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SEO 8 min read

Five Steps to Take to Improve Your Core Web Vitals

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 21 Apr 2021

The month of May is sneaking up on us, which means Google’s Core Web Vitals will soon become a ranking factor for where your website ends up on your targeted search engine’s results page.

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals, you ask? Take a look at our recent blog to understand the who, what, when, and why of this critical update, and how it will impact organic traffic to your company’s website.

If you have yet to tackle getting your website in top shape ahead of the Core Web Vitals Update, there’s no need to panic. Maybe it’s about time you gave your company’s website a spring clean? Either way, the SEO experts at Galactic Fed are here to help! We’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide to improving your Core Web Vitals before they become a ranking factor next month.

By following our suggested steps, you’ll be able to improve where your website ends up on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) and drive more organic traffic to your site than ever before, reaching new and returning customers in the process. Ensure your business remains as visible as possible online and help grow website visits organically by implementing our five ways to improve your Core Web Vitals.

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

The main aim of Google’s Core Web Vitals Update is to improve the internet’s user experience, one website at a time. 

The 3 Google’s Core Web Vitals.

Source: Google

Three key metrics contribute to Google’s Core Web Vitals:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This metric evaluates the loading speed of each of your web pages’ main content.

  1. First Input Delay (FID)

This metric measures the speed at which visitors to your site can interact with a page after landing on it.

  1. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

This metric evaluates how often visitors to your website experience unexpected shifts in any of your webpage layouts.

Now that you know what Google’s Core Web Vitals are, let’s dive into what you can do to improve the Core Web Vitals of your site and rest easy as they become a ranking factor next month. 

Five steps to take to improve your Core Web Vitals

Before you take steps to improve your Core Web Vitals, head over to the Google Search Console and type your website’s domain into the grey box to get to grips with the current state of your website’s user experience. Google’s Pagespeed Insights also shows you how your website measures up against its core metrics and provides you with a Core Web Vitals score. 

Now, let’s move on to our step-by-step guide that will help you improve your Core Web Vitals:

Step 1: Optimize all of the images of your website 

If your company’s site is similar to most internet websites, then your site’s most significant elements are images. 

It’s essential to optimize the images on your website because it can make each page substantially lighter, helping to improve:

  •  your site’s user experience, 
  • loading speed, 
  • LCP rating, and 
  • ranking on search engines.

You can shrink your overall page size by compressing images. If you have a WordPress website, a plug-in (like Smush) can help with image compression across your whole site and improve your LCP results. 

Contrary to popular belief, image compression does not ruin the quality of your website’s images when someone is viewing them on their mobile or desktop. You will only notice a difference in the resolution of a compressed image if you zoom in or save the image.

Fed Fix:

When adding images to your website, use the png format for graphics and the jpg format for landscape images. PNGs are great for complex images, and they also hold more information than a JPG.

Step 2: Perform a site security audit 

Together with mobile usability and page loading speed, the security of your website also plays a vital role in determining user experience. 

Google wants to ensure the websites they show to people in their search results are safe to browse and free from any security issues. 

Common security issues include:

  • misleading content, 
  • phishing,
  • unwanted software, and 
  • malware. 

A quick and easy method for checking if your website has any security issues that could put site visitors at risk is by running a security issues report within your Google Search Console. You can pull a security issues report by heading to the “Security & Manual Actions” section.

Step 3: Review your web host

Sometimes it’s not about your website. External factors can impact your Core Web Vitals. One of them is your hosting provider. 

It’s not worth saving a bit of money by going with a not-so-great web host. Simply put, better hosting leads to faster website loading times. 

Strike the right balance between a hosting provider offering good performance at a fair price. Understand how your server was set up in the first place and ensure you are using a recent version of PHP, along with what hardware was chosen when your site was built. You may find a hardware upgrade could benefit your Core Web Vitals. Again, if you’re using WordPress, plug-ins (like Query Monitor) can help you analyze your website queries. 

Step 4: Utilize lazy loading for static website content 

Another powerful way to improve your Core Web Vitals score is by lazy loading all of your website’s static content. 

What do we mean by lazy loading? Well, lazy loading means that any images, animations, and videos on your website sitting static on your site only load when someone scrolls across them by moving down the page. This helps you boost your largest contentful paint (LCP) score.

Lazy loading also offers several other benefits, including:

  • improved overall website performance, 
  • economical bandwidth usage, 
  • improved SEO, and 
  • reduced bounce rate.

So how do you implement lazy loading on your company’s website? You guessed it! There’s a plug-in for that (if your website operates on WordPress.) Lazy Load is a popular, well-reviewed choice for helping businesses optimize all of the static content on their website.

Step 5: Get rid of any unnecessary Javascript 

Javascript that your website doesn’t need could be the culprit of a weak Core Web Vitals score, particularly your First Input Delay (FID) score. 

Consider reducing your Javascript execution, which is the amount of time between your browser loading and the webpage coming into full view for the site visitor.

Using the least amount of memory can also boost your FID. Each time your website’s code requests the browser, it reserves a new memory that affects the JavaScript and could slow down the page from loading.

An effective way of reducing this execution is by deferring unused Javascript. 

Get your website developer on this task as a priority, or try out one of the plug-ins available through WordPress, which identifies unused Javascript on your website (like WP Rocket, though there is a fee for this powerful plug-in.)

Boost your Core Web Vitals to reach more customers 

We hope our step-by-step guide helps you improve your Core Web Vitals score quickly and easily, from optimizing the images on your website and performing a site security audit to reviewing your web hosting provider. 

Don’t forget to ensure all of the static content on your site lazy loads and remove any unused Javascript to ensure your website has a stellar user experience.

** Reach out to Galactic Fed if you want a helping hand with improving your Core Web Vitals. We have a lot of experience optimizing websites, helping businesses grow through supercharging organic traffic to their websites. We recently helped a San Francisco start-up increase organic traffic to their website by 583% through dynamic website optimization.**

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed