Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWVs) are in effect, which means businesses must embrace optimization capabilities for visual media if they are to hope to benefit from search engine rankings. Besides SEO, CWVs paint a picture of your website’s engagement and performance, so it’s in a best interest of the company to optimize towards target metrics for an ideal user experience.
Google’s CWVs are leveraged as a way to provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience, measuring the existing reality of a website’s performance and how a visitor to the site might be performing. able to interact. These metrics are related to loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. Put simply, sites are now recognized by the leading search engine for improving the visual and interactive experience of users online.
CWV metrics are starting to influence search results, and for brands, now is the time to act – especially when it comes to optimizing website images and videos.
More visual aids require optimization to reduce largest paint to content (LCP)
In terms of website images and videos, one of the main CWV metrics is LCP, which measures the time it takes for the largest piece of content to load in the viewport. For most websites, this is usually a large banner image or a product image.
Today, brands find themselves in a game-changing visual economy. In fact, HTTP Archive noted that the media webpage is about 4 times its weight since 2011. Visual media is a powerful storyteller, but not if it slows down page load time and bounces users.
“A lot of times the LCP of a web page is a photo, illustration or video,” said Jon Sneyers, senior imagery researcher, Cloudinary. “Reducing loading time, while ensuring high fidelity, is essential for improving the web user experience. This explains the rapid evolution of technology: new multimedia codecs, optimized encoding and made responsive and progressive. “
There is no denying that visual media optimization has a direct impact on load time, and therefore on LCP. For brands to perform well in the LCP department, it is extremely important that visual aids load as quickly as possible. That’s why businesses need to embrace optimization capabilities, but in a way that doesn’t negatively impact user experience. Brands shouldn’t panic. By following these simple best practices for visual media optimization, they can ensure meaningful and memorable online experiences, while also ensuring that their LCP scores are where they need to be:
Promote page loading by optimizing your image resources. Brands should compress images so that they take up less bandwidth while still showing in high quality. Converting images and videos to newer formats such as AVIF, JPEG XL, JPEG 2000, WebP, and WebM will also improve performance. Plus, automatically crop, resize, and format assets based on user’s browser and device. This requires automation in order to accomplish at scale.
Automate image workflows. Make sure the correct file size is applied, preserving visual fidelity. This allows a team to focus on the creative processes instead of manually creating variant assets; cropping, reformatting and resizing files.
Track media delivery metrics. Brands that track these metrics can identify unoptimized media or optimization faster, and more importantly, see exactly how media is performing or where it might inadvertently be affecting web performance.
Use a content delivery network (CDN) and cache images. Distribute visual media through a CDN, or multi-CDN, approach to improve site reliability and scalability. The key here is to cache the page elements instead of loading them from the original source.
Cache assets. This allows brands to store a brand’s most used assets rather than searching for them originally every time.
It is easy to create an engaging website experience with optimized visual aids that make the user linger. By following these best practices, brands can ensure appropriate CWV metrics and happier customers. Google’s own searches suggests that when ecommerce websites hit the three Core Web Vitals thresholds, users are 24% less likely to abandon the page.
Not sure how your website ranks in terms of visual media performance? Ask for your free personalized web performance report and find out how you can start optimizing the user experience.