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Google is making a major update to the way they rank websites.

 

It’s a new set of website performance metrics that will affect your SEO rankings

 

I’m sure you’ve seen that term floating around the internet. If it’s new to you, you may in for a big shock come May of this year when your rankings tank and your SEO plan go down the tubes!

 

You do have an SEO plan, don’t you?. If you don’t have a successful SEO plan in place I suggest subscribing and you will receive your very own SEO Strategy Planner for FREE!

 

Google uses 3 tests (Web Vitals)

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP

This metric measures how quickly the main content becomes visible to the user.

This can be an image, article, or description, etc.

EX: You may have a fast load speed, but the larger content takes longer.

 

SPEED TESTS TOOLS WILL GIVE YOU A HIGH SCHOOL BUT PROVIDING A POOR USER EXPERIENCE MAY BE WORSE.

These tests are meant to give you a clearer picture of your website’s performance.

 

FID

Measures the time it takes a user’s browser to actually be able to begin processing event handlers in response to a user’s interaction. 

Are you sensing a theme here?

This can be as contact form, comment, share button, opt-ins, etc.. How long does it take when they are able to click that link?

CLS

Measures the time it takes for a website to become visibly stable.

As a website loads, some elements take more time to load than others.

During this time, your website’s content may keep moving on the screen.

EX: A reader is reading a paragraph on a mobile phone and a video embedded loads above it, this makes the entire content move down.

Frustrating if a user is trying to accomplish an action such as adding a product to a cart.

These metrics should be

  • LCP     2.5 seconds
  • FID      <100 milliseconds
  • CLS     <.01

 

  • You can also access your Core Vitals report in your Google console. This allows you to see how many URLs need improvement, passed, or have a poor score.
  • You can also obtain this by using your Chrome browser by right-clicking on the page and choose Inspect Element, look at the top and you’ll see LIGHTHOUSE by clicking on the arrows where it says ELEMENT, CONSOLE SOURCE>> hit those arrows to see it. MUST BE IN THE INCOGNITO MODE FOR THIS TO WORK (in your Chrome Browser click those three dots and the very top right-hand side and click NEW INCOGNITO WINDOW.

Google has already announced that search algorithms update will include page experience as one of its ranking factors  5/21

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEB CORE VITALS

  1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB HOSTING – Having good web hosting is becoming a necessity these days and the core web vitals are no different. This is an important part of your score. Bargain hosting is no longer adequate when you worried about rankings. Premium hosting can be a lifesaver. By providing security, SSLs and a CDN is the way that websites are being hosted these days. I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS
  2. IMPROVE LCP SCORE – Optimize your images! Make sure that you are using a caching plugin if possible that includes image optimization. You can also use tools like Imagify, Smush, etc. (I recommend WP Rocket (make sure it’s compatible with your theme). Also, I find a lot that clients are using several of these thinking perhaps the more the better when in fact the opposite is true. I prefer to use caching in my premium web hosting instead of adding a weighty plugin. An example of LCP would be the featured image in a blog post. If it exceptionally large that could cause problems.
  3. IMPROVE FID –  Again a caching plugin will help with this. Changing the way you load your Javascript and CSS can also be a big help. Always, minify your CSS.
  4. IMPROVE CLS – Fix layout shifts. Make sure all of your images have size attributes. Right-click on inspect tool to check these. Cache plugin.
  5. ELIMINATE RENDER BLOCKING ELEMENTS (Elements that are slower to load). These are usually: Javascript & CSS that is added by plugins like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc.
  6. PROPERLY SIZE IMAGES IN WP – Wrong size images can cause issues on mobile devices.
  7. USE A CDN – I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS. A CDN allows you to serve static content on your website from multiple servers around the globe which drastically decreases load times.
  8. IMAGES – When you upload an image to your WordPress media library three copies are automatically created. These sizes are THUMBNAILS, MEDIUM, LARGE. You can set these under SETTINGS>>MEDIA. If you put a “0” in that box it will skip that size if you aren’t using them. Also, if you’d like your thumbnails to be rectangular you could change the thumbnail size to something like WIDTH: 450px  HEIGHT: 200px. such as for food blogs.Larger images provide a clearer image but take up more storage space. Check the “Organize my uploads by month and year.

NEED MORE HELP WITH RENDER BLOCKING TEXT?

As I said, this is inserted by your plugins. If you’re using

  • WP Rocket uses the FILE OPTIMIZATION TAB.
  • Minify & combine your Javascript and CSS ** Make sure to check because this can cause some minor design changes.
  • Javascript deferred – Save mode for JQuery.

 

.WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:

  • a 7% loss in conversions
  • 11% fewer pageviews
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

graphic showing losses in dollars amount

 

 

 

 

Rena McDaniel

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