There’s no question that speed can make or break a user’s experience with a website. With the convenience and speed afforded by the internet, people are reluctant to waste their precious time waiting for a site to load; in fact, almost half of web users expect sites to load within just two seconds.

Considering that nearly 80% of online shoppers will refuse to return to a website that doesn’t give them a good experience, it’s essential that your site meets the expectations of your consumers. This becomes even more important as Google plans to update its algorithm.

The Purpose of SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to how well your website is optimized for search engine rankings. Over 50% of all website traffic comes from organic search results — the more visible your website is, the more traffic you’ll get.

Currently, Google measures your website performance and determines your search engine ranking based on page experience (mostly across mobile devices). In addition to website speed, it evaluates your compatibility across mobile devices, its HTTPS security and the general safety of the browser. Come May of 2021, Google will alter its algorithm through a “core web vitals” update, which will determine SEO based on three vital factors. Any brand that hopes to build recognition must execute the right changes so its site complies with Google’s new expectations.

Core Web Vitals Update

Google’s new algorithm update will revolve around three main factors: speed, responsiveness and visual stability. Here’s what you can expect.

Site Speed

Your page speed will be the central element considered. It’s measured by the largest contentful paint (LCP), which is the amount of time it takes for the main content of a given website to load. The LCP includes any text, images or links on your page, which should ideally load within 2.5 seconds. Any longer than that and you can expect your site to be negatively impacted come May.

Web Responsiveness

There’s no point in a website loading if it’s not interactive. That’s why, in addition to page load time, Google will consider the first input delay (FID) of your website, which measures how long it takes for the user to interact with the site once they’ve clicked on the link. The algorithm will expect your FID to be under 100ms.

Visual Stability

The final “core web vital” that you need to take into consideration is visual stability. Not only does your website need to load quickly and become interactive, but all of the content and images should be aligned and in the right location. Any difference in layout is known as “cumulative layout shift,” which should not be more than 0.1.

Google’s Plan

After reviewing the core web vitals update, you might be wondering, “How will Google even know whether I’ve met these changes?” Currently, Google is building up visual indicators that will be used to identify pages that comply with the core web vitals. As of now, less than 15% of websites meet those expectations; if you’re part of the other 85%, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage come May of 2021. So what can you do about it?

Lead to Recovery

Running a business is already a full-time job; you shouldn’t have to worry about website optimization on top of that. That’s why many site owners are turning to professional services that evaluate their website and implement necessary changes to promote SEO. Lead to Recovery is a digital marketing service that uses a range of SEO tactics, from social media marketing to targeted ads, to boost your recognition and conversions.

Part of digital marketing is ensuring your website is seen by as many people as possible. Our team of SEO experts will evaluate and optimize your page speed, responsiveness and visual layout to make sure Google’s new algorithm will help you, not hurt you. Be prepared by contacting us today and having your site optimized before May!