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What Are Core Web Vitals and Why Are They Important?

Google is one of the leading companies in internet technology and innovation. The company also hosts one of the most reliable search engines on the internet. Many websites rely on their search engine rankings to gain more visitors, popularity, and visibility on the internet. To increase these rankings, website developers use different marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to gain better rankings in keyword search results and show up more often on search engine results.
 
Some website owners even hire expert SEO services to manage their website optimization. Even if this move costs them some money, this will increase their chances of making more profits due to improved search engine rankings. Having an optimized website and showing up at the top of keyword searches is a good way to make the most out of your resources.
 
Recently, Google announced a new project that will help website owners promote their websites by showing a high score in the user website experience. Today, the page experience of a website may be evaluated based on several factors such as usage of HTTPS, the effectiveness of the mobile version of the website, number of pop-up ads, and safety in web browsing.
 
Google now plans to add a new factor named “Core Web Vitals” in determining a website’s page experience. Google also stated that they are giving time for websites to learn more about this new factor, and they will be giving out the tools needed for improving these vitals. Before worrying too much about improving your website vitals, let us first break down these Core Web Vitals and understand each contributing factor.
 
Man on laptop looking at search analytics

Breaking Down the Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals may be classified into three different factors: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These factors represent different characteristics of a website, and each of these can greatly affect user experience. Each of these factors is discussed below:
 
 

1. LCP

Largest Contentful Paint refers to the time it takes for a website to load a whole new page upon clicking a link to another website. A user’s satisfaction may be greatly affected by loading times since a website that takes too long to display its entire content causes impatience for the user, disrupting their attention span.
 
LCP also considers how quickly the user can interact with the website upon loading. There are several tools available online in measuring LCP, such as Google Pagespeed Insight, and Google also produced guidelines regarding LCP.
 
For a website with “good” LCP, it only takes 2 seconds to load a new page, while a website taking 4 seconds is classified as “needs improvement,” and taking 6 seconds or more means the website has “bad” LCP. Basically, a website needs to load a new page in less than two seconds to satisfy the users.
 
 

2. FID

First Input Delay refers to the time it takes for a website to respond when a user clicks a link, a button, or types characters in a word box. Basically, this means that this is the time it takes for the website to interact with the user, and it is usually measured in milliseconds.
 
Google also provides a guideline for measuring FID. A “good” FID is usually measured at 100 milliseconds while “needs improvement” and “poor” measures at 300 milliseconds and 500 milliseconds, respectively.
 
FID should only measure in milliseconds because if the reaction time of a website per action takes a second or more, it will surely receive bad reviews from users.
 
For websites that contain articles and blogs, FID is not something to worry about too much since most of the FID occurs when scrolling through the webpage. But for websites that have a lot of menus, extra pages, fill-in dialog boxes, buttons, and other elements that require user input, FID will be an important factor in determining the user’s experience. After all, they will interact with these sites a lot more compared to the previous example.
 
There are some ways to reduce the delays between the user and website interaction and improve FID for a website. One method is by removing third-party scripts that are non-essential to your website. These additional scripts add to the website’s processing time and can be removed to improve FID.
 
Another way is to minimize your JavaScript and use browser cache. By reducing the JavaScript, it takes less time to load a new page and lets the user interact with the new page immediately upon loading. Adding a browsing cache also helps speed up this process.
 
 

3. CLS

Cumulative Layout Shift refers to the stability of the elements of your website as a new page load. If the elements in your website get rearranged or misplaced during loading times, then your website has “high” CLS. This causes inconvenience for users because objects may sometimes overlap each other and cause them to click other links and buttons. CLS must be minimal so that the website elements will remain in place while the page is loading the rest of its contents.
 
To minimize the CLS, you must set the size attribute dimension of the objects on the website, such as images, videos, and other media. This sets a certain amount of space allocation for each object, so the website will know how much space each object will take up every time the website loads.
 
Also, allocate enough space for advertisements to have enough space to be displayed properly. Otherwise, the website may miscalculate the space allocation and the advertisements may cover other objects and elements of the website.

 

Core Web Vitals will surely make a difference in a website’s ratings, and search engine rankings once implemented in the upcoming months. Even if your website has expert SEO, these factors will now be a standard for website developers and may even dictate how much your website can profit.

 

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Company

There are plenty of digital marketing companies out there, but how do you go about choosing the best digital marketing company? Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

 

How Does Their Office Look?

Consider the overall atmosphere of the office. Do the employees seem happy, or do they seem cranky? This is important to consider because an unhappy employee is more likely to abandon your project, and you’d have to hope that they have a replacement who is just as skilled.
 
 

Are They Being Transparent With You?

Pay attention to how they answer your questions and if they ever give you suggestions about how to accomplish your goals. Are they just saying “yes, we can do that” to all of your questions, or are they presenting you with different options for success? A team that doesn’t just answer yes to everything will likely be able to help you discover better ways of reaching your goals.
 
 

How Long Have They Been Around?

This is an important question to consider for many reasons. One, the digital marketing industry is always changing. Many of the latest bleeding-edge strategies are still relatively new concepts, or the ideas have been built upon extensively in recent years.
 
During your search for the best digital marketing company, you may find that many companies haven’t been around for very long. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s still important to know how to differentiate the rubies from the duds. One way to do this is to look more closely at the people running the show – the company’s key personnel. How long have they worked in the industry, what do they specialize in within the digital marketing industry? Most importantly, do they have the background knowledge and skill needed to execute your project successfully?

 

Have They Worked With Clients in Your Industry?

Ask them if they’ve worked with clients who are in your industry. You should not necessarily expect the clients’ names from them, but you should be able to get some work samples. And if nothing else, they can share their stories of successful marketing campaigns with you. If they do have clients in your industry already, then that’s a good sign that they have knowledge about your line of work. Another good question to ask is if they’ve worked for any major companies. If so, that’s another good sign, as it shows that some of the big players trusted them enough to handle their marketing strategy.
 
You are free to ask any questions you like about their past work, but don’t feel put off if they can’t reveal certain details about past projects – they’re likely just protecting their clients or adhering to an NDA.
 
Company meeting everyone smiling and laughing, happy

How is Their Work Quality?

Speaking of the company’s work, let’s talk about quality more specifically. Their low prices might initially attract you, but what’s behind those rosy prices? Are they indeed a knight in shining armor, or just another bandit out for a quick buck? The point here is that the quality of their work is the most important thing to consider. Look at their website, look them up on Google, and check out their social media pages. Looking at the company’s self-promotional marketing materials is a fine thing to do, but what’s more important is to see a portfolio of the work they’ve done for their clients.
 
 

How Do They Speak With You?

How they interact with you is important to consider since you’ll also be building a relationship with the digital marketing company you choose to go with. Are they using a lot of technical jargon to try and make themselves sound smarter than they really are? Or are they going with the common sense approach of explaining technical words so that a prospective client can understand them? A digital marketing company that takes their time with you to explain everything will be much nicer to work with.

 

Where Are They Located?

This is one of the biggest determining factors for how much their services will end up costing you, so it’s an important factor to consider. Prices can go higher or lower depending on location. For instance, an agency on the West or East coast will likely charge more than an agency in the Midwest.
 
In the end, it’s usually better to work with a local digital marketing company. With a local company, you’ll likely have meetings at least once a month (or at the very least once per quarter). Therefore, the location of the company can be essential to consider in terms of logistics for meetings. Although, it depends on how often you’ll be meeting. If you’d like to have frequent meetings, then take that into consideration so it will be more convenient.
 
If you’re considering a digital marketing company that isn’t local, then that’s fine too. After all, we now live in a much smaller world thanks to technology connecting us all together. Video calls will be very useful for holding your meetings, and it’s the second-best way of getting to know the people you’ll be working with.

 

Set up a Timeline of Goals and Milestones 

The purpose of doing this is mainly so that everyone’s on the same page and stays focused on the same goals. Furthermore, along the way, they will surely need specific informational assets from you, so the timeline will remind you to provide them with these so that they can meet your deadlines. Also, you can request progress reports that include relevant data showing the current progress of the project.

 

Conclusion

That just about wraps up all the key points you need to know when searching for the best digital marketing company. In the end, this advice is more relevant if you understand what you require for your digital marketing strategy. You should at least have a budget in mind. Any company worth working with will explain to you what they will be able to do with your budget and whether they can make it work or not.
 
If you’re comparing digital marketing companies and are curious about how we do things here at Salt Rank, you can contact us on our website anytime or by phone at 816-533-4417. We look forward to hearing from you! 

 

How to Use Google My Business Effectively

Google plays a significant role in the success of hundreds of online businesses and companies today. Gone are the days where large tarpaulins and newspaper ads influence your physical store’s sales and customers. Now, you need to establish visibility in the world wide web, specifically on Google, for your business to thrive.
 
Most online enterprises know that to gain targeted visibility, your company must:
 

  • Create social media campaigns.
  • Create and optimize their website.
  • Do SEO or search engine optimization techniques to rank high in search engine results pages.
  • Develop media relations.

 
These are just four of the many methods out there that you can use to broaden your virtual reach. But as the market becomes competitive, you also need to step up your game.
 
One way to do that is to create a Google business listing or a Business Profile by making a free Google My Business account. Yes, you heard that right. It’s free!
 
Here is everything you need to know about Google My Business and how you need it to optimize your Business Profile.

 

What are Google My Business and Google Business Profile?

To be clear, Google My Business and your Google Business Profile are two different things.
 
Your company’s Google Business Profile refers to your business listing on the website. It is the one that appears on Google’s search engine results page and Google Maps whenever an individual searches for your company.
 
ANYBODY can create a Business Profile; it could be the business owner, a random internet stranger, or an automated business listing generator. Google just needs the business’s name, location, category, and voila–a Business Profile is made.
 
Once a Business Profile is up (whether you know about it or not), consumers can then leave reviews and comments about the business, ask questions, answer queries, and even add photos. Further, it can include any information that Google pulls in from websites across the world wide web.
 
For business owners, having a Business Profile without their knowledge can be quite horrific. Anyone can put anything in there, even misleading information and answers. Prospective customers and loyal ones may search your business and see the unruly information and photos on Google. One look at it, and they may decide to look for another store that seems more legit and responsive.
 
So, how can you solve this nightmare? By creating a Google My Business account. A Google My Business account will give you access to your Google Business Profile. You can customize, enhance, and optimize it to boost its visibility and effectiveness.
 
As with traditional SEO, your listing should include specific keywords and phrases so Google can pick those up and feature your business on the SERP’s first page, preferably at the top. 
 
Google search showing Google profile on listing

4 Ways to Optimize Your Business Profile Using Google My Business

Now that you can access everything in your Business Profile using Google My Business, it’s now time to optimize it to convert more customers and boost your ranking. Here are four smart ways on how you can do that.

 

 1. Complete Your Business Profile

Consumers search for a specific business or shop because they want to know more about it. So, do them and your business a favor by meticulously filling all and every section of your Business Profile.
 
This includes your store’s basic information like its name, address, contact details, website, and operation hours. Some sections need more time to complete, like your products, services, and pricing, while others need to be updated on an ongoing basis like posts, reviews, and questions.
 
A complete Business Profile allows you to rank higher in local Google search results. Further, it lets customers know more about your business. It will serve as a basis for them to choose your store over hundreds of others because they saw the 5-star rating other consumers left on your Profile.

 

 2. Perform SEO

Besides websites and pages, Google also ranks Business Profiles. Use the right keywords and phrases to fill your business info, and Google will place you within its top 3 results once users search for a targeted keyword.
 
Here are some smart tips on how you can perform local SEO for your Business Profile effectively:
 

  • Make targeted information. All information you put in your Business Profile is important–your “from the business” description, answers to user queries, review responses, updates, and posts. So, make it worthwhile by incorporating relevant keywords (that you want to rank for) into these sections.
  • Provide quality information. Complete your Business Profile and make sure to provide quality information on all of them. Keep everything up-to-date and accurate. Tell Google that your business is active by frequently publishing posts and recent photos through Google My Business.
  • Build trust. You can build trust by rendering excellent services and encouraging your customers to leave an honest review.


 

 3. Get Reviews and Respond to Questions

Customer reviews highly impact the choice of other consumers. A business listing with 4-star ratings and great reviews will likely get picked rather than those without reviews.
 
Google also knows this; that’s why they also consider customer reviews and ratings in ranking Business Profiles. 
 
So, start encouraging your consumers to leave a review and solid rating. You can do that by:
 

  • Simply asking them to. Research suggests that 62% of customers will leave an honest review when asked. So don’t hesitate to do so through email, text, or in-person conversation.
  • Make it convenient by sending the review link to them or posting it on your social media accounts and website. You can also generate a QR code and post it in your physical store.
  • Respond to reviews, even to the negative ones, so customers will see how transparent you are as a company. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to include relevant keywords in your responses.
  • While you’re at it, make time to answer user questions and queries. Bring them the information they want because, more likely than not, it’s one of their deciding factors in choosing a store.

 

 4. Review Key Insights

Lastly, do not forget to check the Insights sections in your Google My Business dashboard. It provides you with the analytics part of your Business Profile. There, you can view customer actions (e.g., the number of users who visited your website or clicked for directions) and local SEO performance.
 
Further, you can see what keywords or queries were typed by users to find your business listing. Also, you can view how your photos and profile are faring against other competition.

 

Let’s talk about your business

Please let us know how we can help your business. You can shoot us an email, call us, or connect with us via Social Media.