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We need to talk about website performance (Checklist for business owners is inside!)

Introduction

In this post we would like to tell you what the most responsible website owners will be worried about in 2022. Focus on performance – and this is what we are going to talk about – has been a trend for many years since Google started presenting new search algorithms one after another, as well as factors affecting the website ranking in the search results. This is why the topic will remain relevant in 2023 and, most probably, in 2024.

Core Web Vitals and their impact on the website performance 

It’s been almost 20 years since Google issued their first website ranking mechanism, Boston. Over this time entrepreneurs, developers, and marketers have learned a lot: to place keywords in the headers, find and delete page duplicates, write meaningful posts consisting of at least N thousand words (a new number of words every time!), keep track of the quality and quantity of backlinks, etc.

Now the time has come for the Core Web Vitals – metrics presented by Google in June 2021 as one of the main factors used to evaluate a website quality. These include the following:

  • Largest Contentful Page (LCP) is the time required to render the largest image or text block visible in the preview area starting from the time of the page loading start.
  • First Input Delay (FID) is the time period in milliseconds between the user’s first interaction with the page (link, button, JavaScript element) and the browser’s response to this interaction.
  • Time to Interactive (TTI) is the indicator defining when the main content was downloaded and became ready for the user to interact with it. It helps tracking the situation when the user sees all interactive elements of the page, but is not able to interact with them.

If these metrics are fine, the website will be convenient for users and, consequently, will be ranked higher by the search engine. Today it’s not enough for a business to have a unique value proposition, perform well-thought-out content marketing and know how to launch targeted advertising for the right audience. The impressions users get when working with your website are equally important. Otherwise, who will you be writing your posts and draw images for, if users close the pages before they are downloaded?

The conversion metrics you use in the analytics tools are the only things more important than your website winning our industry award. If giving attention to the website performance hasn’t become part of your culture yet, it’s high time we sow these seeds right now.

Today you have learnt about an important set of metrics that we suggest discussing with your SEO-specialist. But there is another way to check how close to perfection your site's performance is. In our pdf file you will find a checklist to be used to check key factors and indicators determining how your website ranks among the competitors. We’ve tried not to overburden it with factors and indicators that require deep programming knowledge to be checked, which is why it turned out to be concise and clear. We hope our checklist will help you jump ahead of your competitors in 2022.

Glossary

Largest Contentful Page (LCP) is the time required to render the largest image or text block visible in the preview area starting from the time of the page loading start.

First Input Delay (FID) is the time period in milliseconds between the user’s first interaction with the page (link, button, JavaScript element) and the browser’s response to this interaction.

Time to Interactive (TTI) is the indicator defining when the main content was downloaded and became ready for the user to interact with it. It helps tracking the situation when the user sees all interactive elements of the page but is not able to interact with them.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is the metric describing sudden movement of the page elements that takes place due to the asynchronous resource loading or dynamic addition of DOM elements to the page over the existing content.

Media file optimization is the process of reducing the volume of photo and video files without any substantial loss of quality to reduce the size of website pages and increase their load speed. JPEG, SVG and PNG files are optimized using a lot of various programs such as MozJPEG, SVGO, Pingo or Squoosh. Today AVIF and WebP formats are most often used during website development as lightweight alternatives to classical formats.

Frame per second (FPS) is the number of changeable animation frames per second.

Critical file size budget is the maximum size of one code fragment.

Lazy loading is the strategy used to define what resources can be loaded at a later time, when they become really necessary. Lazy loading reduces the application loading time. It is recommended that this strategy should be implemented using Intersection Observer API.

Perceivable performance is the characteristic describing how quickly the application is loaded from the perspective of the user’s subjective perception. 
 

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