In pursuit of great web experiences, Google has announced plans to alter its search ranking algorithm. This update will factor in a website’s user experience as part of the search ranking criteria. Google is updating its algorithm in recent times, to incorporate the experience of the user on a page as a ranking signal. The intent is to factor in the user experience of the pages returning in search results, rather than looking at more traditional and objective signals such as PageRank and on-page targeting that have been used historically. This update is designed to put more weight on the user experience of pages being returned in SERPs, rather than the traditional and more objective signals such as PageRank and on-page targeting that have been used historically.
The site’s overall quality will be determined by a multitude of factors, and Google has announced the elements that will cultivate an excellent user experience:
Core Web Vitals: core web vitals is a statistically-grounded metric for measuring the visual loading, interactivity and visual stability of a page as it loads for users. It’s based on research from the Chrome User Experience team, operating at Google scale. It is a combination of certain essential performance metrics that reveal how quickly a page can communicate with users. The elements work together to measure the visual loading, interactivity, and visual stability of a page as it loads for users.
Mobile-First Approach: Mobile-friendly web design is an approach to web design aimed at a principal goal of building websites that can be easily accessed on mobile devices and have great usability. We should have a mobile-first web design at the core of everything that we do. It is important because we know that people will not wait for a website to load on their phones anymore. If you want your users to stay on your website, you need to prioritize the user experience on mobile devices. As people consume content digitally, the key to success is to develop your web design with mobile in mind.
Secure accessibility: In order to ensure secure web accessibility, a site is scrutinized for security loopholes and errors such as malicious softwares, phishing links and spoofed or fake pages. Another important factor that affects google ranking is HTTPS. A website that is not secured over HTTPS automatically suffers to get a better rank via google’s page ranking algorithm, as it is deemed insecure and harmful for viewers.
Core Web Vitals: What is it and What are its key elements?
When viewed through the eyes of visitors, the website is rated through a series of Core Web Vitals page experience signals. These signals track page load speed, session duration, page size, and 50 other factors that affect the user’s experience on the website. Core Web Vitals are important website visitor experience signals that evaluate a website’s page load speed, mobile usability, and email accessibility. With Web Vitals, you can measure important page experience signals to ensure that your users are getting the best experience possible.
The 3 Elements of Core Web Vitals:
LCP: It is widely accepted these days that prioritizing performance ranks high on every website owner’s checklist. If your website loads slower than a turtle in mud, even a perfect website with amazing features will lose visitors. Google has begun using page speed as a ranking factor and so it’s become increasingly important to improve performance by reducing payload weight and importantly, eliminating render blocking CSS and JS. There are several ways to achieve this but one technique has been gaining popularity recently – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the theoretical maximum size of an image that can be displayed without having to load additional content.
CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is the accumulated horizontal orientation change to a display as a function of viewing angle. In other words, as you change your viewing angle from 0 to 90 degrees the distance between the left and right edges (or columns if viewed vertically) changes. This value depends on the visual weight and directionality of elements in the layout. The visual weight of an element equals its area (pixels or physical size) divided by its projection (distance from the center of a screen). Visual directionality is a similar concept but instead refers to the text direction of an element or characters. The Cumulative Layout Shift is a powerful concept in web design.
FID: First Input Delay (FID) is a concept that affects site responsiveness to a user’s input, generally mouse movements. The browser will typically register your movement and act upon it after an amount of time between 1 and 100 milliseconds has elapsed. This delay and the computer you use play a big role in how Laggy your mouse movement feels on different surfaces. This applies to any device, browser or connection type, such as broadband or cellular data. FID is becoming increasingly important in today’s fast-paced digital world where we expect things to respond immediately.
Tips to Improve Core Web Vitals:
Optimizing JS execution
For websites that have a large number of images on pages, implementing lazy loading is a must so that your UX and the core web scores aren’t negatively affected. Lazy loading enables images to load at the precise moment when users scroll down through the page because it doesn’t hamper the loading speed and keeps your final LCP score above threshold. Never compromise user experience, load important images only when they’re in the viewport. This makes page speed more predictable and leads to higher ratings on web vital signs and UX tests.
Only lazy loading techniques will allow you to display images on your page without compromising the loading speed of your website and losing SEO points by hitting a low UX score. It’s crucial for any savvy business to implement lazy loading on the sites because the major search engines such as Google rate your site not by loading time but by how fast your site loads while the user is visiting your site. At the end of the day, lazy loading is a great tool that all developers should use. It can immensely improve your page’s performance and lessen bandwidth usage. It will keep readers on the page, and it’ll have a positive effect on SEO.
Image Compression & Dimension
The average website has over 100 images, which means a lot of additional weight. Images can be compressed by at least 75% without any noticeable loss in quality using online tools. However, you’ll find that the quality is hardly affected. Instead, image compression saves space and improves load time. And it’s particularly important for a site like yours. After all, big websites have an in-built advantage over smaller ones.
Before the user even starts interacting with your website, they’re already experiencing your brand. This is essential for creating a great experience that encourages the user to stay on your site longer. If a photo is improperly sized, the space for it to appear on your website may not exist. This creates an unexpected pause in the flow of your page and could be a scary moment for you and your site visitors. And that’s why we created images are responsive to fit into any device.
Reduction in Server Response Time
The more quickly a user’s browser can retrieve the information required to show the page, the faster that user will be able to perform actions on it. A faster response time ensures a better experience and higher ranking across search engines. According to Google, the faster server response time that leads to a faster page-load speed is directly proportional to your SEO. A faster server response time directly improves all page load metrics, including latency and page load times. Server response time is a crucial metric to track.
Use Time To First Byte (TTFB) that helps determine how quickly your website responds to visitors. Check for fast web hosting, use a Content Delivery Network for faster loading of your site and examine the plugins. TTFB determines how quickly the web page receives the first byte of response from your server. To calculate the metrics, you will need to collect data on your current performance to understand what you are currently achieving.
Mobile-First Web Design Testing with LT Browser
The unprecedented growth of mobile traffic in recent times has led to the general opinion that it is crucial for a web page to be easy to navigate and use on mobile devices, as this is what most users are now browsing with. Following the mobile migration, optimizing your website design for mobile devices is imperative. How your website looks and functions on a smaller screen can make or break the user experience. With the increase in the number of tablet and smartphone users, it’s now important to make sure that your website is easily accessible, functional, and doesn’t require any special features.
LT Browser is an app that lets you test your website on various screen sizes, android versions, browsers and operating systems. With a tap of your finger, you can change instantly from portrait to landscape, change the size and font of the browser, and even modify the location and time settings of the device. The redesigned interface makes testing websites faster than ever before. This is a testing app that allows you to check how your website looks on various screen sizes, Android versions, and browsers. You can also test your app’s responsiveness. By using the Resize option, you can test it on a variety of screen sizes.