Core Website Vitals
Why do content marketers constantly feel cold? They’re surrounded by drafts.
This website team has been working since March to try different fixes for our website to improve our LCP and CLS scores. They updated our Wordpress, they tested the sticky nav as a contributing factor, and we purchased a plug-in to optimize all 10,000 of our photos. Next, they tried the Cloudways Breeze caching plugin but it disabled all of our homepage videos so it had to be turned off.
After the updates, we still are not seeing many "Good URLs" and it almost felt like a waste of time. And, I'm not sure that we will be able to get any more website hours approved for work on this. Does anyone have suggestions on how to go about fixing this? I assumed our website team would know the best solutions. Or is this just as good as it will get?
This is where we were at pre-updates:
- Poor URLs: 385
- URLs Need Improvement: 0
- Good URLs: 0
- Poor URLs: 209
- URLs Need Improvement: 276
- Good URLs: 8
- Poor URLs: 373
- URLs Need Improvement: 0
- Good URLs: 15
- Poor URLs: 0
- URLs Need Improvement: 474
- Good URLs: 8
That said, I did see a few things that caught my attention that you should have your existing developers look at:
• Embedded pages and post images I came across during my quick look at the site showed that the vast majority of images had been optimized. However, I found a lot of banner and background images (like this one https://aquilacommercial.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/banner-image.png) that were still 720-800kb.
• Content on some learning center pieces is being ported from Tableau, and that's tripping up Lighthouse's results; it doesn't seem to affect the real render time, but it does make Lighthouse's performance score drop.
• See if there's a way to optimize your YouTube embeds to be more streamlined and load more quickly. Embed Plus is a WP plugin that I know works for this.
• It may also be time to talk to your developers about using a CDN to deliver images instead of your own servers. Your server response times are the single biggest thing keeping your FCP score so low. You can also talk to your host provider.
I know it's not the easy fix you were hoping for, but I do hope these help!
(And another thing to keep in mind: your competition. Take a look at how their sites are performing in Lighthouse. If you're ahead of them, you're still the best in town!)
I figured it probably wouldn't be a simple solution but this gives me some leverage to bring to my team for (hopefully) putting some more time into this.
It looks like only two of our major competitors are ahead of us in lighthouse right now so I guess that is a good sign though.
I'm going to share this info with my team and see if we should pursue it further. If we do - I will reach out to you for some of your referrals!
Thank you again!!
I'm still looking into how to fix some of our banner images (our image optimizing plugin messes up their cropping - which is why I had to unoptimize them.) And we decided leaving the Tableau embeds was worth the hit.
We also have a Wordpress update we need and a lot of plugin updates - which I think are causing our issues but we are afraid to do these ourselves without breaking our website.
Just wanted to say thank you again for the advice - a lot of these smaller steps seem to be helping!!
Hey Tina! I just spoke with Briana Meisel , one of our content/video coaches at IMPACT. She'll be commenting on this in a bit, so keep your eyes 👀 peeled for some good stuff coming your way 🔥
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I have tried to implement them as I understood them. I have attached a link to the revised version. Any additional feedback or critiques would be greatly appreciated. What is my Interest Rate.edited.docx
That is so amazing! Let us know how it goes. Looking forward to hear about it!!
Hey Evelyn Gascoyne! I will make some assumptions here - tell me if I'm off base with any of them. When you say content lead time, you're referring to how long it takes an article to be written (from ideation to hitting the publish button).2. When you say backlog, you're referring to a bank of publish-ready articles that are scheduled to be published in the future (from here on out I'll refer to this as a 'publishable article backlog')With those assumptions ^ in mind, here are some thoughts.First, make sure your article content calendar is planned out for at least 90 days in the future. That visibility into what you're working on is critical to building a backlog and helping you plan for articles. I'd recommend having a 2-3 week, or 6-9 articles, publishable article backlog. This shouldn't be viewed as a saving account to dip into when content gets low. Instead, follow the FIFO method so the first article to go into the backlog will get scheduled to be published first. As a second article goes into the backlog, it will have the place of the next scheduled article.Every week you should have time allocated to 3 tasks (for 3 articles). Follow the rule of 3-3-3 every week Publish 3 articles from the backlog Edit and finish 3 articles and add them to your backlog Start researching and drafting 3 new articles In general, you should follow this process to create an article. As a writer, you'll be playing an active role in the research and planning phase, the SME interview phase, the first draft phase, the revisions phase, and the publishing phase. Others in your organization will play an active role in the review and final approval stages. Following this process means it'll take around 8-10 business days to go from ideation to publishing an article. That doesn't mean it'll wholly consume 8 hours per day for 8-10 business days, but the big picture that's how many days you can expect the process to take. Below is an idea of how long each part of the content creation process should take by the number of hours. Researching & Planning - 2 hours SME Interviews - 2 hours Initial Draft - 2-4 hours Internal Review - 1 hour IMPACT Review (if working with IMPACT) - 1 hour Revisions - 1 hour Final Approval - 1 hour Publishing - 1 hour Now, if you're trying to implement this and you can't break through you have a couple of options to build a backlog.Pause for 2-3 weeks on publishing to build your backlog.2. Scale back on publishing. Take 1-2 (of your 3 published articles per week) to put in your backlog.3. Use others in your organization to write content while you're focused on 3 articles per week and use the surplus to build a backlog.
They do, thank you! The Berry Insurance site is also very helpful!
Sounds like a plan Dave Wieser ! Looking forward to hearing back :) Also, want to tag in Renee Hernandez who helped build some pretty awesome stuff with our quiz functionality in IMPACT+.