Search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer just about keyword density and backlinks. It's now more focused on user experience, and that's where Google's Core Web Vitals come into play. These are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure user experience, including things like loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. Not only do these factors play a significant role in your website's ranking, but they also directly impact your website's bounce rate and user satisfaction. So, optimizing your website for Core Web Vitals is a must, and here are top 5 techniques to get you started.
1. Improve website loading speed (Largest Contentful Paint)
The time it takes for a page's main content to load is critical. Google recommends aiming for an LCP of 2.5 seconds or faster. Here are a few ways to achieve that:
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs store a cached version of your website in multiple geographical locations to deliver content to users more quickly.
Optimize images: Use correct formats (like WebP or JPEG XR), compress images, and utilize lazy loading.
2. Enhance website interactivity (First Input Delay)
FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with your website to the time when the browser responds to that interaction. Google recommends an FID of less than 100 milliseconds. To improve FID:
3. Boost visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift)
CLS is the sum total of all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift during the entire lifespan of the page. A good CLS score is less than 0.1. To reduce CLS:
Use set size attribute dimensions for any media (video, images, GIFs, infographics etc.): This helps the browser to know how much space to allocate to it while the page is loading.
Ensure ads elements have a reserved space: To prevent ads from popping up and pushing content down, make sure they have a dedicated space.
4. Leverage browser caching
Storing copies of your website’s files in the user's browser can help improve both LCP and FID. Here's how to leverage browser caching:
Use Expires headers: They tell the browser whether it should request the specific file from the server or grab it from the browser's cache.
Set up ETags: They help browsers to decide whether the cached version of a file and the server version are the same.
5. Implement a responsive design
A responsive website adapts to the screen size of the device. It's crucial for mobile optimization and has a significant impact on how Google ranks your website.
Remember, optimizing your website for Core Web Vitals not only improves your website’s SEO but also boosts the user experience. Start with these techniques and keep optimizing for better results.