The rollout of Google’s Page Experience algorithm update is set to begin this month. It marks one of the most significant algorithm updates in a number of years, and those with business websites in the Wirral region will likely have to make some changes to stay in Google’s good graces.
One of the critical factors that will be going into this update is Core Web Vitals. If this is the first you’ve of them, it’s worth spending a few moments explaining what they are and why they matter to your website’s SEO performance.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google considers when evaluating a webpage’s overall user experience (UX). In essence, they are the specific metrics that Google will use to measure your website’s performance regarding your website visitors’ page experience once the rollout has taken effect by the end of the summer.
The specific metrics they will use are as follows:
- Largest contentful paint
- First input delay
- Cumulative layout shift
But what do those terms mean, and why are they so important?
Why Are Core Web Vitals Important?
There’s a reason that there is so much fanfare around this particular Google update. It’s because page experience is going to become an official ranking factor for your Wirral business website. In other words, if you deliver a poor page experience to your customers, Google will push competitor sites with better page experiences above yours in search results.
Google have stated that many factors will go into the overall page experience, including:
- HTTPS connection (SSL certificate)
- Number of annoying pop-ups
- “Safe-browsing” (basically, not having malware on your page)
However, Core Web Vitals will be the most significant influence on your overall page experience performance. With that in mind, let’s run you through what they are and how you can improve them to ensure your website maintains or even improves its SEO performance.
What is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)?
LCP is how long it takes a page to load from the point of view of an actual user. In other words, the time it takes from clicking a link to your website to loading up the vast majority of that page’s content.
You can receive a score for LCP by entering your domain into Google PageSpeed Insights. However, you will find the LCP scores for each page and post of your website over in your Google Search Console.
So what can you do to improve the loading speeds of your pages? Here are some suggestions:
- Remove any unnecessarily third-party scripts
- Upgrade your web host
- Set up lazy loading
- Remove large page elements
If they sound too technical for you, you can always speak to one of the experts here at Ctrl Alt Create about implementing these changes on your website.
What is First Input Delay (FID)?
Once again, it’s worth clarifying what FID is. It’s the time it takes for a website visitor to interact with the page.
That could be one of the following actions:
- Choosing an option from a menu
- Clicking on a link in the site’s navigation
- Entering their email into a field
- Opening up a “hamburger menu” on mobile devices
This is an important metric because it measures how real-world users interact with your business website. FID isn’t really relevant on some of your web pages (such as informational blog posts) where you wouldn’t expect someone to take action.
However, Google will be paying close attention to:
- Login pages
- Sign-up pages
- Other pages whereby the user is expected to click on something to progress (e.g., your homepage).
- These are the pages where FID becomes a vital metric. To improve your FID scores, you need to remove all possible distractions and ensure that the clickable feature loads and quickly as possible.
From a web design perspective, make sure that it’s obvious where you expect your users to go for their next interaction by making navigation menus stand out more and increasing white space around call-to-actions (CTAs).
What is Content Layout Shift (CLS)?
For those unfamiliar, CLS is how stable a page is as it loads (aka “visual stability”). In other words, if elements on your page jump around as the page loads, then you’ve got a high CLS, which isn’t good.
The lower your CLS score, the better. You want everything to stay in place as it loads so your users don’t become muddled regarding where things are.
This is perhaps the most tricky to improve since there are so many elements at play that cause items to move during loading, but here are some things you can try:
- Set fixed dimensions for any media (video, images, infographics etc.)
- Make sure ads elements have a fixed, reserved space
- Push new elements below the fold
Ads are usually the biggest culprit for page items jumping about as the page loads. Thus, it makes sense to involve professional web experts to implement controls to ensure your Wirral website retains top SEO marks from Google.
Secure Excellent Core Web Vitals Scores to Boost Your Wirral Website’s SEO Performance
With the page experience rollout currently in progress, many Wirral-based businesses are scrambling to improve their Core Web Vitals scores. However, as you might have noticed, it can be a daunting task if you’re not technically inclined.
That’s why we would recommend leaving it to the professionals here at Ctrl Alt Create who already boast plenty of experience in delivering excellent scores for these vital SEO performance metrics.
Contact us today to discuss our team performing a no-obligation SEO audit of your website.