Core Web Vitals is an important ranking factor for Google SEO if you want Big G to keep sending free organic traffic to your website.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Google rolled out the Page Experience Update globally in August 2021 using Core Web Vitals as a way to test how fast and friendly a website responds to users. Remember: Google is all about speed so making your website fast should be one of your top goals.
Core Web Vitals is made up of 3 key elements:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
A faster website translates into more web traffic and happier visitors. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a webpage to load.
To figure out your CWV scores, head over to the Google’s Pagespeed test and enter your URL.
Alternatively, you can check your CWV scores inside of Google Search Console and selecting “Page Experience” on the left hand navigation column.
Here are several ways to improve Core Web Vitals scores for WordPress users.
1. Delete Request Heavy Plugins
Many free WordPress plugins slow down your site and lower your Core Web Vitals scores. Bloated plugins make too many server requests for every page load and waste precious server resources.
Here’s a list of bloated plugins I recommend avoiding:
2. Use Rocket.net Managed WordPress Hosting
If you are a WordPress user then you need to switch from cheap shared hosting, VPS hosting, or cloud hosting to managed WordPress hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting servers are built for WordPress sites and will help make your site a lot faster. I switched from Siteground to Rocket.net and I couldn’t believe how much faster my sites became just from that one change.
Rocket.net is a big reason why I have 99+ CWV scores on the majority of my websites.
3. Load Featured Images Below The Fold
Many websites show featured images above the fold as a way to break up the text and provide visual support for web pages. The problem is featured images increase LCP and make your site slower. High quality featured images take longer to load and you will hurt your Core Web Vital scores.
Consider showing your featured image below the fold or removing them altogether. For example, Investopedia receives 44 million visitors monthly and ranks high in Google for tons of lucrative keywords. When you visit the site, you always get text first.
That’s because text loads much faster than images and Google will reward your site with high rankings in my experience. Some websites attract a visual audience so use lazy loading if you must keep the featured image.
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network helps improve your Core Web Vitals by delivering your web page from a server that’s closer to your visitor. For example, your web server may be location in New York City when a visitor from France visits your site.
A CDN would deliver your cache files from a server located in Europe instead of New York City, which would make your site load a lot faster.
Luckily, Rocket.net provides free Cloudfare Enterprise CDN access for all its Managed WordPress Hosting plans!
5. Reduce Ads on Your Site
Ads are a touchy topic that most website owners worry about. You deserve to earn money for all your hard work but realize that ads will hurt your Core Web Vitals scores.
For example, Google Auto Ads often places ads randomally in your header, which causes layout shifting.
I struggled to get high CWV scores on mobile until I removed all Adsense ads. I’m not advising every website owner get rid of display ads because these ads can earn you a lot of money.
However, there are other ways to monetize your website such as selling ads directly, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, courses, ebooks, services, etc.
6. Host Google Analytics Locally & Use the Minimal Analytics Script
Google Analytics is a free analytics tracking plugin that provides useful stats on real-time visitors, traffic, bounce rate, etc.
The problem is Google Analytics will increase your LCP if you don’t defer the Analytics script. A better solution is to host Google Analytics locally on your server to reduce LCP.
If you want to improve your CWV scores even more then use the Minimal Analytics alternative instead of the default Google Analytics script.
Minimal Analytics is less than 2kb and uses 20x fewer resources than the default Analytics.js. You can install the Minimal Google Analytics Snipet for free or enable this feature with Perfmatters.
I started taking Core Web Vitals more seriously in August 2022 to see if I could increase traffic to one of my biggest money making sites. Here are the results after optimizing for Core Web Vitals to boost traffic:
User and sessions increased over 400% in just 30 days while total pageviews went up 281%.
My bounce rate and average session decreased because I went viral on social media several different times. Web users love websites with high CWV scores so pay attention if you want more website traffic.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my websites in the financial niche:
You want to score at least 80+ on both mobile and desktop to get green scores. Don’t worry if you fail the CWV test at first. In this article, I’ll show you how to get 99+ Core Web Vital scores on your WordPress site.
99 Core Web Vitals Score on Mobile Version (TarikPierce.com)
100 Core Web Vitals Score on Desktop Version (TarikPierce.com)
Using the tips listed above, I got 99+ green scores on both the mobile and desktop version of my WordPress site. I will closely monitor Google Search Console to see how Google reacts to my stellar Core Web Vital scores.
If you are struggling with low CWV scores then try some of these tips and let me know what happens in the comments below.
If you need help configuring all of this stuff or don’t have the time then check out my services page and hire me to do all of this for you!
Core Web Vitals Optimization Service for WordPress Sites
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