How to Improve Core Web Vitals

Rushik Shah User Icon By: Rushik Shah

Imagine this scenario: You’re browsing the internet, eagerly searching for information on a topic that piques your interest. You click on a link, anticipating quick access to valuable content. However, instead of the seamless experience you expected, you find yourself waiting… and waiting… and waiting for the page to load. Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, studies show that a staggering 53% of mobile site visitors abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Yes, you read that right – three seconds! But fear not, there’s a solution to this dilemma, and it’s called Core Web Vitals.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are like a report card for your website’s user experience. They’re a set of key metrics that Google uses to measure how well your site performs for visitors. Think of it as a health check-up for your website – it tells you what’s working well and what needs improvement. Core Web Vitals consist of three key factors:

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures how quickly the main content of a web page loads. The main content could be a large image, a video, or a block of text. A good LCP score means the website’s content appears on the screen swiftly, without making the user wait too long.

2. First Input Delay (FID): This metric focuses on interactivity. It measures how quickly a website responds when a user tries to interact with it, like clicking a button or typing in a field. A good FID score indicates the website is responsive and doesn’t keep the user waiting when they try to do something.

3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric evaluates visual stability. It measures how often content on a website jumps around or shifts unexpectedly while the page is still loading. A low CLS score means the website’s layout is stable, and elements don’t move erratically, which can be frustrating for users.

Why Are Core Web Vitals Important?

Google considers these three factors crucial because they directly impact the user experience. A website with a fast LCP, low FID, and minimal CLS provides a smooth, responsive, and visually stable experience, keeping users happy and engaged. Optimizing Core Web Vitals is essential for improving user satisfaction, reducing bounce rates, and even boosting search engine rankings.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into practical strategies to diagnose and improve your Core Web Vitals across three key areas: optimizing loading performance, enhancing interactivity, and minimizing visual instability. From leveraging browser caching and code splitting to implementing performance budgets and layout shifts best practices, you’ll gain a comprehensive toolkit to boost your website’s user experience and search engine visibility. And if you’re looking for expert guidance on implementing these strategies, partnering with a trusted Website Development Company can provide invaluable support and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

How to Improve Core Web Vitals

Ways to Improve Your Core Web Vitals

Here are some quick ideas to improve the core web vitals of your website:-

1. Optimize for Mobile Devices

Over 53% of website traffic comes from mobile devices (Statista, 2023).

Mobile optimization is crucial for Core Web Vitals because more and more people are using their smartphones to browse the internet. Mobile users often have slower internet connections and less powerful devices compared to desktop users. Therefore, it’s essential to have a fast-loading mobile experience to keep your Core Web Vitals scores high.

Google uses mobile-first indexing, which means it prioritizes the mobile version of your website for ranking purposes and that is why responsive website designing is the must today. If your website is not optimized for mobile, it may struggle to rank well in search results.

Here are some best practices for mobile optimization:

  • Use Responsive Design: Responsive design ensures that your website looks great and functions properly on devices of all sizes, from small smartphones to large desktop monitors.
  • Avoid Popups that Obstruct Content: Popups that cover the main content of your website can be frustrating for mobile users and negatively impact your Core Web Vitals scores.
  • Optimize Images and Videos: Large media files can slow down your website’s loading speed, especially on mobile devices. Compress your images and videos to reduce file sizes without sacrificing quality.
  • Minimize Render-Blocking Resources: Render-blocking resources like large JavaScript and CSS files can delay the rendering of your website’s content. Prioritize loading the critical resources first to improve perceived load times.

By following these mobile optimization best practices, you can improve your Core Web Vitals scores and provide a better experience for your mobile users.

2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for Faster Performance

A CDN can reduce website loading times by up to 50% (Radware, 2022).

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers located in different parts of the world. Its job is to deliver website content (like images, videos, and other files) to users quickly.

Here’s how it works: A CDN stores copies of your website’s content (like images and text) on servers all around the world. When someone visits your site, the CDN delivers the content from the server closest to them. This cuts down on travel time for the data and makes your website load faster.

Using a CDN is great for improving your Core Web Vitals. Since content is served from servers closer to your users, it loads faster. This helps improve metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID).

There are different types of CDNs available:

  • Free CDNs: These are often provided by companies like Cloudflare or Google. They offer basic CDN services at no cost.
  • Paid CDNs: Services like Amazon CloudFront, Fastly, or Akamai offer more advanced features and higher performance, but you have to pay for them.
  • CDN Add-ons: Some web hosting providers offer CDN services as an add-on to their hosting plans.

When choosing a CDN, consider factors like:

  • Number of server locations: More locations mean content can be served closer to your users.
  • Features: Some CDNs offer additional security or performance features.
  • Cost: Free CDNs are great for small sites, but larger sites may need the performance of a paid CDN.

By leveraging a CDN, you can significantly improve your website’s loading speed and Core Web Vitals scores.

3. Improve Website Performance with Caching

Repeat visitors can see a 70% improvement in page load times with caching (Kinsta, 2023).

Imagine your website is a bakery, and the most popular cookies are always flying off the shelf. Caching is like having a handy cookie jar where you store some already-baked treats. When someone orders a popular cookie, you can whip it out of the jar straightaway, instead of having to bake a fresh one every single time.

Here’s the magic of caching:

Less Work for the Server: Every time someone visits your site, your server has to work hard to deliver all the content – text, images, videos. Caching stores this content temporarily, so the server doesn’t have to do all that work again for the next visitor. It’s like having a well-stocked pantry for your website!

Faster Page Loads: With the content readily available, your website can load those pages much quicker for visitors. They won’t be left staring at a blank screen, wondering if your site is broken. Happy visitors, happy you!

There are two main caching strategies:

Browser Caching: This stores website files on the user’s browser so that when they visit your site again, the browser can load the cached files quickly instead of downloading everything from your server.

Server-side Caching: This stores website files on servers closer to your users. When someone visits your site, these servers can quickly serve the cached files without having to fetch them from your hosting server, which might be far away.

The specific caching solution you choose will depend on your website platform:

  • WordPress: Many popular WordPress caching plugins are available, with fun names like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. A quick search online will give you plenty of tutorials on how to set them up.
  • Wix: Wix offers built-in caching features. You can find instructions on enabling them in the Wix Help Center with a simple search.
  • Squarespace: Squarespace also has built-in caching, so you generally don’t need to worry about setting anything up yourself.

By implementing a caching solution, you’re giving your website a significant speed boost. This not only improves user experience but can also help your website rank higher in search results – because Google loves fast websites too!

4. Speed Up Your Website by Optimizing Resources

Removing render-blocking resources can improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) by up to 60% (WebPageTest, 2023).

Render-blocking resources are files that prevent a web page from loading and displaying content until those files have been fully downloaded and processed. These resources can slow down your website’s loading speed significantly.

Some common examples of render-blocking resources include:

  • Large JavaScript files: Big JavaScript files need to be downloaded and processed by the browser before it can display anything on the page.
  • Unoptimized CSS files: Stylesheets that are not optimized can block the browser from rendering the content until they are fully loaded.
  • Web fonts: Custom fonts often block content from rendering until they are downloaded.

Having too many render-blocking resources can lead to a poor user experience, as users may see a blank page for longer periods while waiting for everything to load.

To eliminate render-blocking resources and improve your Core Web Vitals, you can:

  • Minify and combine CSS/JavaScript files: Reducing the file sizes and combining multiple files into one can decrease the amount of time needed to download and process them.
  • Use techniques like critical rendering path: This involves identifying and prioritizing the loading of the most critical resources needed to render the initial viewport.
  • Lazy load non-critical resources: Resources like images, videos, and non-critical JavaScript can be loaded after the initial page load, improving the perceived loading speed.
  • Optimize web fonts: Use font-display properties or font loading libraries to prevent web fonts from blocking page rendering.

By eliminating render-blocking resources, you’re giving your website a head start on loading all that good content, improving your website’s loading speed and consequently improving your Core Web Vitals scores.

5. Implement Image Optimization for Optimal Performance

Images can make up to 80% of a webpage’s weight (Impact Sciences, 2022).

Optimizing images is crucial for improving your Core Web Vitals, especially the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric. LCP measures how quickly the largest content element on a page loads and becomes visible to the user. Since images are often the largest elements on a web page, optimizing them can significantly improve your LCP score.

Here are some techniques for properly sizing and optimizing your images:

Use the Right Image Format

Different image formats are better suited for different types of images. For example:

  • JPEG is best for photographs and images with many colors.
  • PNG is ideal for graphics with transparent backgrounds or few colors.
  • WebP and AVIF are modern formats that can provide better compression without quality loss.

Compress Images

Compressing your images can greatly reduce their file size without sacrificing too much quality. There are various tools available to help you do this, such as:

  • Online compression tools like TinyPNG or Squoosh
  • Desktop apps like ImageOptim or FileOptimizer

Resize Images

Make sure to resize your images to the dimensions they’ll be displayed at on your website. Serving oversized images will increase page weight and slow down load times.

By properly sizing and optimizing your images using these techniques, you can significantly reduce page weight, improve loading speeds, and boost your Core Web Vitals scores – providing a better experience for your users.

6. Prioritize Content Users See First – Utilize Lazy Loading

Lazy loading can improve First Input Delay (FID) by up to 30% (Google Developers, 2023).

Lazy loading is a technique where images, videos, or other content are loaded only when they come into the user’s view (viewport) instead of loading everything at once when the page first loads.

For example, if you have a long article with many images, lazy loading will only load the images that are currently visible on the user’s screen. As the user scrolls down, the remaining images will load when they come into view.

This is helpful because it reduces the amount of data that needs to be downloaded initially, which can significantly improve perceived performance and make your website feel faster and more responsive.

Lazy loading is especially beneficial for Core Web Vitals, particularly for pages with lots of images or other heavy content. By only loading what’s needed, you can improve metrics like:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures how quickly the largest content element (like an image) loads and becomes visible.
  • First Input Delay (FID): This measures how quickly your website responds to user interactions like clicks or scrolls.

Lazy loading can help improve both these metrics by reducing the initial page weight and prioritizing the loading of critical content first.

To implement lazy loading on your website, the process will depend on your platform:

  • WordPress: You can use plugins like Smush or Native Lazyload.
  • Shopify: Shopify has built-in lazy loading, or you can use apps like Lazy Load Optimizer.
  • Custom websites: You can use JavaScript libraries like Lazy Load or lazysizes, or implement lazy loading yourself with Intersection Observer API.

There are many guides available online that provide step-by-step instructions for implementing lazy loading based on your website’s specific technology stack.

By lazy loading non-critical content like images, you can significantly enhance your Core Web Vitals and provide a faster, smoother experience for your users.

7. Minimize JavaScript Execution Time

According to Akamai, reducing JavaScript execution can improve the time to interactive by up to 50%.

Too much JavaScript on a web page can slow down its loading and rendering process, negatively impacting your Core Web Vitals scores.

Here’s why: Before a browser can display a web page, it needs to download, parse, and execute all the JavaScript files. The more JavaScript there is, the longer this process takes, delaying the time it takes for the page to become interactive and visually complete.

This excessive JavaScript execution can particularly affect metrics like:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): JavaScript can block the rendering of large page elements like images or text containers.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Heavy JavaScript can make your site unresponsive to user interactions like clicks or scrolls.

To reduce the impact of JavaScript on your Core Web Vitals, you can try these strategies:

Defer Non-Critical Scripts

If you have JavaScript files that aren’t needed for the initial page load, you can defer or delay their execution until after the page has loaded. This way, critical resources can load and render first.

Use Code-Splitting

Code-splitting involves splitting your JavaScript code into smaller chunks that can be loaded on-demand, rather than all at once. This reduces the initial JavaScript payload and improves load times.

Remove Unnecessary Code

Analyze your JavaScript bundles to identify and remove any unnecessary code, third-party scripts, or unused dependencies. Trimming the excess can have a significant performance impact.

To help analyze and optimize your JavaScript, you can use tools like:

  • Source Map Explorer: This tool helps visualize and analyze your bundled JavaScript to identify large chunks of code.
  • bundlephobia: This website helps you find the cost of adding specific npm packages to your project.
  • Lighthouse: Google’s auditing tool can identify performance opportunities related to JavaScript execution.

By reducing excessive JavaScript execution through techniques like deferring, code-splitting, and removal of unnecessary code, you can improve your Core Web Vitals scores and provide a faster, smoother experience for your users.

8. Regularly Test and Update your Site

A case study by Unbounce showed that regular optimization efforts improved conversion rates by up to 25%.

Improving your Core Web Vitals is not a one-time task – it requires ongoing monitoring and testing to ensure your website continues to perform well.

Even after implementing various optimization techniques, your site’s performance can degrade over time due to factors like new content, code changes, or updates to third-party scripts and plugins.

To maintain good Core Web Vitals scores, you should regularly test your website’s performance using free tools provided by Google:

PageSpeed Insights

This tool analyzes your website’s content and provides suggestions for improving its performance, including Core Web Vitals scores.

Search Console

In the “Core Web Vitals” report within Search Console, you can see how your website is performing based on real-world usage data from Chrome users.

After testing your site, schedule regular checks – at least once a month, or more frequently if you make significant changes to your website.

During these checks, you should:

  • Update any outdated plugins, themes, or dependencies that may be causing performance issues.
  • Implement new performance optimizations as recommended by PageSpeed Insights or other testing tools.
  • Monitor your Core Web Vitals scores in Search Console to catch any regressions or improvements.

By regularly testing and updating website, you can catch and address any performance issues before they significantly impact your Core Web Vitals scores and user experience.

Maintaining good Core Web Vitals is an ongoing process, but it’s crucial for providing a fast and smooth experience for your users, which can lead to better engagement, conversions, and search engine rankings.

9. Implement Efficient Font Loading Strategies

A study by Catchpoint found that font optimization can decrease the time to first byte (TTFB) by up to 30%.

The fonts you use on your website can impact its loading speed and performance. When a web page loads, it needs to download the font files before it can display the text correctly. The more fonts and font styles you use, the longer this process can take.

This font loading process can impact Core Web Vitals metrics like:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Text is often one of the largest elements on a page, so slow font loading can delay when this element is rendered.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Heavy font files can make your site unresponsive to user interactions while they’re loading.

To optimize font delivery and improve your Core Web Vitals, you can try these techniques:

Use Web Fonts Efficiently

Only load the font styles and weights that you actually need on each page. For example, if you only use regular and bold styles, don’t load italic or light weights unnecessarily.

Implement Font Display Strategies

You can use font display properties like {font-display: swap} or {font-display: optional} to control how fonts are rendered while they’re loading:

  • {swap} shows a fallback system font first, swapping it for the web font once loaded.
  • {optional} does the same but allows rendering without the web font if it takes too long.

This can improve perceived performance by preventing blank text while fonts load.

Self-Host Fonts

Instead of loading fonts from an external server, you can self-host the font files on your own server or CDN. This can improve load times by reducing extra network requests.

Use Font Loading Libraries

Services like Google Fonts or Adobe Fonts provide optimized font loading and rendering to enhance performance.

By optimizing font delivery with techniques like only loading necessary styles, implementing font swapping strategies, self-hosting fonts, or using performance-optimized libraries, you can reduce the impact of fonts on your page load times and Core Web Vitals scores.

The Path to a Delightful User Experience

Improving your Core Web Vitals is crucial for providing an exceptional user experience and maintaining a competitive edge in search engine rankings. Throughout this blog, we’ve explored various techniques to optimize your website’s performance, from leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and implementing caching solutions to minimizing render-blocking resources and optimizing images and fonts.

While we’ve covered the essential strategies, it’s important to note that there are additional techniques that can further enhance your website’s performance. These include preloading key resources, implementing server-side rendering (SSR), setting performance budgets, optimizing third-party scripts, using font subsetting and font-display optimizations, and preventing layout shifts caused by web fonts.

However, some of these techniques might be more suitable for advanced users or require collaboration with external providers. As you continue your journey toward optimizing Core Web Vitals, it’s essential to prioritize the techniques that align with your website’s specific needs and resources.

Remember, improving Core Web Vitals is an ongoing process that requires regular testing, monitoring, and updates. By staying vigilant and implementing the strategies outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your website remains fast, responsive, and delightful for your users, ultimately contributing to better engagement, conversions, and search engine rankings.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need guidance on optimizing your website’s performance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experts is dedicated to delivering high-quality website development solutions that prioritize user experience and search engine optimization. Let us help you navigate the path to a delightful user experience and unlock the full potential of your online presence.


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