Google’s Core Web Vitals What You Should Know By Now

It’s that time again. There is a big page experience algorithm update on Google. The long-awaited Core Web Vitals became ranking signals from mid-June.

However, the update will only be noticeable in the search results from the end of August – so you still have a little time to prepare for it.

Google’s algorithms

But be careful, the times when it was only a matter of outsmarting the Google algorithm are over for good. The algorithms keep getting better at analyzing a wider range of metrics to find out how you’re delivering valuable, interesting, and accessible content to your website visitors in a user-friendly way. So it’s not just about the words.

The imagery, from your logos to your brand images and videos – basically everything visual on your site – must also offer an exceptional user experience (UX). If your page is unable to load the largest element – usually a large visual, such as a hero image – in less than 2.5 seconds, you’re going to be in trouble.

And if Google thinks that your website is too unstable due to an unexpected shift in visual content while the page is loading, your SEO ranking could crash and you could lose valuable traffic.

Visual content and SEO

In the context of SEO, many companies often forget about their visual content. You focus on making the texts longer and more meaningful and the terminology more subtle. If this is the case for you too, there is a risk that you may have overlooked some of the technical changes to your visual assets (videos, photos, illustrations) necessary for the Web Core Vitals. For example, optimal video formatting that adapts to the different screen sizes and browsers of your website visitors.

If you are an ambitious start-up or a modern company that relies on SEO to acquire new customers and build a loyal community of followers and supporters, it can be extremely damaging not to use your images and videos for the core Optimizing Web Vitals. The good news is that Google is not trying to trip anyone up here. There are a lot of guides on what to do. If you haven’t started preparing yet, be sure to put this at the top of your to-do list.

EXTRA: How to get your B2B website ready for Google – 6 tips

Prepare for Google’s Core Web Vitals

It is best to ask your IT department to do this, as many of your visual assets may need to be hand-transcoded to suit different screen sizes and social platforms. You’ll also need to dig deep to make sure you’re getting fully optimized page load times and a perfect match for Google’s Core Web Vitals across different browsers and platforms by mid-June.

Your action plan should include the following:

  • Optimizing page load times by compressing images so that they take up less bandwidth but are still displayed in high quality, while switching to modern, lighter formats such as AVIF, JPEG XL, JPEG 2000 and WebP
  • Now is a good time to use a content delivery network (CDN) (or even multiple CDNs) to deliver your visual content to improve the reliability and scalability of the site.
  • Various developer tools are available for measuring and improving the various Core Web Vitals metrics.

It is wise, where and whenever possible, to automate many of these mentioned tasks with image and video management tools. This saves you and your development team a lot of work, from creating image variants to cropping and reformatting images and videos. And you also minimize the risk of overlooking things.

A good Google ranking is a must in our uncertain and challenging times. Preparing yourself well for Core Web Vitals is a lot of work, but with the right plan and automation tools, you will get to grips with this quickly. Time is running out. So get started today!

 

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