Core Web Vitals: 5 Things You Should Do to Prepare

Google updates can cause a major detour in your traffic. Google makes slight changes to its algorithm nearly every single day, but large updates can cause your keyword rankings to drop or traffic to be diverted. Your website may no longer be the first thing someone sees when they search for your product or service. However, it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you have a solid SEO strategy in place and have built a strong foundation, a Google update doesn’t have to cause massive traffic detours or traffic jams. Sometimes, Google will even give you a hint or a preview of an upcoming change, so that you and your SEO team can be prepared and get your website in the best shape possible to navigate the new update.

That’s what happened for this next Google update coming soon: SEO experts are hard at work preparing websites just like yours for Google’s Core Web Vitals update.

Don’t let your competitors be prepared to handle your detoured traffic — get ahead of the game and prepare for the Core Web Vitals update now so your organic search traffic can continue to be yours!

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Google has three main things that are considered Core Web Vitals. These Page Experience signals measure user experience on your website, and while they are not brand new themselves, they are going to play a bigger role in how Google ranks your website going forward.

But what exactly are the three Core Web Vitals, and what do they mean for you?

1. Loading

The first thing Google will look at is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). Now, that technical phrase basically looks at how fast a page on your website loads.

2. Interactivity

The second thing that Google will consider is First Input Delay (FID), which just means it’s looking at how stable the page is.

3. Visual Stability

The third metric of the Core Web Vitals is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which is a technical way of saying how quickly the page is interactive.

What You Should Do Now To Be Ready

This new update to the Google algorithm is happening in May 2021. Don’t stress too much about focusing all your time and energy on this, though, because Core Web Vitals will only be part of what Google looks at. You still need to have good content for your customers to find.

Even though it’s just a piece of the puzzle, it’s important for you to take a look at your Core Web Vitals and see where you might be able to improve now. Here are 5 things you can do this month so you are ready when the Google update comes:

1. Page Speed

As mentioned above, page speed is going to be critical to the way Google views your Core Web Vitals. There are so many ways you can improve your page speed, like ensuring your images are compressed and using next generation image formats or having good web design that isn’t too busy (which can slow down the load time).

2. Content

Your marketing is only as good as your content. It’s important to remember that no matter how high your Core Web Vitals scores are or how good the page experience is according to Google, if you don’t have the content to support customers, the pages will not rank for relevant keywords.

Having quality, relevant content that is properly optimized (but not over-optimized) is key to good SEO results.

3. CSS & JavaScript

Too much JavaScript and CSS can block the render time, which can slow your website down and make for a poor user experience. Other issues that often arise with CSS or JavaScript are unused style sheets or content blocks injected with JavaScript.

These should be removed, minified or deferred as much as possible to help improve the overall site performance.

4. Images & Graphics

Images, graphics, and photos come into play with a couple of the core vital metrics. In order to improve page speed and ensure page stability, your images need to be working properly. There are a few things that can be done to help improve your results with images and graphics on your website.

First, scale images to the correct placement sizing for the page (featured image, header, thumbnail, etc.). You should also compress large image files and serve images in next-gen formats (like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, or WebP).

5. Book a Call for a Professional Site Audit

One of the best things you can do to get your SEO back on track and avoid any traffic detours is to work with SEO experts who can focus on your SEO and understand current or upcoming changes to the recommended best practices.

An SEO expert can tell you where your website needs updates on the content side of things, with onsite optimizations, or in regards to technical changes for Core Web Vitals improvement.

elk's SEO Team can help put together an analysis of your SEO in just 24 hours, and get you a roadmap to plan for the upcoming changes. Contact us today to get started.