google analytics reports showing core web vitals of an insurance agency website

More than ever, you need a professional website. However, that goes beyond how it looks. More importantly, you want to focus on performance and navigation. With the pandemic, online business is booming. Whether doing research, shopping, reviewing statistics, or planning a trip, people expect a positive experience from the websites they visit.

Regardless of the industry, online competition is fierce. So, if you want your insurance agency to stand out and become an online leader, you need to take the necessary steps to make that happen.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

When it comes to Core Web Vitals, there are two sets. From a consumer and company standpoint, the first set includes:

  1. Visibility
  2. Traffic
  3. Sales
  4. Content Consumption
  5. Brand Awareness

However, there’s a second set specifically used by Google to determine or rate the kind of experience an online user has when visiting websites. Its Core Web Vitals include:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

  • CSS and JavaScript that block rendering
  • Slow server response time
  • Client-side rendering
  • Slow loading resources to include video and image files

This measures the time for a web page to load once a user clicks on the link found in search results to the time the page fully opens. Unlike the way other metrics measure page speed, LCP views things more from a user’s viewpoint. That includes both loading speed and page interaction.

First Input Delay (FID)

  • Long JavaScript execution time
  • Large JavaScript bundles
  • Long tasks
  • Render-blocking JavaScript

FID measures the amount of time it takes for a user to interact with web pages. For example, it would begin when someone chooses an option from a drop-down menu, clicks on a link as part of the site’s navigation, enters their email address into a field, and then opens the text on a mobile device.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

  • Ads that change the site layout
  • Dynamically injected content
  • Web fonts that cause FOIT/FOUT
  • Cookie banners/notices – images with no dimensions
  • Embeds and iframes with no dimensions

This has to do with a page’s stability as it loads. An example of a bad CLS is if other elements on a page move around during the page-loading process.

Unbelievable Discovery

Google’s Core Web Vitals are the most important because they’re part of an updated algorithm. According to recent research and analysis, experts found that fewer than 4 percent of all current websites pass this Google test. That means most sites are potentially leaving business on the table.

The company that conducted this research and analysis reviewed more than two million URLs. Then to come up with the 4 percent result, they crunched numbers and did correlation analysis that stretched across the top-rated organic search positions according to Google.

This helped the experts better understand how various websites performed before Goggle updated its Core Web Vitals algorithm. Along with the three factors mentioned, they analyzed 12 other ranking signals to gain more insight into which websites perform the best. Ultimately, the study uncovered multiple areas where online business can improve.

Succeeding Online

When customers visit your website, the experience they have determines two things. First, whether they’ll come back, and second if they’ll recommend your insurance agency to others. At the same time, a customer’s experience (in part) determines how Google ranks your pages.

A positive experience will help boost your agency and your Google page ranking, whereas a negative experience does the opposite. A poor customer experience will decrease the amount of traffic to your site. In turn, you would lose both customers and revenue, not to mention the risk of damaging your agency’s reputation.

Another Google Algorithm Change

Google frequently changes its algorithms to streamline and improve the online experience. Last May, it modified its ranking algorithm, as well as other search metrics used to measure and rank two website factors that appear in search results. The factors are responsiveness and experience.

As someone who operates a insurance agency, it’s crucial to get your web pages up to speed with Google’s new algorithm. This isn’t something you want to overlook or delay considering it’s a game-changer. If you don’t make the necessary changes, you’ll see a significant and quick decline in traffic.

Falling in Line with Google’s Core Web Vitals

The good news is you can modify your site pages to prevent issues with the updated Google algorithm. Start by focusing on the four things that Google considers the most critical for a positive online user experience.

  • HTTPS (for higher security)
  • Mobile-friendly web pages
  • Lack of or inadequate interstitial pop-ups
  • Safe browsing (pages void of any malware)

With those factors in mind, you and your website provider can devise a plan to improve them. Since Google’s Core Web Vitals account for the largest chunk of your web page experience, you need to get it right.

However, remember that aligning your pages with Google’s Core Web Vitals doesn’t automatically mean your insurance agency will show up in the number one spot of search results. After all, page experience is among some 200 factors that Google uses when ranking websites. It still plays a pivotal role in your online success, though

Helpful Solutions

Below are some recommendations on how you can improve on Google’s three Core Web Vitals.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

  • Remove unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Set up lazy loading
  • Eliminate large page elements
  • Upgrade your web hosting service

First Input Delay (FID)

  • Remove non-critical third-party scripts
  • Minimize or defer JavaScript
  • Use a browser cache

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

  • Give ad elements a reserved space
  • Use set size attribute dimensions for all media, including images, video, infographics, and GIFs
  • Add new UI elements underneath the fold

Make Changes Today

Google’s updated Core Web Vitals algorithm has a direct impact on the success of your online business. If you don’t have IT staff qualified to make these updates, find out how we can help.