Preparing for Google’s Core Web Vitals Update
We’ve written previously about Google’s Core Web Vitals update, what it is and what it means for your website. With the algorithm update set for May 2021, the countdown has truly begun. We wanted to take a closer look at how businesses can prepare their websites and mitigate the loss of traffic associated with a big algorithm update.
Here are 5 things to consider when approaching CWV optimisations.
1. Getting ahead of the update.
Google has invested significant time in creating tools, resources and reports to give site owners ways to evaluate their websites against CWV criteria. With over a year of notice for the coming change, there is mounting evidence that the update is likely to have a significant impact on the search landscape.
For many businesses, getting their website up to speed is going to mean making back end changes to the way their websites are coded and rendered. These things take time, so getting ahead of the update and starting to prioritise these changes early is important.
2. Use Google’s tools.
We mentioned that Google has created a multitude of tools, resources and reporting features to help give webmasters more information on how their site is performing against CWV criteria. Some useful tools to help measure your site’s current performance include:
3. Look at the competitive landscape.
Comparing your performance to your organic competitors is crucial, and will help to provide an insight into the context of what Google will be comparing you against.
A small site made up of just a few landing pages will naturally render more quickly than a large eCommerce website with thousands of products and supporting content. Some industries just need bigger websites, and optimising for CWV is less about being the fastest site online, and more about providing the best possible experience to your users.
4. Optimise for your users, not for Google.
Google aims to provide users with the most high-quality and relevant results for their queries. The purpose of adding the Core Web Vitals criteria as ranking indicators is to improve the page experience for users.
We keep this front of mind when optimising websites for Core Web Vitals. For example, lighting fast load speeds aren’t a win if they come at the cost of impactful and engaging visuals. It is important not to view the core web vitals in a vacuum, but rather as three important criteria that sit alongside many other factors contributing to user experience and page ranks.
5.Look for common issues for easy implementation.
When we undertake CWV audits, we group like pages into common page categorisations (eg. homepage, products pages, collection pages, blog pages) and perform an analysis on a sample of each page type.
This gives us insight into the common issues and concerns that exist across certain page types, so we can pass on site-wide fixes that can be rolled out across many pages at once. This allows us to have a big impact in a way that is much easier (and quicker) to implement.
We believe that CWV represents a big opportunity for sites that operate in competitive areas to get ahead in the game and beat their competitors to the top. To learn more about how we can help you get CWV ready, check out our CWV Services Page or get in touch with us today.