Jim & Detlef Discuss Core Web Vitals
|0:01||An introduction from Jim Boykin, CEO and Founder of Internet Marketing Ninjas|
|2:31||What is the Core Web Vitals services that you offer?|
|3:14||Why the cloud is important to optimizing for Google's Core Web Vitals?|
|4:07||If you're using Cloudflare, will your page speed scores be higher on Google Lighthouse?|
|5:06||If I have a website and it's hosted on your servers, what does it mean to also get a Cloudflare account?|
|6:00||Do I have to FTP my site up to the cloud?|
|6:26||So Cloudflare is not replacing your host?|
|7:05||Could you help us set up our Cloudflare account?|
|8:04||If I've got a Wordpress website and it's hosted at my local internet company none of that will change right? I'm going to update my site the same way, it's still going to be hosted at my local internet company?|
|9:39||Are there any type of sites that won't work well with setting up a Cloudflare account first?|
|10:22||Once you set up someone's account how are you using that Swiss army knife that you talked about earlier?|
|16:35||Did you say that in Lighthouse one thing they can show in red errors or things that can be improved is the actual Google Analytics code?|
|19:38||We just optimized two sites for Core Web Vitals this past week, can you tell me the Google Lighthouse scores offhand?|
|26:49||Are there are more things besides alt text as well that you can do with your Swiss army knife for optimizing for web accessibility?|
|30:25||What are Core Web Vitals in the page experience update and why should web owners care?|
|32:47||Does Google care more about what loads above the screen?|
|39:48||How does a website check to see if they are optimized for Core Web Vitals?|
|42:42||What about SSL certificates in this process of optimizing for Core Web Vitals?|
|43:40||Do you think the rankings might increase when you optimize for Core Web Vitals?|
|44:40||Is it possible to install some plug-in to help page speed?|
|45:32||Is there any other company you've heard of that offers a Core Web Vitals optimization service like this?|
Here is Google Search Central's official announcement regarding the Core Web Vitals ranking update:
We're announcing that page experience ranking signals for Google Search will launch in May 2021. This will combine Core Web Vitals and previous UX-related signals.Source: Twitter
Hello my name is Jim Boykin and I’m the CEO of Internet Marketing Ninjas and we have an exciting new product that can help out a lot of websites! That exciting new product has to do with optimizing for Core Web Vitals and doing things to make your websites load time faster. If you want to improve your Lighthouse scores, your Google PageSpeed Insights scores, if you want to convert more visitors and lose less visitors and rank higher as well, then we have a wonderful new service for you.
Today we're going to talk about a lot of those services. I'm here with Detlef Johnson who is the project leader for this new product. Detlef has been a technical SEO since 1995. He has so much experience and he has written so much for ClickZ, for Search Engine Land and other major places. Just a few weeks ago he gave a two-hour training class at SMX about mobile load time and Core Web Vitals. So, as far as people in the industry that know their stuff, Detlef knows way more than I do and together we've developed this service with an excellent team of people. We have Ann Smarty on the team, we have Drew our designer who's been with us for 10 years who specializes in load time speed. We have Adam and Jason and John, the three of those guys combined have over 25 years’ experience with the Ninjas. We added up the combined experience with everyone involved and it was 87 years!
So this is sort of a neat SEO by proxy or SEO on the fly type of service which we can now provide because of innovations in the marketplace. There's a CDN or content delivery network type of business out there and it’s almost like a Swiss army knife in that it allows us to transform HTML on the fly. We can now make changes in the cloud versus requiring changes at the origin server or requiring changes that your web developers would need to do.
Number one, your site will just automatically go faster by virtue of the CDN network itself which is named Cloudflare we're using them, and what that means is that cache copies of your website are hosted on the edge directly where users access the internet. So, if your site is hosted in Seattle and someone from New York wants to get to your website, your website doesn't have to traverse all the way across the country because Cloudflare has a server right in New York and can deliver a version of your site right there from cache. They also allow us this ability to go in and edit things on the fly for you. With the Core Web Vitals update coming up in May this is something that I see is increasingly important.
There is an immediate performance boost you should be able to see. It should go up a couple points at least unless your host is as fast as Cloudflare which isn't very likely.
In a nutshell the way all this stuff works is, you might buy your domain at GoDaddy and then ultimately if you stick with GoDaddy as your host, they set up a DNS setting to point to the GoDaddy server that hosts your website. That then translates to an IP address which is the address of that server. Some people may register with GoDaddy but then have a different host provider. In that case you would need to change the name servers of that domain name to the name servers that the host provider points to.
If you've already set up your website then you don't need to do any additional FTP. The only step going with Cloudflare is to change your DNS settings to point to Cloudflare name servers instead of your host provider's name servers. All you're doing is adding Cloudflare to the chain because Cloudflare in turn goes back to your origin
Exactly. Your registrar already points at Cloudflare and then any content that Cloudflare has cache from your site gets served immediately. So your site functions completely normally just a little faster by virtue of Cloudflare's network.
Yes. We have all of these options open to us so if you want to us to set up your Cloudflare account we can do that. The one thing that we rely on for this to work is that you do change your name servers over to point to Cloudflare's name servers and if you are unsure on how to do that then we'll help you through that process as well. If you do need us to help you with that we would need to have your credentials for GoDaddy or wherever you're buying your domains.
That's correct and the only thing you want to be wary of is if you change themes on your website in WordPress we need to be involved in that. There's certainly some asterisks of things and the project that we're offering here also comes with an hour or two of time from one of our analysts to you walk through how to set it up. We can show you what you need to be aware of with your specific site. For example if you change themes or if you add new categories etc. you're going to want to do some tagging in certain places and such but that's part of the training we will give you as well. If you're wholly redesigning the site obviously our transformations need to change so we'll have to turn them off temporarily until you're done and then go in and kind of rewrite everything for the new design.
I'd say a majority of the websites out there could easily get onto Cloudflare and start this service. The kinds of sites it wouldn't be appropriate for would be ones where they are their own registrar. For example Google, they are their own registrar they're not going to need Cloudflare. Almost every site no matter if it's their own content management system or if they've developed their own management system it will still work with Cloudflare. There's also one other small category of sites where if you're if you're using a competing service such as Fastly and you're committed to it and you can't change to Cloudflare from Fastly then you might not want to switch over.
In a basic sense you can imagine alt text. We can write a block of code that checks to see on any image tag if there is an alt attribute for that tag and if there is none we can simply add one right then and there. That can be a conditional so for example if you go in and write alt text for a specific image that we're overwriting and the next time that cloud worker runs since you've added your own custom alt text our block no longer operates on that specific image. There’re some things that are kind of universal like that and then there are others that are going to be highly specific like writing or rewriting your canonical tag for example, or if we're going to change your robots.txt.
We have a testing lab where we can proxy your site using a different domain to show you a sample of what we can project.
There's a lot of things that you can fix in Cloudflare and there are some things you can't.
We could dive into that subject of course but what we need to do is really tackle the big stuff first. However, at some point when we get to transformations that might be transforming some third-party code, even that is potentially fixable. So yeah diving in and fixing some Google Analytics code if they're redirecting because if it's just a spelling thing then we can do that and eliminate that redirect by making the reference direct instead of making the reference to the old URL. So it just depends on what is happening and diving in and figuring out if it is fixable.
I've dealt with so many companies that have come to us and asked for help with load time speed. We've run reports for years and what happens when we would hand those suggestions to improve load time to another programmer or designer we found they do one or two of the suggestions and they can't do anything about the rest. What you need to realize is by using the Cloud and by using the tools that are in there you can easily increase your scores.
Yeah one was really keying in on the score for web vitals and the other one was keying in on a score for just valid HTML the W3.org Validator, so in the case of the validator we took code and you know it was our recommendation to produce valid code and there was a lot of broken HTML in it. It wasn't the kind of broken HTML that you know you could just sort of live with. It was enough that we wanted to provide the fixes and that validator was causing load time issues, including how Google was loading the pages. It was a code issue but your speed your usability etc are going to be fixed.
In the other case we took scores on average I think it was 17 points up across the board so scores went from the 70s to the 90s. This was a client who had bought a report from us in the past they had gone to other companies, they had gone to different designers, they sent their designers to learn stuff and they kind of said that this is the best that we can do and that's where we realized we can take it to the other level.
There are a lot of browser error messages in the console that can be cleared up. In fact, that'll ding you if you've got console error messages. So you know we're looking at everything, which is great. This service really opens up the ability to patch things meanwhile you can get to the work of actually fixing it at the origin so this can be a band-aid or a bridge to your better site. We can even offer this kind of service to people who want to migrate to a new design. To do it nicely and carefully and do the redirecting in chunks to make sure it's indexed properly by Google and we just really control things. We work to avoid an abrupt disruption of your business.
Let's say someone says go ahead and do everything and so we go ahead and do everything and in the end they're like, 'we don't want to flip the switch.' That can be okay and in fact you can take everything that we did over here and you can see it all before you make the switch.
It's critical now because we're ahead of Core Web Vitals page experience update in May and when that actually takes place if you haven't taken advantage of fixing your site for update, now's the time. You can even edit and change the code yourself after the fact. We're in it for improving the web experience right away for your users. The first things are going to be all the universal global code blocks that can do things like add alt text for images when they're not there so you'll see improvements on something like that right away because that's a code block that's universal. Things like that help with web accessibility standards as well.
For sure. So you know one of the key things here is that you know people tend to develop websites and they create sort of a div and span soup and so that they don't take advantage of semantic HTML containers which are things that the screen readers that are used by people who are visually impaired, how they navigate the internet. Going through your headings and stuff and properly coding them all in descending order, including sort of a main container that has your content and then a skip to content link is the first thing that should be on the page. A screen reader would otherwise have to read navigation so we can implement those things when we see that they're missing.
We can add things that can help with GDPR compliance so you would be in good standing with California privacy laws. Fines for non-compliance can be steep. We can add security settings in page headers to improve the security measures that your browser takes to prevent information from leaking by certain commonplace vulnerabilities.
Just to be clear we're not we're not looking to be anyone's website designer. We're not looking to be that company that you call when you want to change something on your web design. With this specific project we're going to get you all set up and we're going to optimize the heck out of your site. We're also going to have a one or two hour talk to go over everything that we did and what things you need to be aware of. We're going to try and do this in tandem with you to make sure anything and everything that is implemented is done on a schedule that is not going to be too abrupt or sudden.
Practically every one of those things is going to increase your Google Lighthouse scores. The Core Web Vitals is sort of distinct from only the Lighthouse stuff but the Lighthouse stuff is a lot of those metrics that are part of what influences your Core Web Vitals score. Your Core Web Vitals is a summary of a lot of data underneath so we're going to be targeting those things that improve those Core Web Vitals scores and get you 100% across the board.
If you care about Google rankings this is one factor of many and not necessarily a main factor but it does influence your rankings in more than one way actually. If you get good scores in these tests then you can expect at least a little bit of a rankings lift with the update in May but also there's some correlation I've seen that shows when you have good page experience you tend to get more traffic. So sites that have this automatically get more traffic, more traffic tends to lead to more third-party links and it tends to lead to more rankings. So if you are interested in your site becoming popular then you should learn about Core Web Vitals because they address user concerns primarily around performance.
There's a few things that Google has begun sort of inventing like this thing they call cumulative layout shift and cumulative layout shift means how much in total does your web page shift around before it finally settles in a stable state where you can click things because if you try to click something and then it and then it suddenly disappears because an advertisement gets inserted above you can have a frustrating experience and you might actually click the ad by mistake. That's considered bad user experience and Google is measuring that.
Yes this whole thing is determined on what's in the viewport which is something that they can measure. That means everything above the fold they measure differently if it's mobile because there tends to be mobile design versus desktop design, so there's different measures based on your device type. But everything above the fold is something that they want to see appear on screen as quickly as possible and without any shift or as little shifting as possible.
Web font for example, changing the font can make some shift. You've probably loaded a news web page and seeing the headline suddenly change font right before your eyes right after you load it that's considered a cumulative shift so they actually measure that and so in that case that is something that we can help with by pre-loading that font.
If you want to get ahead of your competitors chances are 99% of your competitors are not doing this and you can have the advantages by hiring us. Every single month there's new things going on where improvements can be made in every block of code. I'm going to be refactoring things to add capabilities if there are any bugs I'm going to be able to squash the bugs and so those types of things will be in constant upgrade. We're constantly looking at everything and being like all right what are things that need to be fixed? What are things that are changing both within the website, within Google, and within the industry? We can adjust to those changes on a monthly basis and we can take action quickly on the fly.
There is a PageSpeed Insights Google report. Another way to engage it is to use the Chrome browser and open up DevTools. You open up DevTools and the tabs should have one for Lighthouse scores. There's a browser extension as well that if you download the browser extension through Google you can just any page you're on. You just click on the picture of the Lighthouse there's your scores. And remember if you're really fast you still might be scoring poorly on SEO or accessibility or best practices. There are security things in the best practices one that we address as well.
So Cloudflare is one of those services that naturally decided to offer SSL for everybody so if you become a Cloudflare customer your website automatically has an SSL certificate. There is a way to customize the certificate in other words upload your own cert to Cloudflare but that requires enterprise level service with them. If your website doesn't have SSL right now and you're giving your clients http and not https website addresses one thing you can do is get on Cloudflare and automatically improve your security because they'll just give you SSL right off the bat.
We can at least refer to Google's own statement that there is an update that is going to take into consideration Core Web Vitals in the ranking process so it's already implied that if we improve Core Web Vitals that you'll see a rankings boost. You can't expect to go from position 1000 to position top 10.
It's a little boost but and I think even now though that load time is part of the ranking algorithm. The current ranking factors that take into consideration performance are going to be replaced by Core Web Vitals because performance is part of Core Web Vitals measurements.
Some plugins can boost a few scores but they're pretty limited and they're not going to work in all CMS’s. WordPress might have some page speed boosters but you're always going to want a custom solution of some kind and that's where plugins kind of fall short. They are trying to please a lot of websites and what we're doing with this service is manually go in and do these things for your site individually as opposed to using a software.
Not that I'm aware of. There are some other companies that offer Cloudflare workers based services that can optimize your site if you do the work and upload an excel spreadsheet for the changes which they will then automate into your workers for you but nothing that is what we are doing. We'll go ahead and modify your code on the fly.
Performance is just one measure if you score low on any of the others you should want to be better in those areas too. If you are not 100% across the whole board then there is always room for improvement. The way that Google grades this is anything below 50 is a failing grade, anything below 90 needs improvement and anything above 90 is pretty great.
If you're above 90 it means you have things in place that make your sites faster than if it were lower. For example if you went from 70 to 90 your site will be faster. You're probably going to be losing a lot less visitors. There has been a lot of stats on how many visitors you lose every second if something needs to wait to load. So if you are competing against Amazon for example, you better load pretty fast.
Your pages are on the cloud too and the coolest thing with this service is that all of these things just improve the user experience and that's why Google thinks it's important. In some cases this service allows us to fix things the designer can't even fix at the origin. There are some E-commerce platforms where you can't add alt text to the logo image and with no other way to actually edit that code because everything is server side, having a cloud worker is a lifesaver. With this service we can change things that your designers actually can't do themselves.
One of the biggest culprits dragging down your score is the time it takes for images to load. Most people are doing two things wrong when it comes to uploading images. First one is they upload the original source size of the image without compressing it. So even though the site is displaying it half the size on the page, the whole image has to load taking up precious time. Images are often one of the biggest hogs of load time so make sure your images are optimized for the web and not a billion pixels or some super high-quality image that has to download.
There are a lot of ways to fix images depending on what problem you face. If you have an image that's uncompressed and that addresses the issue where you've got an image that might be small but because it has so many pixels, it is still a huge image file size that's uncompressed. There are a lot of compression algorithms that can be used to optimize that and we can do that on the fly for you too.
One of the things that's easy to implement and improves things on the on the fly is, adding the attribute of the width. That allows the browser to carve out the space for that image and place it so that you are improving the cumulative layout shift.
I wouldn't want to change their design but I do think that as part of the service is to improve speed there may be a required time where we need to do some code splitting. That's sort of an advanced thing and it might take a little more time and a little bit higher level of the service, but by doing so it might be the remedy for performance.
CSS is a render blocking resource which means that as the CSS first has to download it has to get applied. CSS is pretty critical to the page speed performance score. All we need is the CSS for above the fold we're going to want to defer that download and we're going to want to put the CSS inline that styles that above fold content so that is ready to go even after the style sheet loads.
Yes, practically all of them. The exception might be Shopify because that already uses Cloudflare, but I know that Cloudflare is working on that currently so even if you use Shopify we should be able to fix things. With that said we may need to employ another worker to properly facilitate the connection between Shopify and Cloudflare.
You get a boost in security in a couple of ways by going with Cloudflare. You also get a performance boost. The number one thing for SEO is the performance boost and the number one thing from a security standpoint is Cloudflare has actually made a name for themselves by, in some famous cases, fixing major brand name sites that were getting attacked by the DDOS problem. Which, in a nutshell is a distributed denial of service.
It happens when somebody writes a robot that makes a billion requests at a time but doesn't serve the acknowledge packets saying I got your stuff. The server just ends up spitting out endless packets thinking they hadn’t arrived which locks up all available connections. That kind of attack can bring down a site of any size or quality.
I would say that if you went with Cloudflare, 99% of the time you're more secure than where you're hosted right now. Your site is served by your host and cached copies of your pages are hosted in the cloud on your behalf.
Cloudflare will periodically fetch a new copy of your cache to make sure it hasn't changed so they're keeping copies but you don't experience any delay. There are settings where you can limit the number of times Cloudflare goes to your origin and just serve directly but on a static site you might want to do that.
We will be able increase your overall scores one and we will be able to continually catch and fix things on the fly without the need of your programmers to keep your scores high. If your scores drop we're going to have an alarm noticing something needs to be fixed on the site. We will be able to monitor your site and your scores and your performance over time and make sure that as you develop and add content your scores stay high.
If you're big company with red tape and hoops to jump through, show the higher ups that have the decision power to get things done that Core Web Vitals are now being measured for Google rankings.
I don't want people to be unhappy so if you've paid for the service and you're not liking the results just tell me I’ll give you your money back. You have nothing to lose in trying this service. The nice thing is we can show you what your site and scores will look like even before we flip the switch.
You still own your DNS so you can point it wherever you want, you control everything so worst case scenario if something breaks you can just change your DNS to point to your old server while the problem is fixed so nothing gets disrupted.
Testing the production is different than testing and development. In development everything is tested first and can be previewed before making that switch. We're only transforming things that have to do with this performance score and SEO but I wouldn't guarantee that nothing will go wrong so being able to make that switch back easily is helpful.
Cloudflare has built an entire automated system for DNS so things work right out of the box. Once you transfer everything, it should continue to work as it did before. What you're really paying for is for us to analyze your code like a tech SEO audit and instead of delivering the audit we're actually transforming your HTML using this service.
PCI has to do with the regulations and safeguards that need to be in place for any organization that is storing credit cards and information that can personally identify. Since neither Cloudflare nor Ninjas are storing any credit cards we don't specifically need to be in compliancy but you may have to if you're storing credit cards.
If you use something like Authorize.net for your card processor then you may not be storing any credit cards because Authorize.net is actually storing all your credit cards but if you require PCI compliance Cloudflare has a recipe for configuration settings to allow the site to continue to pass the PCI compliancy scans.
It depends on if you want a hands-on or a hands-off relationship. If you want access to the Cloudflare basically you could set it up yourself and give us the access so it could be a role reversal there no problem all we need is access to the workers service which starts at five dollars a month. I think you get the first 100,000 worker interactions which translates to something like the first hundred thousand hits for free and then just goes up incrementally by fractions of pennies so it's really it's a small fee. That's the minimum required account level at Cloudflare.
They also have pro level and enterprise level and then a custom level but I have not seen any need above enterprise level yet. Enterprise level buys you the ability to upload your own custom secure certificate. That way you can upload your own cert and have it presented to all browsers instead of Cloudflare’s.
You could just pay the monthly installment and continue to enjoy the benefit of the service having us take care of everything if you just want a hands-off approach. Your level of engagement is really up to you.