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Core Web Vitals: 5 Website Best Practices for a Better User Experience

Website Design

Sites are meant to receive traffic and generate leads.

However, they can only do that if they rank on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs) and provide a positive user experience. This is where Core Web Vitals come in.

By optimizing your web design in West Palm Beach for Core Web Vitals, you can boost user experience and search rankings.

What is Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are composed of various Google page experience metrics that reveal how your pages perform. Core Web Vitals has three standards: performance, responsiveness, and visual stability.  

Optimizing for Core Web Vitals helps give your site more recognition in the SERPs and give your audience a smooth web-browsing experience.  

3 Core Web Vital Metrics

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)  

LCP refers to how long it takes for a page to load from the time a user clicks on a link to seeing the majority of its content on the screen. Essentially, this examines how quickly a user can see and interact with your page.  

Using Google PageSpeed Insights, you can check each of your page’s LCP scores. It will provide information about how a specific page performs as users experience it, based on Chrome browser data, allowing you to identify areas to improve.

If you want to assess the LCP data on your entire web design in West Palm Beach, it’s best to use Google Search Console. It will provide you with a list of URLs, divided into three categories:

  • Good
  • Poor
  • Needs Improvement

The ideal LCP score is within 2.5 seconds. Here are the different ways you can improve your LCP:

  • Get rid of any unnecessary third-party scripts. Third-party scripts are JavaScript resources that aim to make a website more dynamic and interactive. Examples are social sharing buttons, video player embeds, ads, widgets, and other scripts. According to Backlinko, every third-party script can slow your page down by 34 milliseconds.  
  • Consider upgrading your hosting plan. Better hosting can improve your overall load times.  
  • Eliminate large page elements. It’s normal for a website to have a lot going on at the same time. Unfortunately, large page elements can slow your page’s LCP.  
  • Use lazy loading to load an image only when a user is about to view it. This will help improve your LCP.  
  • Minimize your code and markup in your web pages and script files. This will help reduce load times and minimize bandwidth usage on your site.  

First Input Delay (FID)

Google’s second Core Web Vital, First Input Delay, refers to the time it takes for a user to interact with the elements on your page. This metric reveals how real-life users interact with the contents of your site and how fast they can do something.  

Examples of these interactions include:

  • Opening up an accordion menu on mobile
  • Choosing an option from that menu
  • Entering data into a log-in field
  • Clicking on a link on a site

Tips on how to improve your page’s FID score:

  • Minimize JavaScript to speed up the transfer of the JS code, enabling users to interact with your page right away.  
  • Get rid of any unnecessary third-party scripts that slow your site down.  
  • Use a browser cache to save the images, HTML, and other data necessary to enable users to view your site right away.  

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift refers to how visually stable your page is as it loads. If certain elements on your page suddenly change position, it means you have a high CLS.  

You want your page to be highly stable as it loads to provide a positive user experience. This way, users don’t have to figure out where the links, images, and other elements are located once the page is fully loaded.  

Here are two simple tricks to minimize your page’s CLS:

  • Set proper size attribute dimensions for every piece of media you integrate with your web design in West Palm Beach. This will inform browsers of how much space every element on your site should take up so they can allocate that space and prevent anything from moving around.  
  • Reserve a space for ads so they don’t show up randomly on your site and push your content down.  

Tools to Help Improve Your Site’s Core Web Vitals

The following tools will make it easier for you to determine if your site’s performance is on par with Google’s standards for user experience and optimize it for Core Web Vitals.  

Field Tools

Field tools enable you to collect data about how users are interacting with your site in real life. You can use them to fix the CLS, FID, and LCP issues you discover.  

Lab Tools

Lab tools present data coming from a lab setting and other controlled environments. This gives you results you can reproduce, which is essential for finding bugs and fixing them.

5 Best Practices for Core Web Vitals

1. Increase Your Page Speed

Web developer fixing web design in West Palm Beach for faster loading speed.

Page speed matters for delivering a positive user experience. A website that loads slowly turns users off and drives them away.

Now that Google has fully implemented the Core Web Vital update, you need to make sure that your website loads fast. As much as possible, keep your site lightning-fast! It’s the key to generating more traffic from mobile and social searches and increasing your conversions.  

So, how can you improve your web design in West Palm Beach’s speed performance?

Here are some simple things you can do:

  • Minimize the time it takes for your site to start loading.  
  • Switch to a faster DNS provider to minimize the time it takes for your site to load.  
  • Avoid using shared hosting as much as possible, especially if you have a large site and a huge amount of traffic coming in each month.  
  • Compress your images and other files.
  • Allow browser caching.  
  • Use other networks of servers to host your site and decrease load times for your web visitors.  

2. Aim for a Score of 90

Once you’ve improved your page speed, the next step is to use the PageSpeed Insights tool to check your score.

Page Break

Your goal is to hit a score of 90 or above. If you get this score, it means that your website is faster than 90% of all sites on the web.  

If you get a score below 90, click on the “see calculator” link to determine how they computed your score. This will provide information about which areas of your site need improvement, and what changes have the greatest impact on your score.  

3. Optimize Your “Above The Fold” Content

Above the fold website template.

Google wants all your above-the-fold content to load within 2.5 seconds. If it takes longer than 4 seconds before users see it, Google will consider it a "poor" experience.  

Above-the-fold content is the first thing your web visitors see when they land on your page. It grabs their attention and informs them that your page matches their search intent. As a result, users are less likely to leave and more motivated to explore the rest of your content.  

Many web designs in West Palm Beach use large files, such as images or even videos, as their above-the-fold content. However, these large files can cause a delay in your page’s FCP.  

Make some design trade-offs to boost your speed score. The good news is that you only need to apply changes to the mobile version of your website. The desktop version of your site can handle big images and videos.  

Instead of imagery, you can use a solid block of your brand color and other CSS styles as your above-the-fold content. If you decide to use images, compress and optimize them in the newest formats.  

4. Upgrade Your Images into SVGs and WebPs.  

Did you know that the three main types of image formats – JPGs, GIFs, and PNGs – are considered old school? They've been replaced with the following next-generation image formats: SVG and WebP.  

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. An SVG is a web-friendly vector file format that stores images via mathematical formulas based on lines and grids instead of pixels.  

Because of this, it loads much faster, presents crisper images, and is easily resizable compared to PNG or GIF. Google indexes SVGs, which means the search engine loves this image format! If possible, convert all the images on your site, especially your logo, into SVG files.  

The second modern image format is called WebP. It aims to provide richer images with a smaller file size than a JPEG. WebP file size is 25%-34% smaller than JPEGs, which helps make a website load faster.  

As much as possible, convert big image files on your site into WebP lossless images. Although this is time-consuming, it can help boost your Core Web Vitals scores and your rankings in the SERPs.  

You can use a tool called Imagify so you can upload JPGs and download them as WebPs.  

5. Optimize Your Code

Web designer optimizing code for better web design in West Palm Beach.

If you don't know anything about codes, you will want to work with a professional web developer to get this one right.  

Once you’ve optimized your page speed and upgraded your images, the next step is to optimize your code.  

There are three core code areas you need to work on:

HTML – Code to structure a site and its content.  

CSS – Code for describing the appearance of a site, including colors, fonts, layouts, and visual styles of elements.  

JavaScript – The code for making your website interactive and dynamic. It handles animations, tracking scripts, and form-submission behavior.  

Be careful with "automatic” optimizations because they can break up your site and impact its functionality. A web developer can modify your code and optimize it without causing any problems to your site.  

Here are some tips on how to optimize your JavaScript code for a better user experience:

  • Use if/else statements for controlling your program flow because they’re generally faster. But, if you have three or more conditions to test, consider using switch statements because they’re the faster option for this case.  
  • Minimize reflow by doing all changes in one operation only to trigger reflow only once.
  • Use native JavaScript for searching and avoid global DOM searches.  
  • Bind all elements to one event handler.

CSS code optimization:

Optimize your HTML code by doing the following:

  • Avoid using HTML comments to shorten your codes.  
  • Eliminate any commented-out codes that are left on your production web pages.  
  • Indent your code using tabs instead of spaces to save on file sizes.  
  • Find a balance between code clarity and file size to guarantee a positive user experience.  
  • Eliminate the “type” attribute from “script” elements because it’s no longer necessary. The “type” attribute on “script” elements is only useful for non-JavaScript schemes.  
  • Get rid of the “type” attribute from “style” elements. Only use this for non-CSS schemes.  

Tools you can use to help streamline your HTML code include the following:

  • Minification tool built into Cloudflare
  • Autoptimize
  • WP Rocket  

Optimize Your Web Design in West Palm Beach for Core Web Vitals!

Keep your website fast, secure, and ahead of your competitors by optimizing for Core Web Vitals.  

Now that you have a good understanding of what the Core Web Vital Metrics are and how to improve your site’s page performance, you can now apply these tips to start improving your score!

Need help optimizing your site to rank better in the search results? At Digital Resource, our web design team in West Palm Beach will work with you to create a website that ranks high in Google and provides the ultimate web-browsing experience that converts!  

Contact us today for a FREE SEO scan and consultation.  

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