Preparing for Google’s Core Vitals Update
Webmasters are preparing for the first big update of the year. However, this is much more than a minor update – it is a complete shift in approach. Google announced that core web vitals, a group of signals that measure user experience, will now be a ranking factor on mobile searches, and the changes are set to be rolled out worldwide in June 2021.
It will not be the sole factor, but a site that scores high in core web vitals can expect to see a push in results as long as other components of the page are considered OK. If you don’t know what core web vitals mean or are not sure how to get ready for the changes, here are a few things you should do.
Understanding Core Web Vitals
The first step is understanding what core web vitals are. As mentioned earlier, these are the factors that measure the quality of the interaction users have with your website. The three biggest components of core web vitals are the largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
Largest contentful paint refers to the time it takes for a page to load. First input delay, on the other hand, is all about interactivity with the site. It measures how fast a website reacts to specific actions, like clicking on a link or an order button, for instance.
Cumulative layout shift is all about the visual stability of a page. If the elements of a page move unexpectedly or in ways that could affect a user’s experience negatively, then CLS will be considered poor.
Note that you can check your core web vitals metrics are all times. You can check them in the Google Search Console under “enhancements”. You also have to know that the same page can score differently on different supports.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can improve your core web signals and reduce the chances of getting penalized by the coming update.
Get Better Hosting
The first thing you should consider doing is checking your server’s performance and see if you can upgrade. If you’re currently using shared hosting, it may be worth moving to a dedicated server. It doesn’t have to be your own. You can use a virtual private server instead and get all the benefits without the cost.
Another thing you have to do is compress images or use formats that are lighter. If you’re using PNG images on your site, chances are they way too heavy and you could get the same results with JPEG or formats that were made specifically for performance, such as WebP.
Use a CDN Network
Use a content delivery network, or CND, for your website. This is a network of geographically placed servers that will optimize how fast content is delivered. This will help things like images and other forms of content load even faster in your users’ browsers.
These are the things that you can do to prepare for the new core vitals update. Make sure that you take these steps first and consider bringing in outside help to help evaluate and improve your performance on all core principles.