You're the head of the marketing department at your company. Leads are slowing, and you're looking for ways to improve your website's ranking to capture more traffic.
You know how important SEO is. Recently, you've heard of something cryptic called "Core Web Vitals" from Google.
Let's demystify them for you and show you how they impact your website's search rankings.
Core Web Vitals is a new set of ranking factors for Google's search algorithm, so it's important for website owners, developers, and marketers like you to understand them.
On May 28, 2020, Google announced Core Web Vitals as a set of metrics that look at the quality of user experience on the web. These three metrics measure your website's performance, stability, and interactivity.
Websites compete for attention. It’s crucial to have a website that's both easy on the eyes and easy to use.
For example, if your website has a lot of competition on SERPs (search engine results pages), and your Core Web Vitals score is lower than your competitor's, your website will rank below them assuming everything else is equal.
You want to rank higher. You deserve it.
Beyond Google rankings, paying attention to your Core Web Vitals improves your website's overall user experience. That helps your website visitors who might be visiting on slow networks from their phone while traveling for example. You don't want to lose a customer because they couldn't load your site.
TL;DR? High scores Core Web Vitals get you leads.
Going to the source, check out this video from Google Chrome Developers on Core Web Vitals and SEO:
Wondering how many businesses have taken care of their Core Web Vitals? We sampled blog and marketing pages of 231 Series-A companies and ran the Lighthouse benchmarking tool on them to measure their Core Web Vitals.76.1% of the sites we tested needed to improve their web vitals. A few hours of engineering could get them to rank higher on Google and stop losing customers to competitors.
Understanding the technical aspects of the three Core Web Vitals metrics is essential for any marketer who wants to improve their website's ranking and user experience. Let's take a closer look at LCP, FID, and CLS.
Every website page has a lot of different elements—images, texts, videos, widgets, etc. Each of these elements varies in size and load time. To see how well-optimized your page is, you need to check the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
The LCP measures how long it takes for the largest element on your page to load. A good LCP should take 2.5 seconds or less. A high LCP score means Google thinks your website visitors are likely to have a bad experience since it takes time to load your page.
Handle or Remove Third-Party Scripts
Optimize Your Images
Watch this 12-minute video from WPBeginner to optimize your image for web performance without losing quality.
Optimize Your CSS
Here's a video from Google Search Central about improving your LCP:
To measure your LCP, you can use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool. This tool gives your website an overall performance score out of 100 and provides specific tips on how to improve your LCP.
Here's an example of what PageSpeed Insights look like when you test a URL.
It is important to note that your LCP score is only one part of your overall performance score to get a higher ranking. You should also focus on other metrics such as First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
When you go to a specific webpage, the first thing you want to do is interact with it. Whether it's clicking a button, a link, or a checkbox, you want to be able to do something.
And it's a drag when the page seems frozen or unresponsive, right? You wouldn't want that for your users.
That's where FID metrics come in. FID, also called Input Latency, measures the time it takes from when a user first interacts with your page to when the browser can respond.
A good FID score is 100 milliseconds or less. If it takes longer than 100 milliseconds for the page to respond to your first interaction, the page will get a poor FID score.
There are a few things you can do to improve your FID:
Use Code Splitting
Load Third-Party Scripts Asynchronously Or Drop Them
Accept Suggestions from PageSpeed Insights
Scrolling through a page can be a nightmare when it jumps around. We've all been there, and it's ugly.
That's what CLS metrics measure.
CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift is a visual stability metric that measures how stable your page is when a user scrolls down or clicks through different sections of the page.
If you have elements on your page that are constantly moving around as it loads, it will have a high CLS score.
A good CLS score is 0.1 or lower. A score higher than 0.1 is unstable, and Google will likely rank that page lower in the SERP.
There isn't a silver bullet for improving your CLS score. You can do some things to improve your chances of scoring higher.
Set Attribute Dimensions to Your Images and Videos
Reserve a Specific Space for Ads
Make Your Page Layout as Simple as Possible
Here's a video from Elegant Themes to improve your CLS score.
As a marketer, your job doesn't end with creating a great piece of content. You also need to work on optimizing page speed and layout so that users can access it quickly and easily.
Google's launch of the Core Web Vitals metrics is a great opportunity for you to improve your page's performance and, as a result, its SERP ranking.
If you feel like your content isn't ranking as high as it should, analyze your page's Core Web Vitals: the CLS, FID, and LCP numbers. The culprit stealing your SERP performance may be found hiding in there. Talk to your engineering counterpart to address these technical SEO issues and get your site ranking high on Google.
At Letterdrop, we've done a lot of the hard work to help our customers host performant blogs that have high scores across Core Web Vitals. In fact, this blog is hosted on the Letterdrop platform. If you want help with your blog's performance, talk to us!
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