Google recently announced an update that will more deeply integrate your core web vitals as a ranking factor. The update to the weight of core web vitals is just one additional SEO ranking factor out of many that prioritizes (and rewards) a good user experience. Search engines like Google focus on returning the most relevant content to search queries. If the content is similar, however, sites with more page experience and authority and a better user experience will likely perform better. Optimizing your user experience will help ensure your content reaches the right audience.
Core web vitals are part of the paraments that enhance UI/UX. Simply put, core web vitals is a report shared by Google Search Console when a group of URLs are analyzed based on core metrics. These core metrics include LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift), as we discussed in an earlier blog post that defined what are core web vitals.
What is Causing Poor Web Experience?
There are many factors that impact a website’s page experience. Google’s update aims to make it simpler for brands to understand — and thus fix — their website performance. By isolating different metrics that contribute to your core web vitals score, brands can easily fix specific pieces of their website for better performance and to improve the overall user experience.
Google’s update to the LCP, FID, and CLS core web vitals metrics will assess critical elements of a good page experience, such as visual stability, loading experience, and interactivity. The purpose of this update is to further cement user experience as part of the top criteria for Google’s ranking algorithm. Google aims to rank pages with better user experience higher than those with a poor user experience.
Three areas that could negatively affect your web performance across an array of different use cases are:
- Dynamic content
- Heavy use of plugins
- Code bloat (which partially results from a heavy use of plugins)
While dynamic content such as newsletter opt-boxes and relevant ads could be beneficial to engagement and data collection, if they’re not properly implemented they will do more harm than good. A pop-up ad that takes too long to load and blocks important information on the screen will quickly turn away searchers from your site.
LCP measures the render time of the largest content piece (image or text block) visible within the viewpoint. Therefore, dynamic content like ads could greatly slow down your page load time, hurting your performance.
CLS measures visual stability or the shifting of web page elements as the page loads. Your website’s visual stability gets disrupted when there is too much content to load. Dynamic content, while engaging and useful for lead generation, can take up too much space and bog down your site.
Too Many Plugins Can Cause Code Bloat
Platforms like Squarespace and Wix are great foundations for websites and e-commerce brands. These platforms, however, work best for simple, templated websites. Many web elements beyond basic content and features require an additional plug-in to function.
Adding too many plugins contribute to code bloat, which is when unnecessary code is loaded onto a webpage, causing it to slow down. Code bloating is also caused by website-building sites, which sometimes use additional scripts, stylesheets, and code blocks behind the scenes that are not actually needed within the site.
While plugins are undeniably important to the overall functionality of a website, too many can cause more problems than they solve. Be selective about your plugin choices and the platform you built your website on.
Improve Your Core Web Vital Scores
Some quick tips to improve your core web vital scores:
- Limit dynamic content and use static content when possible
- Ensure all videos and images are properly optimized
- Be more selective about plug-in use and what platform they’re built into
By making the metrics of core web vitals more transparent, Google is aiming to assist brands in easily identifying and fixing user experience issues.
Google’s update will not make page experience become the most important ranking factor overnight. It is just one of many factors. Well-written, relevant content remains queen. However, when many pages may be similar in terms of relevance and content quality, then Google will turn to page experience to determine higher visibility in search.
An overall good user experience combines technical and functional website aspects as well as relevant and strong content.
NetElixir’s SEO Team is Here to Help
As always, NetElixir is here to help businesses succeed online. If you need help understanding your Core web vitals or implementing technical solutions, NetElixir’s SEO team can assist. Our SEO team is available to provide expert suggestions and custom insights to help improve your website. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.