To achieve success in today’s competitive online world, you need to rank well. This means preparing your site for specific metrics imposed by Google to ensure you’re in the best position to maximise profit, improve traffic, and boost leads and sales. Several SEO strategies can help your site appear on the first page of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but as the Web Core Metrics continue to update, you need to adapt to the imposed changes to attain the top spot in SERPs.
The 2021 Core Web Vitals update gives site owners an exact look at how their websites will be ranked, what metrics should be prioritised, and what SEO techniques need to be imposed. To hit all these requirements, you need a better understanding of how Google rates your website based on its user experience and performance.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what Core Web Vitals are, how it can affect your site ranking and how to prepare for its most recent update.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics, provided by Google, that help developers understand how users experience a website. They are made up of three specific factors that measure your site’s user experience, namely: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – The LCP metric is responsible for measuring your website’s speed performance. This includes taking note of the render time of every image or video content on your website. To achieve a good LCP, your content element should have a loading speed of 2.5 seconds or less.
- First Input Delay (FID) – This metric evaluates the inactivity time of your website. In other words, it measures how long it takes for your website to respond to an action or prompt. For example, when a user visits your page and clicks on one of its buttons, your site should respond to it quickly. The response time should be 100 milliseconds or less.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – CLS is a fairly new metric imposed by Google. Unlike LCP and FID, this metric focuses on your website’s ability to shift during the loading phase. Think of a scenario where you’re about to click a button, but it suddenly moves, and you end up tapping a different one. This is due to the sudden shift of your page layout while the loading process is taking place. According to the new metrics update, your website shifts should be 0.1 or closest to zero.
How can the Core Web Vitals Update Affect Your Website?
So, how will the Core Web Vitals affect your site? It’s safe to say it’s more than just rankings. It’s true that prioritising these updates will likely result in better rankings and traffic, but what most site owners don’t know is that they will also affect their visitors’ web experience. If your site is slow loading, prone to layout shifts, and has poor page response, your visitors will most likely be discouraged to revisit your site.
It’s also important to note that Core Web Vitals are components of the overall page experience. They are combined with other search signals to provide a “holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page.” So it’s only natural for your site to have low rankings and poor traffic once these metrics are neglected and not prioritised.
Google’s Core Web Vitals can also affect your site’s ranking on Google Top Stories. Failure to implement these metrics can result in the removal of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is vital for any news sites aiming to have better rankings.
How to Prepare Your Site for these Updates?
Improving your site page experience can be time-consuming, to say the least. But its results are often too sweet and well worth it. Here are a few ways to prepare your site for the current Google’s Core Web Vitals update.
- Improve Your LCP – One of the most effective ways to improve your site experience is by optimising your hero image. To reduce its loading time, consider compressing the image and converting it into a smaller format. You can also remove large and unnecessary page elements that are causing your LCP to slow down. Not only can image optimisation help your website earn a top spot on Google’s SERPs, but it can also improve your overall site experience.
- Improve Your Web Hosting – A faster server response time will help you earn a good score in Google’s new Core Web Vitals updates, and the best way to achieve this is by upgrading your web hosting. By improving your web hosting service, you can avoid unnecessary delays and loading times whenever visitors access your site. It’s a great way to improve your FID and subsequently, your web ranking.
- Create Enough Space for Your Page Layout – Sudden layout shifts can affect your site more than you think. So keeping your CLS at a minimum is a must if you want to rank well on Google SERPs. An easy workaround for this is by reserving space for your site’s image and video content. By doing so, you can avoid sudden layout shifts while your media elements are loading.
- Create Quality Content – Content remains king, and Google proves that by reminding site owners that “while page experience is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar.” Not only does quality content improve your web rankings, but it also attracts site visitors and help them take action on your site.
Google’s Core Web Vitals have always been a crucial part of search engine rankings for millions of websites. Prioritising these metrics will not only improve your page experience, but your overall ranking and site traffic as well. If you find the process too complicated and time-consuming, don’t hesitate to turn to professionals.
At KDM, we have the expertise to improve your site experience and web ranking. Give us a call and see how our team of web experts can help you with your SEO and digital marketing needs.