Enhancing user experience can have a positive impact on your ranking

Recently, Google has updated its core web vitals for the search engine. It was done to improve the user experience on essential factors of the website. The goal was to redefine search quality and website’s performance on mobile devices, improving loading time, content usage, and clean code.

Core Web Vital was a hot topic in 2021 and will continue to be so going into 2022. As a result, you can drive your agency forward by improving the core web vitals of the client’s websites.

By monitoring these factors, you will make sure your agency meets or exceeds its business objectives. As a result, there will be less chance of any surprises, like a drop in your client’s search engine results.

What are Core Web Vitals?

These are a set of performance-based metrics. Google considers it essential for improving the user experience in terms of page speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. For a website to improve its ranking, it is necessary to measure these metrics.

Factors affecting Google Core Web Vitals metrics?

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) tells how long it takes for the page’s main content to be visible. It roughly translates into some milliseconds. An average user can start reading the page content without waiting for all images etc., to finish loading.
  2. The First Input Delay (FID) measures the time it takes for your users to start interacting with your website. JavaScript and third-party code affects this score.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a metric that measures your site’s visual stability. Different image sizes, animations and fonts affect this score.

To ensure the site visitors have the best experience. Google suggests aiming for the 75th percentile for LCP, FID, and CLS for both mobile and desktop devices.

Want to know more about Google core web vitals, we’ve covered it here.

Tips to improve your sites for Core Web Vitals

  1. Upgrade your hosting service

Web hosting plays a significant role in improving the metrics for websites. The quality of the hosting determines the site’s performance, which directly affects how it performs in search results. Web hosting is also a key factor affecting the Web Vitals score, which includes speed, uptime, technical issues, and security. 

Choosing a hosting provider for a website is no easy task. With the number of options to choose from,  it’s crucial to choose a hosting provider that suits your needs. For example, you can take a look at Cloudways. A top-rated Managed Cloud Hosting Platform that makes it easy to get started with WordPress and other popular platforms. It also makes the process of setting up optimized cloud servers as easy as clicking a button.

  1. Optimize the size and dimensions of the images

It’s very important for images to have the correct sizes. An image that’s too large or too small can cause pages to load slowly or not appear correctly. The easiest way to fix this is by compressing the images and using the correct dimensions (width & height). Determining these values can be pretty tricky; however, there are some great tools out there like Smush or Optimus that will help you find what you need. 

Lazy Load is also an awesome tool that allows images to load as they appear on the page rather than all at once. It only shows pictures or images on a website when it is visible to the visitor. This reduces the number of HTTP requests and speeds up the site significantly!

  1. Optimize your database and remove unnecessary plugins

Database optimization is something that every WordPress Developer should do regularly. Even though it’s a pretty primary task, many people seem to forget about it or don’t know how to do it. The efficiency of the database directly impacts the speed and performance of websites and their ability to rank in various search engines.

There are many ways to optimize your database, but one of the best methods is using a plugin called WP-Optimize. It automatically does everything you need to optimize your database, including cleaning out things that aren’t required, like old comments, wingbacks, and unused tags.

The second thing is that Plugins are also often a cause for concern. They can slow down your website and compromise your site’s overall performance.

To avoid plugin-related problems, you should test the client’s site from time to time, disable plugins one by one and see if there is any impact on the site’s speed or indexing. You can use the Plugin Organizer, which allows you to easily disable or organize all installed plugins at once using a simple switch.

Remember, while removing plugins, make sure to test the website thoroughly on all browsers and devices. It is also essential to make sure the core functionality of the website still works.

  1. Intrusive Ads and Pop-Ups can ruin websites

Intrusive interstitials are pop-ups or advertisements that are injected in the middle of the content when the user attempts to access a site or its contents. This type of advertisement covers all or most of the screen and blocks access to the website.

This creates a bad CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) score and most importantly it is super annoying to the visitor.

Here are some simple steps to ensure that your page layout remains static when the visitor scrolls down the page:

  • Set up the pages in such a way that, when a visitor scrolls down the page the layout should not change.
  • Make sure you don’t have any floating elements on your webpages. If you do, make sure they are out of the way so they don’t overlap anything on your webpage.
  • Make sure that the content of the site is easy to read and navigate without distractions from ads, banners or other elements that are not related to the core purpose of the website.

Remember, Interstitials and promotional banners can have a positive or negative impact on your website’s SEO core web vitals. If they’re used correctly, they can help increase your website’s search engine rankings and traffic. However, if improperly implemented they can have a seriously negative effect on your site’s core web vitals.

  1. Videos

An embedded video on a webpage can increase page load time by a couple of seconds. The total time it takes to fully load the webpage is affected by the amount of data being downloaded, so embedding large videos will also affect your bounce rate and time on site. Using third-party video hosting services like YouTube or Vimeo will host your videos so you don’t have to worry about bandwidth or storage space. The quality settings for mobile devices are automatically configured based on the bandwidth speed of the user.

Deferring the rendering of the video until the player is clicked or tapped will help reduce page load time by removing the need for large video files to be downloaded immediately. This prevents an unnecessary delay in the download of other resources on the page.

  1. Eliminate render blocking element 

A render-blocking element is a resource that must be downloaded before any other content on a page can be displayed to a user. Most of these scripts are useful and important to the site, but some are not necessary for the page to work correctly. These scripts will block all other elements on the page until they finish loading.

Due to the delay in presenting content to users, they negatively impact performance, leading to a suboptimal user experience. Google PageSpeed Insights can be used to check whether your WordPress website has render-blocking elements or not. 

The best way to reduce render-blocking elements and to improve the site speed and performance in WordPress is to use plugins like WP Rocket. These plugins are configured to block render-blocking resources like JavaScript and CSS files. With the right settings, you can prevent the users from having to download these assets before they can see your content. This will help you to improve the core vitals score and will make a huge difference in the load time of your site.

  1. Utilizing Caching and Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

Caching is also one of the most effective ways to increase site speed. WordPress has a built-in caching system, but you can also install a plugin like W3 Total Cache if your host doesn’t offer any caching options.

A caching plugin will cache all the required files of a WordPress site and then serve them from a static file system. This ensures that none of the users needs to download the same set of files again and again. This results in huge speed improvement for repeat visitors (who make up the majority of visitors).

A CDN or Content Delivery Network is another way to improve the site speed and Web Vitals. If the hosting provider doesn’t offer one, you can install a plugin like Jetpack for this purpose. A CDN distributes copies of your website all across the globe so that people accessing it don’t have to go through the same server each time. This makes pages load faster for people in different parts of the world because they’re getting content from servers closer to them than yours would be.

Final thoughts:

Whether you want to create a better user experience, boost user conversion rates or increase your client’s search engine rankings, optimizing for Core Web Vitals is the perfect way to do it. It’s well worth the effort to make these adjustments now for the long-term success of your client’s site.

Are you still struggling with web vitals? UnlimitedWP offers a white label WordPress development service that covers all of the essential practices you need to improve a client’s site for the Core Web Vitals. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you make websites web vital ready.