This is a sponsored post written by Cloudinary. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.

In our digital economy, patience for slow page loads is low. A slow-loading page means that visitors are more likely to leave, resulting in a loss of pageviews and ultimately lost sales. Studies show that if a page takes more than three seconds to load, up to 40% of its visitors would abandon the site.

Given today’s competitive environment, brands simply can’t afford to have poorer performing websites. Optimizing media, site speed, and user experience is essential for SEO success – and customer satisfaction.

In this column, you will learn about the opportunities offered by Core Web Vitals (CWV) and hear from web performance experts where you should focus your SEO efforts now to get the best possible results.

CWV countdown is (still) on

In 2020, Google announced that its Core Web Vitals (CWVs), along with previous UI-related search signals such as cell phone friendliness and HTTPS encryption, will determine the SEO rankings of websites in mid-2021.

CWVs are based on a complete study of aspects of an ideal online user experience. The three metrics are Maximum Content Goal (LCP), First Feed Display (FID), and Cumulative Layout Change (CLS), which evaluate website load time, interactivity, and visual stability.

The launch of CWV cars was recent on the table from May to phasing-in from mid-June 2021, which will be completed by the end of August.

In a corporate statement, Google said it was making a decision to allow companies to “make refinements … for the page experience.” Delay is great news for organizations, given the recent evidence that 47 percent of websites have LCP scores in excess of 2.5 seconds, meaning nearly half of all websites belong to a Needs Improvement or Poor bucket. If an ecommerce site meets Google’s thresholds for all three metrics, visitors will give up 25% less.

Nevertheless, after a long time of preparation, it is absolutely essential that brands move quickly. improve the CWV values ​​of their sites.

Experts weigh web performance

Given consumers ’high expectations for website visits, network performance is vital for both user experience and business results. Where should you focus your optimization work?

Below is a a few key pickups from our recent conversations with Tim Kadlec, Harry Roberts, Tammy Everts, and Scott Jehl, who shared tips on their research and hands-on experience with brand sites.

Brands are rushing to remove performance barriers

Catchpoint Performance Planner Tim Kadlec says the company has received several inquiries from customers about optimization for CWV models.

According to him, these concrete targets are “Google’s still clearest signal of what constitutes good web performance.” Tim adds, “I’ve seen many organizations focus on CWV right now because SEO investment and the resulting traffic are a massive part of business success. Your reputation will be in line depending on whether you hit those metrics.”

Separately consultant and interface architect Harry Roberts told us that “almost all of the inquiries we received in 2021 relate to the CWV.” Despite the fact that the search giant emphasizes the huge impact of these metrics on search, Roberts says, “I’ve advised against panic. These metrics are just one of many investment factors.”

His advice: “Companies looking to speed up page loading should focus on content distribution and metrics like LCP. Once the measurement is at hand, identify the priority of the page, go back there to hypothesize why that page might load slowly, and then fix the problem. “

Speed ​​detection is fixed

In his 2016 book Time is money: the value of a web performance business, Tammy Everts pointed out that people have a neurological need for quick and simple processes. He mentioned research on changing jobs, who found that even a small delay in website load time makes people work 50% more in terms of mental performance.

A similar study he referred to on mobile devices showed a similar level of frustration for top users. “This means our brains don’t control device or task expectations – we’re frustrated with long charging times in either case,” Tammy added.

In an electroencephalogram study, Tammy tested the hypothesis that performance influenced mobile users ’perception of retail brands in the long run.

Here’s his observation: “If the only separator was found to be perceptible over time, those who experienced a slower site used three times more negative adjectives to describe the brand – boring, sticky, useless” than those who experienced a faster version of the same site. “

New formats and tools can make sites more visual without slowing down performance

By Scott Jehl, a hybrid designer-developer at Filament Group, tools for sharing images using HTML alone are very powerful. He points out that “responsive images have worked in multiple browsers since 2016. In addition, you can submit the appropriate size to HTML by setting – Yes attributes elements.

“Why don’t you also use all the options with CSS and SVG to achieve a rich look? In addition, new and well-supported image and video formats such as WebM, WebP and AVIF help deliver media faster and keep your weight under control. Tools that effectively compress media and provide pages are a huge help, especially for large e-commerce sites. “

As today’s websites become more and more image- and video-centric, combined with the rush of digital-minded companies to improve the user experience, the timing of Google’s CWVs couldn’t be more complete. Not only is Google well aware of the metrics it uses, it also gives website developers plenty of time – and very clear instructions – to raise the page level.

Ultimately, this initiative will lead to a better experience for the online audience and later for Google users – which is a win-win for everyone. Remember that the data is based on actual page views of the actual user experience in Chrome. This relevant information is then used to increase the visibility of a site that Google believes will attract users.

The importance of media optimized as a priority in the digital economy is only growing. Slower websites will be left in the dust, pushed further down the Google rankings, where they may be completely ignored. Those with strong CWV scores get a balance from Google. So, don’t let the amount of visual media act to the detriment of your network performance. Instead, make media optimization your priority now.

Image credits

Featured image: Image: Cloudinary. Used with permission.


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