Infosites.Biz | Optimizing Visual Media for next June 2021 "Google's Core Web Vitals"

Last year, Google made a move to prioritize the end-user experience, announcing Core Web Vitals. In June 2021, these three metrics will begin impacting search rankings, ensuring the best user experiences rise to the top.

Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in a webpage's overall user experience. ... In short, Core Web Vitals are a subset of factors that will be part of Google's “page experience” score (basically, Google's way of sizing up your page's overall UX).

If your website falls into the ‘Needs Improvement’ or ‘Poor’ windows of measurement, the effectiveness of your on-page SEO efforts will be diminished.

Introducing Core Web Vitals

Based on real-world user experiences, combined with lab tests and other research, Google is removing ambiguity around the impact of web performance on search rankings.

How to Optimize for LCP (Largest Contentful Paint

An LCP higher than 2.5 seconds puts your site at risk: 47% of websites have an LCP score of greater than 2.5 seconds.

If we adopt that mindset in addressing Core Web Vital scores, we would focus first on LCP. After all, every business today exists in a visual economy.

Unoptimized images are often the greatest contributor to page bloat. Looking at the 90th percentile of the distribution of page weight, images account for a whopping 5.2 MB of a roughly 7-MB page. In other words, images comprise almost 75% of the total page weight.

Tips for Optimizing LCP

# Embrace image optimization to encourage page load

# Compress image assets so they take up less bandwidth, but still display in high quality

# Convert images into newer formats (AVIF, JPEG XL, JPEG 2000, WebP)

# Use an AI-based platform to automatically crop, resize & format images specific to the user’s browser and device

# Keep a close eye on analytics to track how visual media performs over time

# Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)—or better yet, a multi-CDN approach—to speed up your website, per Google’s recommendation

# Cache the most used images and videos rather than sourcing them every time from the origin

How do I pass Core Web Vitals examination

In order to pass the Core Web Vitals assessment, you need to score “good” for all three Core Web Vitals—Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)—based on field data.

Core Web Vitals becoming ranking signals is an important shift in how search engine rankings work. Now, user experience will play a tangible role in if your website reaches that coveted number one spot. A poorly designed website with no focus on user experience just won't cut it.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a Core Web Vitals metric and measures when the largest content element in the viewport becomes visible. It can be used to determine when the main content of the page has finished rendering on the screen.

CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): The amount that the page layout shifts during the loading phase. The score is rated from 0–1, where zero means no shifting and 1 means the most shifting. This is important because having pages elements shift while a user is trying to interact with it is a bad user experience.

Does your CLS score affect your SEO? ... That means your CLS score (together with LCP and FID metrics) will affect your SEO. While it's likely to be a very minor factor, your CLS score (along with the other Web Vitals) may reflect on the traffic you get from Google and other search engines.

How do I fix core Web vitals issues?

  1. Optimize your images.

  2. Stabilize loading by specifying room for images and the like.

  3. Speed up your server to get that loading time down.

  4. Look into critical CSS to load above the fold content quicker.

  5. Improve loading of third-party scripts.