When it comes to B2B Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still one of the most powerful ways to find and attract in-market prospects to your website. While there are many ways to improve your B2B SEO, it’s important for you to understand this major change to the Google ranking algorithm that will happen in May 2021. If you aren’t prepared for the new Google Core Web Vitals criterea, you could lose some serious ground in the search engine results pages (SERPS). On the other hand, if you can take advantage of this update before your competitors do, you have a chance to jump way ahead.
Google Core Web Vitals Ranking Criteria – What B2B Companies Need to Know
When it comes to search ranking your website, Google cares a lot about your content and, come May, your user’s experience. And to back it up, they’re introducing a brand new set of site metrics they call Core Web Vitals. In the past, Google may have acted as the all-controlling master of the web, changing ranking algorithms without warning. But this time around, with their original announcement back in 2020, they’ve given the world time to plan.
The question is, do company leaders understand the new metrics, and have they taken action? If, regarding your site, the answer is “no,” you’re not alone. The good news is that you can make changes to your site to maintain or improve its search ranking come May and beyond. We’ll look at those as well.
What is the Google Core Web Vitals update?
Google Core Web Vitals are a set of signals announced by Google in May 2020. The signals include Load time (i.e., Largest Contentful Paint), Interactivity (i.e., First Input Delay), and Visual Stability (i.e., Cumulative Layout Shift). These signals measure how website visitors experience individual pages. The purpose is to reward websites that have a positive and enjoyable user experience.
Google’s Core Vitals
Web-users want one thing above all else: relevant information. Nobody enjoys wasting time digging for answers on multiple sites. That’s why Google continues to say that content relevance is as important, if not more, than all other search factors. Therefore, marketers should expect to attract the visitors to whom their content speaks. So, if you sell widgets, make sure your site’s content is about widgets – or at least about the people who use them.
Still, Google has other SEO ranking factors currently at play. Several factors are currently believed to influence site ranking beyond its content, including mobile-browser friendliness, using an HTTPS secure connection, and limitation of pop-ups.
Until now, these were some of the main criteria companies could use to help their site’s ranking, and they’re not going away. But again, beginning in May, new factors will be introduced, changing the game for everyone.
Google Core Vital – First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay is a measurement of how long it takes your site to respond to a visitor’s first interaction. For example, if your user clicks to watch a video, how long does it take? Get out your stopwatch because hopefully, they wait no longer than one hundred milliseconds. Otherwise, Google may decide your site lacks good interactivity with its users.
Even the most motivated customers don’t want to wait too long for your site to respond when they’ve shown interest, especially if you market a SaaS product. Just think, customers might even attribute the FID of your site to the performance of your product.
As with LCP, you can improve FID with a focused effort in specific areas. Unfortunately, the fixes aren’t ones that just anyone staring at a WordPress editor can handle. Here are some tactics to consider:
- Reduce the amount of third-party code running on your site.
- Reduce the complexity of your site’s main thread.
- Minimize the amount and size of file transfers.
Google Core Vital – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Until now, the criteria we’ve discussed have involved time. The third and final new ranking criteria, cumulative layout shift, measures the stability of your site’s look and feel. Have you ever seen a page with text that’s impossible to read or links impossible to click due to the page moving at the last second? Often, this problem is found on pages that are poorly formatted for mobile use.
Google feels this kind of error strongly affects the usability and experience of a given site. And as for scoring, come May, Google will be looking for sites to have little to no CLS.
Fixing CLS issues involves knowing the appropriate size of all of your site’s visual media and making sure they’re formatted accordingly. In some cases, certain types of animations should be eliminated. In other words, your visual elements may look slick on a desktop browser but broken on a mobile device.
And even if your visitors don’t care, Google does, and it will factor CLS into your site’s ranking.
Key Takeaways: Google Core Vitals for B2B Websites
Use these tips to prepare your website to send the right signals to Google and maintain and improve your search engine ranking:
- Optimizing website images
- Upgrading web hosting
- Reserving space for loading content
- Prioritizing content that is above-the-fold
- Ensuring your content is fresh and relevant
- Monitoring mobile-friendliness
Make Sure You Are Ready for May
So, to boil down Google’s perspective, the quality of your site’s content is still its most important attribute. However, when it’s your site versus another, holding all other criteria constant, user experience via the Core Vitals will be the tiebreaker. And as we all know, even the most motivated web searchers don’t click very far down a list of sites.
Now is the time to make these changes before your competitors do, so you can jump ahead of them in Google’s search results. How does your company’s website measure up at the moment? How prepared are you for May’s changes? To find out, contact Vende Digital today to schedule a free consultation and site audit! If improvements are needed, we’ll be happy to work with you and make your site core vital ready!