- October 13, 2023
- Core Web Vitals
Are you looking to improve your website performance and boost your search results? Have you heard of Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and the Core Web Vitals? CLS is a key factor in Google’s search algorithm, and optimising it can make a huge difference in your website’s performance. In this article, we’ll explore what CLS and the Core Web Vitals are, why they’re important, and how to optimise them. Read on to learn more!
What Is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Clearly, you’ve heard of Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), but what exactly is it? CLS is a measure of how much a website’s layout shifts during loading. It’s one of the three core web vitals that Google uses to measure user experience. It helps to identify when a website is loading slowly and has a significant shift in its layout, as this can be disruptive and frustrating for users.
CLS is measured by the amount of space elements on a website move, as well as the amount of time it takes for the layout to stabilise. It’s measured on a scale of 0-1, with 0 being a stable page and 1 being a completely unstable page. The higher the CLS score, the more likely it is that the website will be frustrating to use.
The main goal of CLS is to ensure that users have a smooth and uninterrupted experience while browsing a website. A website that has a high CLS score can be confusing and disorienting for users, as the layout can shift dramatically while they’re trying to interact with it.
Google uses CLS as one of the three core web vitals to measure user experience. Websites that have a low CLS score are seen as more user-friendly and are rewarded with higher rankings in search results. Websites with a high CLS score are penalised, as they are seen as providing a less than ideal user experience.
What Are the Core Web Vitals
Have you ever wondered what the Core Web Vitals are? The Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics which measure the user experience of a website. These metrics are used to help website developers and designers create a better experience for their visitors. They are also used to measure the performance of a website and are part of Google’s Page Experience update.
The Core Web Vitals are three metrics that measure the user experience of a website. These metrics are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading performance of a page. It measures the time it takes for a page’s main content to appear on the screen. This metric helps to ensure that your page is loading quickly and efficiently.
First Input Delay (FID) measures how quickly users can interact with a page. It measures the time it takes from when a user first clicks or taps on the page to when the browser is able to respond to that action. This metric helps to ensure that your page is responsive and interactive.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the amount of unexpected layout shifts on a page. This metric measures the stability of the page and helps to ensure that elements on the page do not move unexpectedly which can cause confusion or frustration for a user.
The Core Web Vitals are important metrics to consider when optimising your website. They measure the performance and user experience of your website, which are key factors in providing a great experience to your visitors. It is important to monitor these metrics and make sure that they are within the recommended thresholds to ensure that your website is performing well and providing the best possible experience to your users.
Why Is Cumulative Layout Shift Important
Clearly, you must understand why Cumulative Layout Shift is important if you want to optimise your website for the Core Web Vitals. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a metric that measures the visual stability of a webpage. It’s a measure of how much the page layout shifts unexpectedly while a user is interacting with it. This metric is important because it affects user experience and page performance.
|What is CLS?
|Why is it Important?
|Measuring the visual stability of a webpage
|Affects user experience and page performance
|Unexpected movement of page elements
|Can cause users to click on the wrong element or abandon your website
|Keeping CLS as low as possible
|Ensures a smooth user experience
To minimise the CLS on your website, you should ensure that all images are properly sized and compressed, and that you use lazy loading to only load the content that is visible on the page. If you’re using third-party scripts, you should also make sure they are optimised for page performance. Additionally, you should avoid inserting dynamic content right before the page fold, as this can cause a large shift in the page layout.
What Is the Impact of CLS on Search Results
Improving your CLS score can have a significant impact on your search engine rankings. CLS is one of the key Core Web Vitals metrics that measure the user experience of a website. As search engine algorithms become increasingly sophisticated, they are taking user experience into account more and more when ranking websites. A low CLS score can indicate poor user experience, as it measures the amount of unexpected layout shifts on a website, and this can affect your search engine position.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool offers a handy CLS score feature that allows you to quickly assess and diagnose any potential issues with your website’s layout. It also provides helpful guidance on how to improve your CLS score. By ensuring that the elements on your website don’t shift around unexpectedly, you can help to ensure that your website ranks higher in search results.
It’s worth noting that CLS is only one of many factors that search engine algorithms consider when ranking websites. Other factors such as the site’s content, the number of visitors, and the speed of the website are also taken into account. However, improving your CLS score is an important step in ensuring that your website ranks higher in search engine results.
How to Optimise Your Website for CLS
Have you wondered how to optimise your website for CLS? Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important metric to consider when developing a website, as it is one of the Core Web Vitals. As such, it is important to understand how to optimise your website for CLS in order to ensure that it passes Google’s standards.
The first step to optimising your website for CLS is to reduce the number of unexpected layout shifts. Unexpected layout shifts can occur when content is loaded after the page has already appeared, causing the layout to change suddenly. To avoid this, ensure that all content is loaded before the page appears. Additionally, avoid including large, unanticipated elements on the page.
It is also important to minimise the distance of layout shifts. When layout shifts occur, they should be small enough that they are not disruptive to the user experience. You can minimise the distance of layout shifts by using placeholder elements that can be swapped out when the actual content loads.
Finally, you should create a positive user experience by providing quick and responsive interactions. By making sure that interactions are fast and responsive, users will not be interrupted by unexpected layout shifts.
|Reduces unexpected layout shifts
|Complicated to implement
|Minimises the distance of layout shifts
|Can be time consuming
|Creates a positive user experience
|Can be difficult to troubleshoot
Tools to Monitor and Track CLS
If you’re looking to track and monitor your website’s CLS score, there are a few handy tools you can use. The most popular one is Google PageSpeed Insights. With this tool, you can see how your website is doing in terms of CLS, as well as other Core Web Vitals metrics. It also provides you with recommendations on how to improve your score. Other tools you can use to track CLS include Chrome User Experience Report and Lighthouse.
Chrome User Experience Report provides you with an overview of your website’s performance over time, and it gives you insights into how to improve your CLS score. Lighthouse is an open-source auditing tool by Google, which audits websites to provide insights into how they are performing. It is a great tool for tracking and improving your CLS score, as it gives you detailed information about your website’s performance.
You can also use web.dev/measure as a tool to track your website’s performance. This tool provides you with a detailed report of your website’s performance in terms of CLS, as well as other Core Web Vitals metrics. It also gives you recommendations on how to improve your score.
Finally, if you want to track your website’s performance over time, you can use Web Vitals Browser Extension. This extension allows you to track CLS as well as other metrics, and it gives you an overview of your website’s performance. This is a great tool if you want to track the long-term performance of your website.
With all of these tools, you can easily track and monitor your website’s CLS score. This will help you to optimise your website for maximum performance and ensure that your users have a great experience.
Strategies to Reduce CLS
If you’re looking to reduce your website’s CLS, one strategy is to minimise the amount of unexpected layout shifts on your page. This means avoiding any large elements or images that cause sudden shifts while the page is loading. Additionally, you should use a placeholder for any content that will be dynamically added after the page has loaded. This will ensure that the layout of the page remains consistent.
To eliminate certain types of CLS, consider the following strategies:
|Defer offscreen images
|Offscreen images are only loaded once they are visible to the user.
|Minimise the impact of animations
|Animations should be kept to a minimum for a smooth user experience.
|Reduce the size of fonts
|Smaller fonts will help keep the page layout consistent.
|Avoid elements that resize
|Elements such as video players should have a fixed size to avoid unexpected shifts.
What Is a Good CLS Score
You want to know what a good CLS score is? When it comes to Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), scores below 0.1 are considered good. Google recommends that webmasters strive to achieve this score, as it is an important factor in improving the user experience. CLS scores above 0.25 are considered to be poor, and indicate that the page is not loading properly. A score of 0.25 or higher will lead to a poor user experience which can affect the rankings for a website in search engine results.
It is important to note that the CLS score is not the only factor to consider when evaluating a page’s performance. Other factors, such as page loading speed and overall experience, should be taken into account when determining the overall score. Additionally, the CLS score should be monitored over time to ensure that the website is consistently performing well.
When it comes to CLS, it is important to remember that a good score does not guarantee a great user experience. A good CLS score is just one of many factors that can help improve the overall performance of a website. It is also important to take into consideration other page-level metrics, such as page loading speed and overall experience.
Troubleshooting CLS Issues
If you’re seeing a high CLS score, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. First, identify where the layout shift is happening. You can do this by using an analytics service to monitor your website and look for any instances where the layout shifts unexpectedly. Then, check your page for any elements that may be causing the shift, such as images, videos, or ads that are dynamically loaded. If any of these elements are causing the shift, you can try to resize them to make them fit better or change the order in which they’re loaded.
You should also check for any third-party scripts that may be causing the layout shift. You can do this by disabling any scripts and checking to see if the layout shift still occurs. If it does, you should contact the script’s developer and ask them to fix the issue.
Finally, if you’re using a content management system (CMS), you should check for any updates that may be available. Many CMSs are constantly being improved to fix any issues that cause layout shifts. If an update is available, make sure to install it as soon as possible to reduce the chance of a high CLS score.
These are just a few steps you can take to troubleshoot your CLS score. Remember that web performance is important for both user experience and SEO, so don’t ignore any issues that arise. Investigate and fix any problems quickly to ensure your website is running as smoothly as possible.
Best Practices for Optimising CLS
To optimise your CLS score, you should implement the best practices outlined below.
- Optimise Images:
- Use next-gen image formats such as WebP, JPEG 2000, and JPEG XR
- Compress images to the smallest possible size without sacrificing quality
- Establish image aspect ratios beforehand with CSS
- Optimise Ads and Third-Party Widgets:
- Avoid inserting ads and widgets mid-content
- Ensure all ads and widgets are sized correctly
- Make sure ads and widgets are loaded asynchronously
- Optimise Web Fonts:
- Use system fonts whenever possible
- Preload web font files
- Specify font-display property
For images, make sure they are optimised for the web and compressed to the smallest size possible without sacrificing quality. Establish aspect ratios for images with CSS, and consider using next-gen formats such as WebP, JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR.
For ads and third-party widgets, it is important to avoid inserting these mid-content. Make sure all ads and widgets are sized correctly and are loaded asynchronously.
Finally, when using web fonts, use system fonts whenever possible. Preload web font files, and specify the font-display property.
You’ve now learned a lot about CLS and its importance to Core Web Vitals. It’s up to you to make sure your website is optimised for CLS and to make sure your CLS score is good. Follow the best practices and strategies outlined here, and you’ll be sure to have a website with a good CLS score. Don’t forget to troubleshoot any CLS issues you may come across. Good luck!
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