Today we caught up with our Head of Digital Marketing, Cristiano Winckler and our SEO expert, Rob Elliott for the second part of our guide to Core Web Vitals. Here we aim to cover what, why and what to do!
In our last blog post, we explored what Core Web Vitals is about and more importantly, how essential it is that marketing teams respond to the new changes that Google are bringing into play.
In a quick recap, Google have been signalling changes for some time about the way they will value and rank website pages. These changes are now being rolled out and will continue over the next few months. In the words of Google:
“These new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals with our existing search signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.”
Above all, the changes are about ranking websites that provide the best possible user experience and so in effect these on-going Google announcements should have made all marketing professionals sit up and activate all the necessary improvements needed to optimise websites.
But if you haven’t yet taken action – you are not alone! According to a recent survey from Conductor, only 13% of businesses are currently meeting all 3 core web vitals benchmarks.
The bad news is that the unprepared are giving their prepared competitors a huge free advantage. If you do nothing, your website will not be highly ranked by Google and you will lose visibility and traffic.
And to further support a need to take action – listen to our SEO expert, Rob: “Remember all of the changes you need to make will benefit your business. Your website will be improved and you’ll see better conversions with an uplift in sales etc., This is not just a Google ranking factor that benefits Google. It’s a good reminder to do a proper diagnostic health check on a regular basis”.
So let’s imagine a worst case scenario. You have not yet taken any action. So what can you do now? Here Cristiano and Rob have compiled 5 emergency action points.
Take a health check
Run a full website audit straight away. Ideally ask your expert agency partner to undertake this because this will give you the 360 degree view of the challenges you need to tackle. And there could be a whole bunch of reasons why your core web vitals will be poor. For example, it could be an old, slow CMS template which is holding you back.
Remember that website speed is one of the leading reasons for users to leave your site. If your website speed is too slow, your conversion rates are likely to be the same. On average, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, approximately 40% of your visits will abandon your site.
Cosy up to Google Search Console
Become good friends with your Google search console! It has a very clear Core Web Vitals section which scores your website over time. Also insights and information about Core Web Vitals are constantly being updated so it’s worth checking in on a regular basis.
Is it you or your CMS?
Make sure your CMS template has been updated. Since Google introduced the concept of Core Web Vitals, lots of templates have been updated to accommodate the new requirements, however, some businesses still have old website templates that can no longer be updated.
Also sometimes the template is so old and heavy that just updating might not do the trick. If you are still seeing low speed problems – it could be time to seek out support from 3rd party tools.
Third party partners
Using third party tools could be the right solution to optimise your website and there are plenty of integration tools available such as NitroPack. NitroPack is an all-in-one performance optimization service. It combines everything you need for a fast website. This includes image optimization, code minification, caching and also has a CDN built in. More information here
As an alternative third party partner, check out WP Rocket. It works well with WordPress and claims to be the most powerful plugin in the world. WP Rocket focuses on improving the speed of your WordPress site, SEO rankings and conversions.
Is it time for a new website?
The final option is to re-do your website and build your site on a different CMS. You can still keep the same design and page structure but now it could be time to consider a CMS that will automatically update Core Web Vitals for you. We rank https://craftcms.com/ as a good potential option.
In the final analysis, Google’s Core Web Vitals is ever evolving. Technical SEO metrics are elements you should always check regularly ie page speed, broken links etc. So once your website is in its optimised state, implement regular checks as part of your on-going marketing activity.