Competitors are taking pole position…


The guys and girls at Google must be fans of the movie franchise ‘Fast and Furious,’ because its newest algorithm update, dropping mid-June 2021, is all about speed.

Websites that are slow to load and clunky to use will be penalised and drop down Google’s search rankings.

  • Less traffic
  • Lost sales
  • Users leaving
  • Fewer enquiries

Dropping down search rankings doesn’t just mean your site is harder to find.

This new update will zero in on websites that fully comply with Google’s new speed-related ranking signals – making page speed the #1 factor for your website performance in 2021.

This is happening as a result of years of research by Google that has seen it shift focus from SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to quality of user experience online.

Model rocket sitting on a cloud

It’s not time to slow down, you need to speed up!

How does your website fare?

You’ve probably poured heart and soul into your business, worked tirelessly to create a website that tells your story and presents your products and services to the big wide world.

Here, we’ve collated data and research, using the North East Chamber Members as our test pool, to show what sites are scoring with Google at the time of the test. A full report will be due to download in due course.

Is your website scoring well?

What is Google Core Web Vitals?

Website performance is everything in Google’s Core Web Vitals.

The vitals are ranking factors that measure user experience and compare it to every other site on the web.

Google will score your website on performance (speed), accessibility (ease of use for those with disabilities), SEO (search engine optimisation) and best practices (security of your site).

Did you know, that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load?

Check out the benefits big brands have experienced from speeding up.

Tablet device showing the Google search page

The Core Vitals measure three main areas of web performance:

Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.

In plain English: The largest item (block of text, image) that is on the screen, on mobile, before you scroll. This is measured in seconds, or milliseconds.

First Input Delay

First Input Delay (FID)

measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.

In plain English: When you can first interact with the page, such as clicking a link, tapping a button or interacting with something dynamic, like a pop-out menu.

Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.

In plain English: Have you ever tried to click a picture only to find the click led to an ad instead? That’s because it moved when the page was still loading.

Does this really matter?

At Caroline Hagan Consultancy, we love websites that are fast, easy to use and make sales.

We’re so passionate about web performance, we even offer Website Audits, tracking customer journey from landing to leaving.

Once we’ve identified your site issues, we’ll recommend ways we can speed up your site and convert more visits into sales, sign ups, ad-clicks or enquiries.

Techy stuff out the way, what does this look like in real life?

We often use our own website as a testing ground – ground-zero if you will – to show what can be achieved, even when running WordPress under the hood.

It is entirely possible to score highly for page speed and Core Web Vitals.

Faster cleaner user experience should be the goal for every online business, nail this and your traffic will increase and your bounce rate decrease.

Did you know, the BBC website loses an additional 10% of users, for every additional second it takes its site to load

laptop in the dark, showing code on the screen
Milliseconds Make Millions Report

Every Millisecond Counts

The impact of page speed on website performance can’t be underestimated.

The impact of page speed on website performance can’t be underestimated.

Google also teamed up with Deloitte Digital recently and analysed user data from 37 brands across 30m user sessions over four weeks.

Their findings universally back up the need for speed in high performing websites.

Factors affecting website speed

If your site is built using the WordPress CMS and you used a page builder like Elementor or Beaver Builder, then chances are there are lots of unnecessary style sheets, scripts and font files slowing down both the front and back end of your website.

We specialises in creating bespoke, ultra-light code and themes that are purpose built to deliver on the goals you set for your website.

Optimised images = faster loading web pages.

The same goes for plugins and images.

Using too many external plugins to deliver core website functions creates bloat and can slow you to a virtual standstill and worse cause serious conflicts leading to a dreaded fatal error and downed website.

Working with an experienced web development team means that everything ‘under the hood’ is light, efficient and ready to get your site off to a flying start.

Using too many large images is another big no-no, forcing the site to do unnecessary heavy lifting and slowing things down.

You need to optimise imagery using tools like WP-Smush to compress and optimise without loss of quality.

Our Top Tips on WordPress Media Management

Here are 12 Simple Ways you can speed up your website today

Free to download, and perfect for putting your foot on the webmaster gas.

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Google Core Web Vitals

The main takeaway from Google’s Core Web Vitals update is that website owners need to improve page experience by:

The good news is that you are only a couple of pit stops away from getting back in the race and being the first to see the chequered flag fly.

How can we help?

We’ve been talking about this for a long time, going back as far back as 2017, and banging the drum for better website performance and more accessible web development.

If you are concerned about your own website performance score, or you have noticed that your site is going slow, we can perform a speed test and website review to establish what needs to be done.

We can increase page speed and Core Web Vitals scores and make your site run smoother and faster than ever before.

Your website review also includes SEO, Web Accessibility and Best Practice such as looking at your security and vulnerability to hacking – so we’ve got you fully covered.

As the web continually evolves, it’s important to stay on top of your website performance and ensure you’re Google compliant and performing to the site’s full potential.

This is why so many of our clients choose a maintenance and support package providing the peace of mind that essential updates and security fixes are scheduled, keeping the site protected and delivering exactly what you want for your business or organisation.

Want to make sure your website is prepped for Google’s latest Algorithm update?

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