When it comes to website performance, Google's Core Web Vitals are becoming a crucial factor. Among these vitals, the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) plays a pivotal role in user experience and SEO. This blog post provides a comprehensive understanding of LCP and offers some valuable optimisation strategies.
What is LCP? Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a user-centric metric for measuring perceived load speed. It marks the point during page load when the main content is likely to have been fully rendered on the screen. High LCP values may indicate slow load times and can be frustrating for users.
LCP values can be checked using various tools including GTMetrix and Lighthouse. For Chrome users, there's a Core Web Vitals plugin. You can access it by pressing ctrl + shift + p and then typing 'web vitals overlay' in the command menu and selecting it.
However, the most significant tool to gauge LCP values is the Google Search Console. It provides real-world usage data which is the most accurate. Yet, it's important to note that these vitals may not show in the Google Search Console unless your website receives a significant amount of traffic.
Potential LCP Inflators: Surprisingly, web fonts can significantly inflate your LCP. These fonts can delay text rendering and push back the LCP. Additionally, unused CSS or scripts on the current page can negatively impact your LCP score. It's essential to identify and remove these elements to improve load times.
Remember to check compatibility across different browsers when using newer image formats. Websites like 'caniuse.com' can provide insights into what is supported on each browser.
Paying attention to LCP and other Core Web Vitals is no longer an option but a necessity in the quest for better user experience and improved SEO. With these tips, you can optimise your website's LCP, resulting in faster load times and a smoother user experience. As always, it's essential to keep testing and tweaking, as what works best can vary from site to site.