Some time ago Google announced that in 2021 the search engine algorithm will start to evaluate the website user-friendliness even more than before. The already known Core Web Vitals algorithm will be rolled out later this year, so it’s high time to prepare your website for it. Check SEO specialists’ advice – keep reading!
Table of Contents:
- Core Web Vitals Essentials
- How to get ready for Google’s Core Web Vitals Algorithm Update? SEO Experts’ Tips
- Alexander M. Kehoe, Co-Founder & Operations Director at Caveni Digital Solutions
- Kas Szatylowicz, SEO & Outreach Specilaist at Tidio
- Chris Love, Owner of Love2dev
- Klaudia Feliksik, SEO Specialist at Delante
- Drew Mann, Owner of Drew’s Review
- James Taylor, SEO Consultant at James Taylor SEO
- Tim Koster, Founder of Clever Creations
- Megan Boyle, Tech SEO at The Audit Lab
- Matthew Paxton, Founder of Hypernia
Every Google update causes a little commotion among website owners and those associated with the SEO industry, especially the little, unexpected changes! Google rarely elaborates on the algorithm’s precise mechanism and the elements that can cause websites to lose their ranking after the update. In the case of the 2021 Core update, while we obviously don’t know the results of the update, we know the direction to follow – increasing our site’s user experience value.
So, let’s start with a quick recap of what it’s all about with this website quality.
Core Web Vitals Essentials
The 2021 Google update will take a better measure of the website’s quality and users’ experience around the domain. Up until now, we were paying attention to:
- search security,
- HTTPs protocols,
- the lack of intrusive elements on site.
Now to this noble pack, Google will add 3 measurable factors addressing the user experience. It will be:
- LCP – Largest Contentful Paint – time to load the biggest element on site,
- FID – First Input Delay – how much time passed since the click on the button and the browser reaction to that,
- CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift – how many changes of page layout occurred during the visit.
We’re describing the new factors in detail on our blog: The Core Web Vitals Algorithm – Website Quality as One Of The Ranking Factors.
Now, knowing what will be the center of the 2021 core update it’s time to find out how to prepare your website for the update rollout. But who will answer this question better than SEO specialists that deal with the search engine algorithms on a daily basis? We asked them about the top advice to brace yourself for the Core Web Vitals update.
How to get ready for Google’s Core Web Vitals Algorithm Update? Experts’ Tips
1. Alexander M. Kehoe, Co-Founder & Operations Director at Caveni Digital Solutions
“User experience and page speed have always been related and core web vitals is more of the codification of this fact than new development. For most sites, since core web vital statistics have been out for some time, they can already see if the update will have a significant impact on their ranking. For those that have issues with their pages, the best thing to do is to follow the steps outlined in tools like Google Page Speed Insights or to use Lighthouse directly. Generally, the easiest way to improve page speed and your core web vitals are with image optimization. The most common issue we see harming page speed is images that are too large and improperly compressed. Fixing this one small thing may be enough to get a major boost in your ranking once core web vitals become more essential.”
2. Kas Szatylowicz, SEO & Outreach Specialist at Tidio
3. Chris Love, Owner of Love2dev
“Preparing to Web Vitals: The key to great web vitals metrics is understanding the critical rendering path. This is the workflow all browsers pass through to render the pixels on the screen to represent your page.
Next, evaluate any third-party script your page loads. Ask if you can eliminate it and call any API directly or write your own code to accomplish the same thing. Focus on using the native APIs available in the browser.An easy test is to look at what your page loads. If you see any version of jQuery prior to 3.x then you should remove or update it. This is also a signature of poorly written third-party code.”
4. Klaudia Feliksik, SEO Specialist at Delante
“Even though the Core Web Vitals update will roll out soon, you can’t forget why they are being introduced to the main algorithm in the first place and what they are going to tell crawlers about your site. Don’t switch all your focus on optimizing the LCP, FID and CLS parameters. You should still keep in mind that the website must be “comfortable” to use by a visitor. If you want to prepare for the 2021 update, start with the basis – take care of safety protocols (like SSL certificate), proper & user-friendly site architecture that follows the users’ intent, adjust your website to mobile devices while simultaneously optimizing the page speed and UX matters.”
5. Drew Mann, Owner of Drew’s Review
“Since this update is all about the customer experience and not the actual content, the ones that will be impacted the most are the ones that are competing with each other.If there is a very competitive search query, if your page is not optimized for speed, this is one factor that you need to hammer on right away. Do a test on Google’s page speed insights tool and pay attention to the results.
If your LCP (Largest Content Paint is above 2.5 seconds, you will likely be negatively impacted. If your FID (First Input Delay) is greater than 100 milliseconds, you may also see a negative impact. The same goes for CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) where you need to have a CLS of 0.1.
To get your speed up, you can do a few things. Get a CDN like Cloudflare, get rid of some of your plugins, compress your images, get an optimization plugin like WP Rocket or just hire an optimization expert to get your speed up. There are other factors that can impact the Core Web Vitals update, but site speed is a big one. Start with that.”
6. James Taylor, SEO Consultant at James Taylor SEO
“My main advice is that you need to address any issues that you can see related to Core Web Vitals from within the Google Lighthouse audit tool. Your job is to make your site as straight-forward and fast to load for Google as possible. This includes preloading important files, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, and that you’re not wasting precious load time by hosting your site on a poor-quality shared server.”
8. Tim Koster, Founder of Clever Creations
One of the most important improvements that you can make to prepare for Google’s Web Core Vitals update is to optimize your site’s images. Reducing them to a reasonable resolution and using image compression are two ways to significantly reduce file size and increase page loading speeds. Using a caching plugin that supports Lazy-loading also helps. This allows images *below the fold* to load when they appear in the browser and prevents them from all loading at once when the page itself loads.”
7. Megan Boyle, Tech SEO at The Audit Lab
“Make your website as user-friendly as possible; we really cannot stress this enough. It needs to be mobile-friendly above everything else, and it needs to be fast. And we mean 2.5 seconds of loading fast. If there is anything that could impact the user experience and leave a visitor feeling ticked off – whether it’s a slow-loading ad that shifts content down the page or poor interactivity – it’s going to hit you in the Core Web Vitals.”
8. Matthew Paxton, Founder of Hypernia
“#1 Use the ‘Report Kit <https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9205520?hl=en>’ of Core Web Vitals to check if your website is doing well.
#2 You can also use Google Page Speed Insights <https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/> to analyze your content on your web page, and it can give you some useful tips on how to make your page faster.
#3 This Mobile-Friendly Test
<https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly> can capture bugs from other sites, including the Core Web Vitals, and it has detailed features.”
Aiming at getting our website to the top of Google search engine results we often forget about the real value that our website should provide its visitors. With Google Core Vitals algorithm audit the company makes sure we don’t forget about the users’ comfort. User experience rises in the hierarchy of elements to pay attention to when handling websites. With that in mind, if you haven’t done it already, it’s high time to handle your page speed, multimedia on the site and run a couple of Google tests. Make the algorithm your friend!‘