Fixing Your Core Web Vitals
Design & Development | SEO
Now that we know more about the Core Web Vitals from the new Google Page Experience update, (if you need a refresher, click the link) and have a better understanding of what each metric is measuring, it’s time to evaluate where our pages stand and improve them if needed.
It is important to understand your site specifically, as each will differ, so take some time to dive into and analyze your domains individually. However, in this article, we are going to focus on some common issues that you may face and how to address them.
There are a few ways to analyze your site, but I recommend using Google Search Console, as it is the easiest way to address multiple pages on a large site.
Locate the section under ‘enhancements’ in the main navigation and you will be able to see the number of pages on your site affected by each Core Web Vital. After looking through this section, you’ll see a report for each Core Web Vital issue where your site may be struggling.
So, if your site IS struggling, how do we fix it? Here are some tips on how to address some common issues.
LCP – Largest Contentful Paint
LCP Recap: Measures a user’s perception of how long it takes for a page to load. The goal is to make sure that it takes less than 2.5 seconds for that resource to load.
Why Is It Important?
If your site has a fast LCP, it helps reassure the user that the page is functional, useful, and legitimate. On the other hand, if your site has a slow LCP, it discourages users and you will see a higher bounce rate, meaning less traffic and fewer conversions.
LCP Improvement Tips:
- Apply instant loading with the PRPL pattern
- Optimize your Critical Rendering Path
- Optimize CSS files
- Optimize image file sizes and compression
- Optimize or remove web fonts
- Remove any unnecessarily third-party scripts
- Upgrade your web host
- Set up lazy loading
- Remove large page elements
FID – First Input Delay
FID Recap: Measures how long before the user can interact with your site. Your site should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds to rate “good” in this category.
Why Is It Important?
FID captures a user’s first impression (and we all know first impressions are important) by how they interact with your site and then evaluates how that experience feels. If you have a low FID time, it helps ensure that the page is usable and the better rank your site will receive from Google.
FID Improvement Tips:
- Reduce the impact of third-party code
- Minimize main thread work
- Keep request counts low and transfer sizes small
- Use a browser cache
CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift
CLS Recap: Measures the sum total of all individual scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of the page. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.
Why Is It Important?
If you get annoyed and frustrated when stuff moves around on the screen while it is loading, you are not alone. CLS is important because it measures visual stability by evaluating how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. A poor CLS can cause a poor user experience.
CLS Improvement Tips:
- Include the size attributes on your images and video elements or reserve the space with CSS aspect ratio boxes
- Never insert content above existing content, except in response to a user interaction
- Use transform animations instead of animations of properties that force layout changes
- Make sure ads elements have a reserved space
- Add new UI elements below the fold
Wrapping It Up
With the Google Page Experience update coming in June, it is the perfect time to address any issues you may have with your site. Even though we don’t believe this update will negatively affect ranking factors, making these changes can help differentiate you against your competition, and will help the overall user experience.
If you need help analyzing your Core Web Vitals report and developing a plan for improvement, our Specialists at Top Floor are here to assist you.
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