The Global Pandemic Hit of 2020 has affected nearly every aspect of our life. Since the time of the ‘Dawn of online business’ digital marketing has been serving the marketing industry as a strong point and now it plays the role of a very powerful asset and it’s crucial for businesses to grow and maintain their customer base.
For the past few years, we know how search engines like “Google” have been remarkable in its evolution. Every update announced by Google in the ranking algorithms helps digital marketers to generate leads for their businesses most ethically and efficiently possible. That’s right, its a fairly lucrative platform for modern business!
As the year 2020 arrived, Google thrived to maintain its | Quality > Everything | approach by announcing a ‘ New Ranking Algorithm’ designed to provide the users an even better and competent “Page Experience”. The new update called “Page Experience Update” will be live in the year 2021, so marketers have enough time to prepare for its arrival.
This new ranking algorithm will include ‘core web vitals’ that are user-centered metrics, that give scores on the aspect of your page’s minute performances. Now, this sounds like something John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital” Giving attention to details like load time, interactivity, and the stability of the content as it loads while optimizing your website, will become very beneficial for your business and this update is just the right way to do it. So let’s unpack the metrics of the “Core Web Vitals”
Largest contentful paint (LCP): Measures how long it takes from initiating a page to load till the time when the largest image or text block can be seen on the screen. For a better ranking, the page load must happen under 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID): Measures the time it takes for the browser to respond to a user’s first interaction with the page. Sites should aim for an FID less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures the unexpected movement of the page content. Abrupt content may frustrate the readers and force them to move the content of interest out of view. You should aim for a CLS score of less than 0.1.
You must be wondering how do you prepare for this update to enhance your site’s SEO.As you already know, SEO consists of several factors that help improve the website but one of the most important factors that will ensure high performance and ROI of your website is “Page Speed”.
From a user experience standpoint, a faster website is practically a requirement as 67% of users demand a loading time of 3 seconds or less. Speed of your web pages is an important ranking factor for SEO and significantly helps you gain user’s loyalty and goodwill. So, let’s start our preparation by increasing the ‘Page Speed’.
Metrix you should keep in mind during the analysis:
The latest approach towards a quality SEO is Schema Mark-up and believe it or not this is huge in the optimization of your website. Schema Marke-up is a code (semantic vocabulary) that is included in websites that gives a deeper understanding to search engines about the content on your site. Schema mark-up has proven to be very beneficial for marketers and site owners to enhance search visibility on the search engine results pages (SERP) via rich snippets, featured snippets, and knowledge graph results.
Easy steps to implement Schema mark-up on your website:
After this, You have to patiently wait for Google to recognize your mark-up items and feature them on the result pages. You probably have heard or implemented schema already to your site and sure it makes your website appear in SERPs that enhance your possibility to gain more CTRs and proven to be beneficial but ever wondered how much time it takes to start seeing genuine results after implementing schema?
Google’s response to the introduction of the structured data mark-up on your site:
Images should not be any larger than they need to be. They must in the right file format, PNGs are used for graphics with less than 16 colors and JPEGs are used for photographs. These should be compressed for the web.With the help of CSS sprite, you can create a template for images that you use frequently on your sites like buttons and icons. CSS sprite will incorporate your images into one large image that loads all at once and then it will display only the sections that you want to show.This will save loading time and will avoid making users wait for multiple images to load.
Server Response Time (SRT) is the amount of time it takes for the web browser to receive responses. The timer begins as soon as the browser receiver a request and it is measured by Time to First Byte (ttfb).Your server response time should be under 200ms.
Steps to improve your server response time-
i) Check your Hosting : Check the time spent waiting for your server to respond that adds to your final page load time. To load pages as quickly as possible for your users, you must have sufficient resources to handle your traffic.
ii) Select and optimize your web server: Make sure you choose the right web server like Apache, Nginx, or OpenLiteSpeed, and once you have chosen a web server to use you’ll need to set it up and optimize the configuration according to your will.
iii) Reduce Bloat: While using a content management system (CMS) your site will accumulate bloat unless carefully managed. Things like Images, new content pages, etc will slow down the speed of your site and it is necessary to optimize the images, combine your resources and enable compression since smaller files are preferable when it comes to lowering SRTs.
iv) Optimize your Database: You can speed up the loading time for your site as a whole by ensuring your database will retrieve data as efficiently as possible.Slow queries are the number one reason why a server responds to a request slowly, so identify ways to prevent bottlenecks.
Content distribution network (CDNs) are content delivery networks - the networks of servers that are used to distribute the load of delivering content. To help users to have faster and more reliable access to your site, copies of your website will be stored at multiple, geographically diverse data centers. Digital media such as applications, audio, games, images, software downloads, and videos are delivered via CDNs. It is important to choose the right content delivery network. Some of the major players in this market are -
Akamai Technologies, AT&T, Inc., CDNetworks, Chinacache, CloudFlare Inc., Highwinds Network Group, Inc., Internap Corporation, Level 3 Communications, Inc., Limelight Networks, MaxCDN, Tata Communications, and Verizon Communications, Inc.
Run a market analysis of the market which will give you an insight into the financial statement of all the major players and will also give you the insights of product benchmarking and swot analysis. CDNs are a great way to speed up your site.
Browser Caching is a tool that is used to temporarily store information about web documents such as, web pages, images, and other types of web multimedia, to reduce server lagging time and increase website speed. With the help of browser caching, the users who have already visited the page can visit the pages on your site without the need to re-download all the files. Browser Caching majorly speeds up the data retrieval process by reducing the need for accessing the underlying slower storage layer which means users will be able to access the pages on your site faster than the first time they visited, except for fresh data that was added to the page.