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Defined by Google as an analysis of “how your pages perform, based on real world usage data (sometimes referred to as field data)”, a Essential elements of the web (CWV) measures page load speed, visual stability, and page responsiveness over a 28-day period, with results based on actual site visits. This assessment of user experience is vital in part because it impacts search rankings. An update to its settings was rolled out in May 2021, and it’s fair to say that there has been considerable confusion regarding both the review itself and the metrics associated with it, resulting in oversights that impact the performance of the website. Mistakes are likely to occur because businesses have been bombarded with loads of information on the CWV topic since the announcement, and because user experience practitioners, digital marketers, and SEO experts – having spent years honing their craft and learning exactly what it takes to provide an enjoyable user experience (and to achieve high search rankings) – are struggling to adapt.
The three metrics Google uses to gauge a user’s experience are cumulative layout lag (CLS), greatest paint content (LCP), and first entry delay (FID). CLS refers to how often users experience unexpected changes in the layout of the site (for example, the position of a button or link moves when the user attempts to click it). The metric that measures the time it takes to display the largest image or largest block of text in the display window is called LCP. The final performance measure, FID, measures the time that users spend waiting for a browser to respond to their input or interaction.
Related: What is the Google page experience and why is it important?
Resolving the following common errors will help improve scores:
Mistake 1: Not optimizing content above the waterline
First impressions count. The faster the graphic content is visible to website visitors, the more attractive a site will be. However, you need to make sure that the content above the fold is prioritized to load first (easier said than done in HTML!) And that it is, ideally, minimalist. Examples of content mistakenly placed above the waterline (negatively impacting CLS and FID) include integrations like Google Maps, social media feeds, audio from streaming services like SoundCloud or Mixtape, custom videos or widgets that extract data from YouTube and Vimeo, photo galleries and slider images.
To prevent visitors from experiencing unexpected layout changes and lag in responsiveness, add all third-party widgets and rich content below the waterline. In the case of custom widgets, consider optimal techniques for retrieving and rendering data, such as asynchronous loading and retrieving data from the main site feed (where a browser processes user events and paints).
Related: Use These Web Design Tips To Grow Your Business Exponentially
Error 2: use more than two custom fonts
It’s common for web designers to use fonts from services like Google Fonts, Typekit, and other sources. If you are not careful with implementing them, they can easily add weight to the page and slow its loading speed. Custom fonts can also cause web fonts to flash on loading pages, which creates a poor user experience and can increase CLS, an important metric measuring the overall stability of a page’s content.
When correcting this error, website owners may want to sacrifice style by sticking to no more than two custom font families and in limited sizes.
Error 3: display multiple images above the fold
Background images and videos are usually the most important resources that browsers upload to a site. Therefore, when there are multiple large images or videos displayed, there may be a delay in LCP and an increase in CLS because the browser must download these items before they can be rendered. For web professionals who design pages for clients in verticals that emphasize still images and photographic recordings, the most effective solution would be to place a single image above the fold and s’ ensure that the image has been compressed. Additionally, videos and sliders with a maximum of three images or less should be moved further down the page to further improve the site’s CWV score.
Error 4: Not optimizing images
A common occurrence on sites with a lot of images is when the photographs are uploaded to the site and displayed as is. This error disrupts load time, causing the user to wait for images to appear and possibly exit the page completely, which negatively impacts the CWV score. Correcting this error is relatively easy, however. Before an image is uploaded to a website, it must be compressed and resized. Compressing images is about running them through a specialized algorithm to reduce the overall file size, while resizing is about making sure the dimensions match the model and window size requirements. Keeping resizing and compressing in mind before, during, and after website creation will ensure that a site performs well and continues to meet Google’s ranking specifications.
Related: Trust a best stock photography service for your business design needs
Mistake 5: Using Too Many Analysis Solutions
On the web today, it’s very easy to add dozens of tracking technologies like Google Analytics, Tag Manager, AdRoll scripts, and other tools. While useful for informing data-driven decision making, running these implementations can cause a site to load at a snail’s pace and ruin the overall user experience. So, assess what tracking technologies are needed. That said, even websites that require a considerable amount of analysis tools have a good chance of increasing their CWV score, provided their designers use a well-researched guide to ensure that the tracking code loads. correctly and does not affect the speed of the site.
Is it time to rethink your CMS?
The challenge of rectifying all of the above mistakes is that Google CWV is forcing designers and businesses to rethink current sites and how they should be designed. As the company continues to release new updates, businesses and web professionals will likely need to re-evaluate their content management system (CMS) or partner platform if they want to improve their CWV score and maintain (or improve). their ranking on Google.