fisicx

Website Consultancy
I've been helping local businesses get more leads for years.

Web Core Vitals

If you look after a website unless you have been living under a rock for a year you will have heard about Web Core Vitals (or at least Pagespeed). Itโ€™s a Google thing that has been in the making for for many years.

A Bit of Background

Once the smartphone became a thing more and more of us used the device to browse the internet, check emails and use social media and play games.
The resulted in a huge surge in the development of responsive websites and the need for speed. People started testing the site using tools such as: Google Page Speed, Pingdom or Gtmetrix.
All well and good by being fast and responsive doesnโ€™t always mean the user experience (UX) is the best. In fact it was often awful. The hamburger menu icon being just one example.
But I digress. Once mobile phone usage reached a critical point Googleโ€™s whole focus shifted to โ€˜mobile firstโ€™. AMP appeared and was quickly ignored and then Web Core Vitals raised its head above the parapet. Introduction was delayed because of Covid but rollout began in May 2021.

Fixing your vitals

There are three main components: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Of these the one that many look at first is performance.
To get a high score (90+) isnโ€™t that difficult:
  • Decent hosting
  • A well configured site
  • Optimised images
  • No third party scripts
If you use WordPress and a theme with a page builder you are doomed from the start. Even worse if you need a plugin to manage any of your features.
Similar if you use Wix, GoDaddy, SquareSpace, Shopify and others to build your site. You ainโ€™t never gonna score well using a site builder.
Look at your site on you phone without using WiFi. Even better, do it in a location with an iffy 4G/3G signal. If you get frustrated with your site you now experience what itโ€™s like for your visitors.
Get rid of animations, videos and anything built to look great on a desktop. Keep it really simple and make sure itโ€™s obvious what to click on next. In other words, do the things you should have always been doing.
Google does give lots of hints about what to fix in the lighthouse report. You can get this report if you run a test on your site: https://web.dev/measure/

What about GMB?

GMB is for local businesses. WCV doesnโ€™t apply to your GMB listing but Google will consider the UX of your website when determining your position in the pack. And because almost all local searching is done on a phone Google will promote those sites that are fast and easy to use on a phone.
Note that a Google business.site scores really poorly so it's unlikely to help.

Do attributes matter?

I'm working with a new client on their GMB listing and we are discussing attributes. He doesn't work at the address, his business takes place at customer's properties. This means things like wheelchair access or temperature checks make any difference. Even 'women led' means little as it doesn't mean 'women only'.

Has anyone noticed a difference in leads after adding or removing attributes?

Category not listed

I develop WordPress plugins. It's not particularly local but is could a good place for reviews to reside. But WordPress, developer or plugin aren't options. I'm stuck with 'Website designer as my category which is clearly wrong.

What can I do to properly describe my business?