Page speed has always been an important part of the user experience. Nobody wants to waste time on a website that takes too long to load; in fact, half of all mobile users will immediately exit a page if it takes over three seconds to load. A slow web page also affects SEO, or search engine optimization.
Currently, Google uses a mobile-based algorithm in which a website’s ranking is measured by how well the site performs across mobile devices — the slower the site, the lower the ranking. While speed has always been important for brands that hope to gain recognition, it’s becoming even more significant as Google plans to launch a new update to its algorithm.
Core Web Vitals
Come May 2021, Google will be implementing some changes to its algorithm. Essentially, it’ll be evaluating the general page experience offered by the site, along with some “core web vitals.” Here’s what brands can expect from the update.
The algorithm will be heavily weighted toward how quickly pages load, both for users and for Google itself. Load time is determined by the largest contentful paint (LCP), which measures when the largest element of content becomes visible. An ideal LCP is a maximum of 2.5 seconds; in other words, pages should aim to load in approximately less than 2 seconds if they want to be boosted by Google’s new algorithm.
In addition to content loading speed, Google will take into consideration how long it takes for a page to become responsive. This is measured by the first input delay (FID), or the time it takes for a user to begin interacting with a site once they’ve clicked the link. Ideally, this should be less than 100 ms.
When a page is finished loading, the layout should be visually stable; images and content should not be skewed or out of proportion. The algorithm expects layout shifts to remain under 0.1.
Page experience will be combined with the “core web vitals” detailed above to evaluate a website’s performance and deserved ranking. User experience encompasses a site’s compatibility with mobile devices, its HTTPS security and general safe browsing.
Why Is the Algorithm Important?
The more your website complies with Google’s algorithm, the more visible your site will be to potential consumers. Over 70% of search traffic clicks are from the first page of Google; in comparison, the second page only receives about 6% of clicks. Any site owner that hopes for brand recognition needs to be on that first page.
The impact the new update will have on usability and ranking potential means more and more site owners are scrambling to analyze their metrics and make the changes necessary to adjust their visual layouts and increase their site load and response times. So what can you do to ensure your site is ready for the update?
WordPress Page Speed Optimization Services
The main reason a site might be slow is that it simply has too much content to load. There are several methods to increase a site’s speed without sacrificing the content quality, such as:
- Image compression
- Browser caching
- Using content delivery networks
- Minifying code
- Reducing redirects
Of course, executing these tasks and keeping track of the metrics to make sure your site is improving is no easy task. That’s why many site owners are turning toward professional WordPress page speed optimization services, like WP SitePlan.
At WPSP, our team of experts will manage, protect and enhance your website to make sure it’s promoting your brand and reaching as many people as possible. In addition to checking your speed and visual stability, we’ll perform daily data backups, monitor uptime in real time, apply plug-in and theme updates, execute security scans and perform monthly reports. The level of service depends on your wants and needs; we offer a Support plan (which includes desk and WooCommerce support) and a Support Pro plan (which comes with unlimited desk help, complete malware removal and daily performance and speed checks).
Nobody should have to become an expert in SEO and juggle running a business with optimizing a website. However, failing to make necessary changes to your site could result in a massive decrease in search engine rankings. Our team of experts at WP SitePlan is ready to maintain and enhance your website’s performance for you. Contact us now to learn more about our services.