When it comes to digital marketing, there are very few things as vital to its success as user experience. Simply put, the core web vitals are essentially metrics that have been put into place by Google to measure this factor. In the past, UX has had little to no effect on the way a specific website ranks in the SERPs or search engine results pages. However, the introduction of the aforementioned standard changes how this works, and businesses will now have to consider this factor in their online advertising efforts. And it is good standard practice to secure the services of professionals like those from digital marketing New Orleans agencies.
This brief guide explores the importance of core web vitals and how to leverage them to stay on top of your website and improve its overall performance. If you want to learn more, please continue reading.
Importance of Core Web Vitals
The way rankings work in search engines have changed considerably now that core web vitals have become vital signals. User experience now plays a critical role in whether or not a website and its pages are able to elevate its position on the SERPs. No longer will poorly-designed sites devoid of focus cut it; they must be structured in an appealing and easy-to-use manner or they’ll fail not only to engage their intended audience. But more importantly, they won’t rise through the ranks of the search results and make themselves more visible to the right users.
Through the inclusion of core web vitals as a ranking factor for search engines as listed below, domain owners are encouraged to create web pages that prioritize the user’s experience and not just to produce content relevant to the business’s industry. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the actual content should be disregarded in favor of the audience’s involvement. Website optimization is all about addressing every area – from the experience to the content. An excellent website never compromises one area over the other, after all.
LCP or Largest Contentful Paint
The simplest and most straightforward of all three core web vitals is called the largest contentful paint or LCP for short. Essentially, this factor involves the web page’s speed when it comes to loading content – from text and images to videos. For Google to accurately evaluate the website and consider it as good, at least seventy-five percent of the content must be loaded within two-and-a-half seconds. Any page that takes four or more seconds to complete loading means that it needs attention and improvement. Failure to do so will lead to a low largest contentful paint score.
The good news is that there are several ways you can improve the speed of your website. Here are a few of the most common strategies to make sure that the site loads much quicker:
- Utilize a Content delivery network or CDN. Content delivery network services are becoming more and more common amongst website owners, and it isn’t hard to see why. As a set of servers that are distributed across different geographical areas, it helps a site load quickly because it makes use of the closet server to the end-user. By using a CDN, you can help your website load much faster than it should.
- Optimize the images on the website. Images are commonly used in websites because they catch the eyes of users and keep them engaged. You could even argue that they are a vital aspect of a site. However, depending on the resolution and quality, it can also slow a web page down. If you want to avoid this, you must compress them. It may take some time and effort, but it is well worth it.
- Minimize plugins. Plugins are fairly common components that most websites have. They have specific features that are usually recommended by third-parties to elevate the appeal and functionality of a web page. However, they can also slow it down. As such, it is a general rule of thumb to minimize their use to only the bare essentials. It will help the site complete its loading quicker.
- Reduce web font use. The popularity of web fonts in the design of a website cannot be understated. Unfortunately, they can also have a negative effect on speed in which the page renders. They do add additional requests for HTTP from other resources, after all. So make sure to keep its use at a minimum.
FID or First Input Delay
The next metric of core web vitals comes in the form of FID or first input delay. It looks into the interactivity of the website, measuring how long it takes for a specific web page to elicit interaction from users. Some examples of this include clicking on links or choosing items from the menu of the site. To achieve a decent score on first input delay, the time that you should aim for must be within a hundred milliseconds. Anything more than this is a cause for concern and should be addressed immediately to ensure that your score remains at a reasonable level.
CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift
Last but not the least, CLS or cumulative layout shift deals with the stability of the content that is in a specific page. It monitors any unexpected shifts in layout on its visual content while it loads. Measuring its score is calculated with a simple zero or one, wherein the former indicates that the page is devoid of any shifting while the latter means that shifting exists. The goal for CLS must always be 0.1 and below because anything over 0.25 means that user experience is affected.
User experience is now an integral part of search rankings. There’s no getting around this fact. Despite the importance of SEO strategies, you must also consider optimizing core web vitals with the help of a digital marketing New Orleans agency to attain the desired outcome. By making sure that your website looks as good as it functions, you’ll be able to keep users engaged with your content. This, in turn, will affect your ranking, which will give your more conversions and sales as a result.