Website seems responsive, Core Web Vitals are stable…

5 min read by Charles Craik 10 Jun 2021

Not too long ago, our Search and Content Strategist Oli Hearsum updated us on the recent development in Google’s journey to creating better results for searchers with Page Experience. 

The release of the Core Web Vitals Report within Google Search Console in May 2020 has enabled agencies like us to check in on our clients and how they’re performing against them – and prepare our clients sites to continue to thrive once the update is rolled out into search this month. 

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals? 

Core Web Vitals are a relatively new set of performance metrics that Google are factoring into theirPage Experience Update, focusing on the user and highlighting aspects of web page development that are adversely affecting user experience. Find out more about Core Web Vitals in Oli’s update here

How are we tackling the update? 

We like to be ahead of the game here at StrategiQ, so we’ve been working hard behind the scenes ever since the metrics were released in Google Search Console to work with our clients on perfecting these metrics, ready for when the algorithm updates roll out throughout June and July. This proactivity means that we don’t expect to see anywhere near as much impact to sites when the update happens – and perhaps could even see positive changes. 

As the age of SEO and user experience coming together approaches, we’re ready for anything, including Core Web Vitals and Page Experience. Here’s some of our client’s websites that are either in progress of being improved based on early Core Web Vitals reports, or do well already. 

The Broke Backpacker

A popular travel blog founded in 2017 with 3000+ articles, our development team worked closely during the downtime of the pandemic to rebuild their WordPress website with site speed and performance as the primary objective for the project.

Upon launching their new website theme back in September 2020, we’ve been working over the past few months to iron out the last few remaining Core Web Vitals issues in order to achieve and maintain a 100% Good Page Experience Score:

As indicated below in the more granular Core Web Vitals report, in March some new features were rolled out to the website which degraded Desktop performance overnight and required careful reworking in April in order to resolve unexpected issues on the CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) metric:

Our in-house development team have been fully utilising some fantastic tools including Google Chrome’s Lighthouse Report allowing us to scrub through the Original Trace timeline of the website loading in order pinpoint and resolve issues such as CLS.

Since the start of June however, the 100% Good Experience URLs have been restored and maintained as this is a continually monitored KPI as part of our partnership with The Broke Backpacker. 

Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

In partnership with Development Agency Limely, our SEO team have also been championing the refinement of Core Web Vitals of Factory Direct Flooring Ltd who are a national flooring supplier utilising the Ecommerce platform – Magento 2.

Our campaign to improve Core Web Vitals for FDF started even before the announcement of the new Page Experience Report within Google Search Console that you can see below:

By March 2021 – only 10% of Mobile URLs and 0% of Desktop URLs were scoring as ‘Good URLs’ which can often be the case with unoptimised Magento 2 builds. Following a brilliant collaboration between StrategiQ, Limely and hosting partner Sonassi – we have been working through a series of updates from server configuration to front-end CSS that has drastically improved the Core Web Vitals score in time for the new algorithm rollouts.

In order to achieve these results over the course of a few months, all issues and opportunities were broken down into a series of sprints and assigned based on impact, effort and ownership. Not only have these improvements to the scores exceeded our expectations of what is possible with a complex Magento 2 build, but they have also noticeably and drastically improved the load-speed performance for users which is what matters most.

How we can help you

Our dedicated team of SEO and data experts are ready to help make your page experience one worth staying for. Get in touch with us today if you’re concerned that your website might not be ready for Core Web Vitals and Page Experience – we’re here to help!

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