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What Are Core Web Vitals? How to Improve Your Score?

Google has recently updated its algorithm to include page experience as a search engine ranking signal. By making this change, Google aims to factor in a page’s user experience in the search engine results pages (SERPs), rather than the traditional and historically-used signals.

Core Web Vitals

This algorithm update is critical for businesses. They now need to understand the different aspects of page experience and learn how to optimize their websites for each one of them. Lucky for us, Google has provided a list of different elements that can help determine the overall experience of a webpage. The most important of these elements are core web vitals. 

So What  Exactly Are Core Web Vitals?

Core web vitals are simply a group of special factors that Google deems essential in a webpage's overall user experience. They comprise three user interaction and page speed measures: first input delay (FID), cumulative layout shift (CLS), and largest contentful paint (LCP). 

Core Web Vitals LCP FID CLS

In short, core web vitals are a group of factors that are a part of the page experience score set by Google. You can find the data for core web vitals for your website in your Google Search Console account under the "enhancements" section.

4 Ways to Improve Your Core Web Vitals Score

So how can one improve their core web vitals score to enhance their web page’s overall user experience? Take a look at these four tried-and-tested ways to improve your core web vitals score: 

1. Optimize Images

One of the most important things that you can do for your site is to optimize your images. A large un-optimized image on your homepage can hurt your website performance. Large images are often the LCP for any given site and take a lot of time to load. To ensure that your website traffic gets a proper welcome, you need to make your images load faster!

To optimize images, we recommend that you serve the image in the size needed and compress it well. Several online tools can help you with this. You don't have to keep a massive resolution for an image to be sharp on most screens. 

You can also try to adopt modern image formats like WebP to deliver high-quality images at a smaller size. WebP is a well-supported format. Even Apple will support WebP with their upcoming Safari 14 on both macOS as well as iOS. The new Chromium-powered Microsoft Edge browser also supports WebP.

Engaging a digital agency such Web Integrations, an SEO company in Glasgow can help to advise you regarding image optimization to improve your core web vitals.

2. Speed-Up Your Server

The faster your server responds to your website requests, the better will be the user experience. Getting your server to respond quickly can directly improve a lot of website speed metrics. If you have a complex website, your server is likely very busy handling requests and serving files and scripts. Hence, it would help if you optimized these processes so your server speeds up. 

Optimizing your server consists of several parts:

● Firstly, you need to upgrade your hosting plan. Please do not hold back or try to save on hosting. Pick a hosting platform that offers good performance at a good price. 

● Secondly, take note of how you set up your server initially. Make sure you use a recent version of PHP and if you find that your hardware is lacking, upgrade it! 

● Lastly, conduct research on how your databases work and see if you can make any enhancements. 

3. Improve Third-Party Script Loading

For most websites, the slowness arises from external factors. If your site relies on ad scripts, you are basically in the hands of the ad provider and can only hope that their ads perform well. If their ads load slowly, it's time for you to find another provider to improve your site’s user experience. 

If you find that third-party scripts are slowing down your site, ask yourself if you need that particular ad. Determine the value of these scripts for your site. There might be different options on the market that are a bit more optimized and less stressful for your server.

4. Provide Proper Dimensions for Images and Embeds

A CLS score of greater than 0.1 is considered poor. This poor score is usually a result of elements like images, ads, or embeds that don’t have proper dimensions. If you want to improve your CLS score, you must consider dimensions. Set proper heights and widths as this will help the browser allocate the correct amount of space in the webpage while it loads the element. 

Usually, an image appears later on a page if its dimensions are not in the proper size. While users consume the content, they can suddenly face an issue if the image without proper dimensions does not load fast enough. This happens when the browser doesn’t understand how much space is required for that specific image to load.

Final Words

By following the tips discussed in this blog and combining page experience optimization strategies with your SEO strategy, you can significantly enhance your website's page experience. Enhancing page experience will help future-proof your website’s performance by putting it in the best position possible to capitalize on Google’s algorithm update. It will also ensure a positive experience for users on your website.

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