In the realm of digital marketing, oftentimes you’ll find that it’s Google’s world and we’re all just living in it.
...Maybe not all the time, but Google certainly rules the world of digital marketing with somewhat of an iron fist. What Google says, goes, and when they changed the SEO ranking factors earlier this year, it left website owners scrambling to understand these new metrics and terms. One of these new players on the field of SEO analytics is something called “Largest Contentful Paint”, or LCP.
Largest Contentful Paint is one of Google’s newest user experience metrics. The metric itself is measured in seconds; an LCP measurement is how long it takes for the main content of a page to download and gear up for user interaction after someone clicks on the site. Hence, why it is a metric for user experience; the sooner a user gets to interact with a web page, the better their experience.
The only thing that determines this metric is the largest image or block of text within the user viewport when the page is loading. These elements can be images, video poster images, background images, or block level elements, which leads us to our first must-know in our Largest Contentful Paint crash course:
There are only certain elements that go under consideration when an LCP is calculated. Amongst these Google Golden Children are things called block-level elements. In HyperText Mark-Up Language, or HTML, there are two different types of styling elements for web pages: our good friends the block-level elements and their cousins, the in-line elements.
The difference between the two is that block-level elements are… well, a block. They start on a new line and take up the full width of a page, causing a line break to occur when they end. In-line elements instead don’t cause a line break and only take up the space bounded by their opening and closing HTML tags. In-line elements are not considered when Google calculates your LCP score.
It makes sense, right? That the elements that take up the most space would be considered when Google calculates Largest Contentful Paint. It’s important to be aware of the differences between the types of HTML elements that can affect your webpage’s LCP, because, in order to improve your score, you have to know where to look and what to change. This leads us straight into fact numero duo...
If you own a website and are looking to optimize your SEO score, you came to the right place. As it turns out, your web page’s LCP score is one of the easiest SEO metrics to improve; you simply identify the largest element on a page and make it smaller so that your page loads faster. Here are a few things to which you should pay attention to get the best LCP score for your web page:
Although related, these two measurements are slightly different. Whereas Largest Contentful Paint is a measure of how long it takes to load the largest element in your initial web page viewport, the First Contentful Paint, or FCP, is a measure of how long it takes to load the first text- or image-based element in a user’s initial viewport. It is another metric Google uses to measure user experience.
Phew, that was a lot of ground to cover in a small amount of words, but that’s copywriting for you. Still have questions? We hope we answer them in the section below. If not, let’s talk.
What is a good LCP?
A good LCP score is 2.5 seconds or less. Anything higher and you’re pushing into dangerous LCP-score territory. Feel like it’s going that route? Don’t even know where to begin? That’s totally fine. At Marketwake, we meet you where you are with your SEO questions.
What is LCP in websites?
LCP is a score of how long it takes the individual web pages of a website to load. There is not one aggregate LCP score for a website, just separate ones for its individual pages.
What is LCP performance?
LCP performance is how long it takes for the largest element on the first viewport of your web page to load. That performance can be good, resulting in a low LCP score; or bad, resulting in a high LCP score.
How do I increase my LCP?
It all starts with identifying possible sources of your problem. For that, start with the information above, and for everything else, reach out to us here at Marketwake. We would be happy to help.
If you did what we sometimes do and rapid-scrolled to the end of the page to get your answers about Largest Contentful Paint answered in a snappy fashion, here’s the skinny:
Like we said in the beginning, it’s Google’s world and we’re all just living in it. But we have tools to interact with that world and optimize our web pages to thrive in the wild west of SEO. If, at this commencement of our explanation of LCP, you find yourself thinking, I don’t even know where to begin to fix my Largest Contentful Paint, connect with Marketwake! Reach out to us today to start a conversation.
Confused by all the SEO terms floating around the internet? Don’t sweat. Learn the SEO vocabulary you’ll need from our complete SEO glossary.
Page Authority is a metric that predicts how well an individual page will rank on the Search Engine Results Page on a scale of one to 100.