When it comes to web design and development, there are a lot of recommendations that can help in optimizing your website performance. But it’s impossible to implement them all and it’s also challenging to know which recommendations will have the biggest impact. For digital marketers without any web optimization experience, it’s even harder.
Google is now sharing a set of recommendations for optimizing core web vitals so you can know what to prioritize for your website.
Core web vitals refer to metrics used to measure the interactivity, visual stability, and loading time of a website. According to Google, these metrics are essential to providing a positive user experience. It uses the three metrics to rank websites in its search results.
The Google Chrome team said they spent a year identifying the most important advice it can give regarding Core Web Vitals. Here are their tips for optimizing your core web vitals:
1. Optimize the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a metric Google uses to measure the time it takes for the primary content of your page to become visible to users. According to Google, only about 50% of all websites meet the recommended LCP threshold.
To improve your LCP, you should:
Ensure the availability of the LCP resource in the HTML source: The LCP resource should be easily found in the HTML source. Considering that most mobile webpages have an image as the main content, websites should ensure that the images load quickly to improve LCP. If your LCP element is an image, the image’s URL should be discoverable in the HTML source.
Prioritize the LCP resource: You should make sure that the LCP resource is prioritized during web development. It’s advisable to avoid actions that lower the priority of the LCP image, for example, adding the loading=”lazy” attribute. Don’t use image optimization tools that automatically apply this attribute to all images.
Having several script tags before the image tag in the webpage head section can also delay the loading time of your image resource.
2. Optimize your Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) evaluates the stability of your website’s visual layout. Google says about 25% of websites don’t fall within the required standards for CLS.
You can improve your CLS by:
Ensuring that your webpages are eligible for back/ forward cache (bfcache) to allow them to load instantly using a memory snapshot from the browser history.
Setting explicit sizes for on-page content, including third-party ads and embedded videos that can cause a layout shift.
Avoiding animations and transitions that result in the browser updating the layout. Instead, use the CSS transform property for transitions and animations.
3. Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN) To Reduce Time To First Bite (TTFB)
In order to load any additional resources, a web browser must receive the first byte of the initial HTML document response. The measure of the time it takes for this to happen is referred to as the Time to First Byte (TTFB). The faster the TTFB, the sooner the other processes can begin. This means that you should work towards reducing your TTFB.
You can reduce your TTFB by serving your content from a location near your users and caching the most frequently requested content. The best way to do this is by using a content delivery network (CDN).
4. Optimize First Input Delay (FID)
The First Input Delay (FID) measures how fast your website responds to user interactions. Google also introduced a new metric, Interaction to Next Paint (INP), that could complement or potentially replace FID. Improving both metrics can help you to improve the user experience.
Here’s how you can improve your FID and INP:
Break up long tasks so it’s easier for your website to respond quickly to user inputs
Remove unnecessary codes that could negatively affect the website’s responsiveness from your website’s resources
Avoid large rendering updates
Optimize Your Website For a Better User Experience in 2023
Your website is a critical component of your digital marketing efforts. It’s the gateway to quality lead generation and higher conversion rates. Great user experience translates to more leads and conversions. The core web vitals are important to improving the user experience (and ranking higher in SERPs for better organic traffic).
These recommendations are realistic, applicable to most eCommerce websites, and can have a great impact when implemented. By following these recommendations, you can make better use of your time and get the most out of your website. If you need any help optimizing your website for a better user experience in 2023, Salt Marketing can provide tailored website solutions for your business.Get in touch today.