Improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Your SEO

LCP is a new metric from Google that is scheduled to start working in May 2021. It is crucial to improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) if you want your site not to drop in search results and improve its SEO.

Today our goal is to tell you everything we know about Largest Contentful Paint, how it can be improved when it is necessary to optimize it, and more. Keep reading, it will be helpful and informative.

And if you already know all about it and want to get help from SEO specialists, just contact us.

What is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)?

LCP stands for Largest Contentful Paint and tracks the time it takes for the largest visual part of the page to load. It’s a measure of how long it takes for a user to start working with your site.

What is the Largest Contentful Paint

What is LCP in SEO?

LCP is an important metric for the Web Vitals score because it is user-centric. LCP measures the time it takes for the largest content element to be shown to users. It’s not a measure of how long it takes to load all the content, just the important part.

As Google is now striving to improve the user experience, this is becoming perhaps the most important metric among other Core Web Vitals.

Elements that are considered for LCP

  • Image elements
  • Image tags
  • Background images with CSS
  • Video elements
  • Any element with text

What is a good LCP score?

Google advises improving the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) of your site until it takes less than 2.5 seconds so that the largest element on your page becomes visible to the user as soon as possible.

What is a good LCP score?

Why is Largest Contentful Paint important for SEO?

Since Google recognizes Largest Contentful Paint as a critical metric, it matters for SEO. Simply put, if your site is loading slowly, your SEO will deteriorate. We have previously written about common SEO mistakes in a previous blog.

Let's take a look at the main reasons you should improve LCP to improve SEO.

  • Google itself created and recommended this metric

The fact that Google has recommended taking this metric into account already shows its importance. Starting in May this year, LCP will become the default factor for measuring a web performance audit.

  • Website loading speed affects your rankings

Google loves pages to load quickly on both mobile devices and PCs. After Google begins to actively use LCP, this will affect the position of sites in the SERPs.

  • Largest Contentful Paint affects user experience

Largest Contentful Paint affects user experience. The worse the UX, the higher the bounce rate and the lower your search rankings. The bounce rate can also decrease for other reasons, so read the blog on how to reduce bounce rate.

How do you check your website`s LCP?

Before you start to improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), you should find the exact metric to date. You have several options for how to check the LCP:

  1. Page Speed Insights Tool
  2. Search Console
  3. Chrome User Experience Report
  4. Chrome Dev Tools
  5. Google lighthouse
  6. Webpagetest.org
  7. MarketingTracer
  8. Web.dev
  9. GTMetrix

Now compare the received data with the recommended indicators. If your performance is worse than these, then you should improve it.

How to speed up Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) 

If you are wondering:

How do I improve my LCP?

Then we have the answer.

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

We've previously mentioned the benefits of using a CDN in our blogs. You can use the content delivery network to speed up the loading of content for users regardless of their location. Even if your head office is located in the USA and users from Germany visit your site, they will quickly gain access to the site, which means that LCP will improve.

  • Choose a Good Web Hosting Provider

The presence of powerful hosting is the basis for the fast operation of the site. If your hosting plan is weak, then nothing else will work, no matter what other methods you use to speed up your site. Therefore, you should seriously consider choosing a reliable hosting company.

  • Minify Your Website's CSS

When looking to improve the LCP you should try to minify the CSS files and unnecessary Javascript. Compressing unnecessary files on your site reduces page load time and therefore has a positive effect on Largest Contentful Paint.

  • Optimize image sizes

Most often, it is images that slow down and overload your site. You should start with image optimization to speed up LCP. Use suitable image formats such as JPEG and WebP, and don't forget to compress them.

  • Compress the size of text files

You can also apply various techniques such as Gzip and Brotli to compress the text files. This lets you speed up the transmission of user text and improve the LCP.

In addition to these basic ways to improve LCP, there are others. As you can see, they are all pretty technical. To make sure you do everything right, don’t try to fix it yourself —  get professional help.

Largest Contentful Paint Optimization in brief

The Largest Contentful Paint is an integral part of Core Web Vitals, and therefore it influences how your site ranks in search engines.

Using all of the above tactics will improve LCP if implemented correctly.

We offer you the help of our SEO and web specialists to speed up your LCP and maintain your positions, even after introducing changes in the ranking factor in the May of 2021.

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