images can affect your site’s ability to load because they are heavy. If your site contains lots of large images, you should optimize them to lighten or reduce the load of the pages. This will not only improve your site’s loading speed but raise its user experience, LCP score, and search engine rankings.
You should also compress images to reduce the overall page size. If you’re worried that compression will damage the quality of your images, your images must have been saved in the wrong format. To get good quality compressed images, these should be saved in jpg format if the images are landscape, and save them in png format if the images are graphic.
Besides compressing images, there’s another thing you can do to improve your site’s performance. Activate Content Delivery Network (CDN) to lighten your website’s load of images which can cause your site to slow down.
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a network of servers geographically distributed all over the world. They cache website content and reduce their file size to shorten loading times and improve your site’s performance. Since CDNs are distributed in many places around the world, use the CDN closest to your location to maximize your website’s load times and increase the availability of your content.
4. Provide Images, Ads and Embeds in the CSS File with Proper Dimensions
You will know that the movements of your website are not optimized if it gets a low Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score. If upon testing, your site’s CLS score is 0.1 or higher, it means the site’s CLS is poor. In most cases, it is a result of not providing proper dimensions to images, embeds or ads in your CSS file.
To make improvements on your CLS score, you should pay attention to the dimensions of your images. When the images in your CSS files are in their right width and height, your browser will reserve a sufficient amount of space in the page while these elements are being loaded.
In other words, when an image a consumer wants to use is not in the prescribed size, it will load slowly because the browser doesn’t know the amount of space it needs to allocate for that image. You can avoid this issue by reserving a space where you want to display the image.
When doing embeds like inserting a video from YouTube into your website, you must be sure that they are working efficiently both in the back and front end.
1. Go to YouTube and open the video you want to embed into your site.
2. Find the “Share” button then click <> Embed to see the dimensions and other information.
3. Copy the code to ensure that the video will play at its prescribed dimensions.
5. Boost Server Response Time
Browser response time plays an important role in the performance of a website. Google confirms it with this statement: “The longer it takes a browser to receive content from the server, the longer it takes to render anything on the screen. A faster server response time directly improves every single page-load metric, including LCP.” Long server response time can certainly spoil important elements of your site’s performance including your SEO and user experience.
Measure your server’s response time with Time to First Byte (TTFB) which is the number of milliseconds it takes for a browser to receive the first byte of the response from your web server. In short, TTFB is time spent by your browser waiting for the first response from your server. A long TTFB frustrates visitors and abandons your website. It can also hurt your rankings. To avoid these consequences, you should work to keep your TTFB lower than 500 milliseconds.
Through the Page Experience Update, the Core Web Vitals is becoming more important not only as a ranking factor but as an indication of your website’s effectiveness.
Google has started rolling out this update by Mid-June. As a business website operator, you should conduct a review of your website to know how efficient it is in responding to users’ intent for interaction.
Your website’s ability to deliver the ideal core web vitals can certainly gain favor from users. It can also give you the chance to stand out against many of your competitors.
Grab this chance while it lasts. Work on your site’s core web vitals today and make your website win more followers by giving importance to user experience. You can make it possible with the help of a search engine optimization services specialist like Muzeum Marketing. We’re here to help you stand out in the digital market.
Call us at (321) 341-9090.