2021 Virginia SEO: Improving Core Web Vitals to Boost Search Ranks

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Digitization has given business owners more opportunities to reach a wider market and promote their brand, but it has also made the competition more intense than ever. Day by day, new businesses are entering the market, and with online marketing, it is now possible to compete with larger names. With Virginia SEO, you can stay ahead of other businesses and capture your audience more effectively. In today’s digital age, SEO is no longer a choice but a necessity as it helps you keep up with the tough competition.

While many businesses utilize SEO today, not all of them have an effective strategy in place. It is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing effort, so you must always refine your practices to maintain consistent results. How exactly can you stand out from the crowd if almost all your competitors are using SEO? The best way to do this is to stay updated with all the latest trends so that you can always be the first to take action.

This 2021 is no exception as there are many trends to anticipate in Virginia SEO. One of the biggest changes coming this year is Google’s Core Web Vitals, which may affect your search rankings. Get to know more about what exactly they are and how you can improve your SEO strategy to prepare for the update.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals refer to a new set of signals that Google will be rolling out in May 2021. They will be added to Google’s page experience ranking factors, which include mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs, and no intrusive interstitials. To help you understand better, here are the three new metrics included in Core Web Vitals:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP assesses your site’s loading speed by measuring the amount of time it takes to load the majority of content on a webpage. Essentially, the goal is to see how long users have to wait before they see the largest or most important element on a page. Users can quickly lose interest and engagement if your pages take too long to load, so as much as possible, the largest elements must load within 2.5 seconds at most.

  1. First Input Delay (FID)

FID is concerned with your site’s interactivity and measures the amount of time it takes your site to respond to a user’s interaction. For example, if they click on a link, submit a form, or do any other action, your site should respond relatively quickly. Based on Google’s standards, a speed of less than 100ms is most ideal.

  1. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Finally, CLS examines your site’s visual layout by observing the frequency of unexpected changes. Try to imagine opening a site and waiting for elements to load, but just when you were about to click on a button, another button pops up. These shifts can disrupt the viewer’s experience, so you must keep your pages as stable as possible.

You can view your scores for each of the metrics through Google Search Console, under the tab for Enhancements. Here, you will get a report for the mobile and desktop versions of your site, and you can see your URLs classified as poor, needs improvement, or good.

Recommended SEO Practices

User experience has always been an important consideration in SEO, but now that Google is updating its algorithm, it is best to review your Virginia SEO practices. Conducting an audit can help you accurately identify the issues that need to be fixed. However, generally, these are some practices you can do to improve your Core Web Vitals scores:

  1. Optimize image formats and sizes to reduce delays in loading speed.
  2. Implement lazy loading for content that is not located above the fold.
  3. Optimize JavaScript or CSS codes to prevent slowing down servers.
  4. Preload fonts and key resources.
  5. Minimize or remove third-party scripts if possible.

You may have noticed that most of the practices above are minor changes. In fact, it is highly possible that you are already doing most of them, given the importance of user experience. That said, there are also cases when you may need to make more drastic changes. For example, if you find that you would need to make so many modifications to your site, it may be a good idea to consider redesigning it.

Scoring well on your Core Web Vitals may give you just the edge you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Beyond search ranks, however, the effects will also redound to your customers since you are ultimately making the site experience much better for them. In the long run, auditing your site to improve your Core Web Vitals can improve your bottom line.