Prepare your website for Google Core Web Vitals.
SEO trends are constantly evolving over time, and to stay ahead of the competition, you must be aware of all the latest trends. This 2021, Google Core Web Vitals are set to become a new ranking factor for web pages. Specifically, they will be added to the list of Google’s page experience metrics, which include mobile friendliness and safe browsing. With the update scheduled to take effect by May 2021, you must review your site and SEO strategy to ensure you get high scores.
Google Core Web Vitals are measured with three main components. First, LCP or the largest content paint measures page loading speed, with 2.5 seconds being the threshold to provide a good user experience. Second, FID or first input delay measures interactivity and quantifies how long it takes for the site to respond to a user’s action. Third, CLS or cumulative layout shift measures visual stability and measures the frequency of layout shifts or moving elements.
Performing well on all three components of your Core Web Vitals can achieve or maintain top ranks in search results. If your web vitals are doing poorly or need improvement, it will be best to perform a site and SEO audit to boost your scores in time for the update. Check out this short guide on how you can review your site and improve your core web.
Reviewing Your Core Web Vitals
Reviewing your site will help you assess your Google Core Web Vitals scores and determine what areas need improvement. To give you a quick idea of how the process will go, here is a rundown of the steps typically taken in an audit:
Check Core Web Vitals report
Though Google Core Web Vitals may seem tricky and technical, the good news is that there are plenty of tools available to use to help you assess your site performance. You can start your audit by looking at the Core Web Vitals report from Google Search Console, where you can see your pages’ performance over time.
You will not be able to see the exact scores from the report, but you can see whether they are marked as good, needs improvement, or poor. This step can help you identify the pages that require the most attention. An alternative method is to use PageSpeed Insights and insert your URL to get individual scores for each metric, along with an overall assessment. The drawback to this, however, is that you can only examine one URL at a time, so it is not ideal for large websites.
Connect PageSpeed Insights API key to a site crawler
The first step only gave a general assessment to how your web pages are doing. However, if you want to work on your scores, it will be best to gather as much data as you can for each page in your site. To do this, you can connect your PageSpeed Insights API key to a site crawler to get valuable insights on your pages.
Depending on what program you use, you may be limited to a certain number of queries in some cases. If you have a bigger site with many pages, the limit may not be enough, but you can still apply whatever insights you get from other pages to your whole site.
Choose your desired metrics
Once you have your API connected, you can choose what metrics and data you want to generate for each of your pages. You can check out your Chrome User Experience report for field data and Lighthouse for lab data or get suggestions on how to improve page performance. Generally, the goal is to get as many insights as possible, so you have an accurate assessment of your site pages.
Crawl your website
Crawling your site can help you determine your site’s technical health and analyze the data and content in each of your URLs. Since your PageSpeed Insights API is integrated into the crawler, you can also get data on your web vitals once the process is done.
Finally, you can analyze the data you have retrieved from the API metrics. With a website crawler, you can get the exact score for each of your metrics, along with the status, so you have a full view of all your pages. This data will help you take note of what specific metrics to fix for what page or what you can improve for your overall site.
Improving your Google Core Web Vitals entails a combination of technical SEO factors and web design to boost the overall user experience. As such, having a strong SEO strategy backed by optimized design elements will be important for the upcoming ranking signals.
There are many ways to improve your Core Web Vitals scores depending on what issues you diagnosed and found in your audit. However, generally, here are some recommended practices that can help raise your scores:
- Optimize your images by using proper sizes, using efficient image formats, and reviewing your code to reduce load times
- Remove unnecessary files and elements that can slow down page speed
- Reduce third-party scripts and plugins, if possible, to lessen assets that need to be rendered
- Keep your page loads downward to avoid pushing elements down while other assets load
- Use height and weight attributes on your images, videos, ads, and other resources
- Optimize your server by upgrading your hosting plan or hardware and infrastructure
- Prioritize loading above-the-fold content and eliminate render-blocking resources
With Core Web Vitals slated to come in May 2021, it is imperative that you look into even the smallest aspects of your site to check for potential areas of improvement. Ultimately, doing this will not just help you increase your scores but also provide a better user experience, which can have more significant effects in the long run.
Schedule a Marketing Consultation Today
Raising your Web Vitals scores requires you to reevaluate your web design and page experience to determine potential gaps that need to be addressed. To stay ahead of the competition, you can work with a marketing agency who specializes in web design services and SEO to maintain your site visibility and search rankings.
Whether you are looking to optimize and design your website, improve your brand strategy, or get content marketing, P3 Agency can help you with all your marketing needs. Schedule a free marketing assessment with us today by calling 800-515-9422 to learn more about how we can help you. You may contact us for questions or concerns, and our trained marketing consultants will be happy to clarify any matters.