Google continually introduces new algorithm adjustments to address a number of SEO issues and maintain its delivery of relevant, high-quality content. Its recent page experience update is one of its biggest changes in recent years. Google now formally considers page quality, quantified through Core Web Vitals, as a ranking factor. Any company that values its reputation and visibility should care about it.
Understanding Core Web Vitals
Google first introduced Core Web Vitals in May 2020. Basically, it is a set of metrics that measures a page’s performance in providing a positive user experience. In July 2021, Google made Core Web Vitals a ranking signal, changing the way web owners approach page experience.
Core Web Vital metrics are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP measures how long it typically takes for a page’s core content to load. It involves more than simply how quickly the website loads. LCP measures “perceived” load speed, also known as how fast the main visible content loads. A good LCP score is anything that is under 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay (FID) measures the time from when a user starts interacting with a web page until the browser can begin to process that input. Simply, it is how long the browser reacts to a user’s action and begins processing it. FID only measures the initial encounter. It allows web developers to make sure that critical resources load without making the website feel clumsy and unresponsive. Google’s threshold for favorable FID is 100ms or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS evaluates the stability of the website page as it loads. One common issue with some web pages is when something suddenly changes (e.g., links, text, or images shifting down) without warning. By focusing on this Core Web Vital, companies improve page experience by preventing people from clicking on unintended links or feeling angry when they wind up on a different page than they planned. A favorable score for CLS is 0.1 or under.
The Core Web Vitals are a subset of a larger collection of page experience signals that Google takes into account when determining how to rank websites and web pages. Other page experience indicators include HTTPS (secure surfing), Safe Browsing, mobile responsiveness, and the absence of unwanted overlays, banners, or pop-up adverts.
With Core Web Vitals’ inclusion as a ranking factor, websites that do not adhere to best practices could receive worse ranking scores than those that do. Google will also be assessing website performance based on how well consumers engage with your website. Organizations now need to pay closer attention to these site health metrics as organic search remains to be the biggest digital marketing channel and one of the primary sources of web traffic.
Strategies to Improve Core Web Vitals
- Implement Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is executing page elements at the precise moment visitors scroll down the page. This is especially recommended for pages with numerous images, animations, or videos. It allows the page to obtain a high LCP score without affecting the website’s loading speed.
Lazy loading is advantageous because it reduces page weight, allowing for a faster initial load time. By only providing material to consumers when they specifically request it, lazy loading saves bandwidth and the server and client resources.
- Optimizing Images and Videos
Optimizing image and video elements is essential since doing so will make the page considerably lighter. This will, in turn, improve loading speed, LCP score, user experience, and search engine ranks.
Always attempt to save graphics in the png format and jpg format for landscape photos. Additionally, developers may utilize modern formats like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, or WebP.
Web owners can also include height and width attributes on image and video elements. Or they may also reserve its space with CSS aspect ratio boxes to prevent unexpected layout changes. With these methods, they can ensure that the browser will provide the appropriate amount of room in the document while the picture loads.
- Avoid Putting Ads and Pop-ups Above Content
When the material is added to a page, everything underneath it shifts, which lowers the CLS score. Additionally, because the major material of the page is pushed down the page, it affects user experience as users still need to scroll to see the website’s actual subject
It is ideal to reserve a specific space for ads and dynamic content. Similar to images and videos, these might also alter the page layout if there is no designated spot for them.
- Improve Server Response Time
The time it takes to initiate the page increases if the server takes a long time to respond to a request. As a result, it has an unfavorable impact on LCP as well as all other page speed metrics.
Subscribing to a high-performance server might be necessary to achieve that. Slower servers result from various factors, including insufficient hosting services with little to no assistance and shared resources.
It’s crucial that you start working on enhancing the Core Web Vitals to improve site performance and get better chances of ranking higher on search engines. Optimizing the back end of your website will have an impact on the front end of your website. By optimizing for Core Web Vitals, the company has better opportunities to deliver an improved user experience, especially in terms of loading speed, visual stability, and interaction.
Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.