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Testing and Optimizing For Google’s Core Web Vitals

by on October 11, 2021 in Advertising, Best advertising story, Digital Marketing, featured item, Latest News, Startups

Testing and Optimizing For Google’s Core Web Vitals

Optimizing For Google’s Core Web Vitals: Earlier this year, Google rolled out their new ranking criteria – Core Web Vitals as part of their Page Experience signals. They work to incorporate website usability concepts as part of how Google calculates its search rankings. 

Generally, this will help improve website experiences for users, as their aim is to limit any potential problems that impede a seamless experience. Some of these issues include slow loading speeds, intrusive pop-ups, and content that doesn’t optimize properly from desktop to smaller screens. 

Functionality across all types of devices is particularly favoured by Google, who have stated that they use a mobile-first approach to assess search result rankings. All of the Core Web Vitals and Page Experience principles are aimed to make mobile experiences as efficient and functional as browsing through desktop.

Here’s what both the new criteria outline:

Google search signals

Before optimizing a website for the new criteria, it’s important to test them in order to see what pages are in need of improvement. Here’s how:

  • Google Search Console Page Experience Report: this highlights the user experience visitors have on a website and suggests area of improvement around Security, mobile-responsiveness, and functionality
  • GSC Core Web Vitals Report: this report is based on the three Core Web Vitals mentioned above. You’ll see how the individual pages (if they have enough data) on your website are performing for each CWV
  • Page Speed Insights: enter a URL to receive a breakdown of how your website is doing against the CWV and what opportunities for optimization there are

Optimizing for the Core Web Vitals is relatively straightforward, here’s a few tips and advice to follow:

  1. Check the amount of plugins and code you’re using

Limiting the number of plugins you use on your website can have a big impact on how quickly your website loads and becomes interactive. A lot of plugins continue to operate in the background even if they’re not being used, meaning there’s more to process when your website is loading. This impacts both the LCP and FID Core Web Vitals.

Consider and carefully pick which plugins are most necessary for your users and website. It’s also worth testing which are more impactful on the Core Web Vitals – try different combinations and assess the results from the reports.

Another factor that can affect website processing speed is too much code, known as code bloat. Similar to plugins, only add what is needed.

  1. Optimize Images and Videos

On most web pages, images comprise almost 75% of their weight. That means of all onpage elements, they take the most to process and load – affecting the LCP Core Web Vital.

For a fast loading website, it’s essential to optimize images. Use an image compressor such as TinyPNG or ImageResizer to optimize the file size to the smallest possible as well as using the correct format – often PNGs are the most appropriate.

Similarly, videos can cause slow loading due to their file size. Blazemp and HandBrake are both good for this purpose.

  1. Implement A CDN

A CDN – Content Delivery Network – is a group of data centres in different locations that deliver content to users that are closest to them geographically. This helps webpage’s content to load faster. Two popular CDN’s are Cloudflare and Fastly – their paid plans will give you the best results.

Some website builders include a CDN as part of their package that you can’t change and others let you use one of your own choosing – make sure to check if you’ve built a website using one. 

  1. Consider Your Website Layout

Websites that use lots of dynamic content such as pop-ups or adverts will probably have issues with the CLS Core Web Vital as they may move around a page and block other content. 

Consider using a more fixed layout with plenty of space around to ensure that if these elements do move, they’ll not impede anything else. You can also include size specifications for images and video which essentially reserves space for them so other elements load around them.

  1. Stay On Top Of The Rest Of Your SEO

Core Web Vitals covers only part of a website’s SEO, so be sure to properly maintain and continue good SEO practices and standards. These can include:

  • Writing accurate and descriptive meta-titles and descriptions
  • Implement HTTPS to secure your website user’s details
  • Including Alt-tags for your images 
  • Gain authoritative, relevant backlinks to your articles and website

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