HVAC Next Trends for Online Search in 2021: How LCP and CLS Can Help You

Sep 20, 2021 | Blogs, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the past, businesses in the heating and air conditioning industry primarily relied on referrals and print advertising to reach their target markets. However, for a business in the HVAC industry, these marketing strategies are no longer effective since your audience is now looking online for the services you offer.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical HVAC online trends that should become integral to your online marketing strategy. Optimizing your website and its content around your prospective customers’ specific keywords empowers you to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing organic traffic, sales, and business income.

Some of the SEO tactics you will need to implement include:

  • Creating new content
  • Homing in on local keywords
  • Optimizing online profiles, such as google my business
  • Improving user experience through better navigation and interface architecture

 According to the latest HVAC SEO update, user experience (UX) is an essential ranking factor.

This guide discusses how the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) as metrics of user experience can help you grow your business.

 

2021 HVAC Online Update

When people who need new HVAC systems land on your website from a search, you want to provide them with a relevant and meaningful experience. Your website users should be able to use your site from any location and through any device. Easy access to information, website security, and fast web page loading speeds are crucial to engage your site visitors and call them to action.

User experience is the umbrella term referring to the factors increasing your website visitors’ satisfaction, and it is a critical ranking factor for SEO. In the past, Google determined a website’s user experience by considering whether or not the site had:

  • A responsive and mobile-friendly design
  • Hypertext transfer protocol security (HTTPS)
  • Intrusive interstitials, such as pop-up ads, overlays, and banners

Since mid-June 2021, Google also started rolling out Core Web Vitals (CWVs) as ranking factors for Google search. In addition to mobile-friendliness, site security, and intrusive interstitials, Google gauges the following to grade a site’s user experience:

  •  Loading performance (how quickly content appears on the screen)
  • Interactivity (how quickly a web page reacts to the visitor’s input)
  • Visual stability (how often the visitor deals with unexpected layout shifts or format changes)

CWVs provide a way to measure the above signals for user experience. The corresponding core web vital for each signal are:

  •  Largest contentful paint for loading performance
  • Cumulative layout shift for visual stability
  • First input delay for website responsiveness

 Your website needs to achieve a “good” score for all three metrics to pass a CWV assessment.

 These CWVs are critical HVAC online trends you need to implement to boost your online visibility. Below, we take an in-depth look at the three core web metrics, along with possible causes of poor scores and steps you can take to make improvements. 

 

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP, one of the CWVs, indicates the time it takes for the web page’s most significant element, such as a video, text block, or image, to render after the web page starts loading. This metric is a measurement in seconds, and the lower it is, the better.

In practice, the biggest element is not necessarily the most useful. When optimizing LCP, you need to consider the most relevant and valuable element for the particular page. For example, the H1 title or cover image is the most valuable LCP candidate for a blog post.

An LCP score of 3 seconds or less is good. However, if the LCP score falls between 3 and 4 seconds, you need to make improvements. An LCP score above this range is poor.

Causes of a poor LCP score include render-blocking CSS and JavaScript and lagging response times by the server. You can lower this score by optimizing your page elements, CSS, and critical rendering path.

 

First Input Delay (FID)

FID indicates the time your web page needs to respond to a user’s interactions. Examples of user interactions include clicking on a button or selecting a drop-down menu. Zooming or scrolling are not interactions as the graphics processing unit (GPU) controls these actions, not the central processing unit (CPU).

An FID score of up to 100 milliseconds is good. If the FID score is higher than 300 milliseconds, drastic steps are necessary to improve your website’s interaction. An insufficient FID score is often due to the browser’s main thread being busy executing JavaScript code. You can optimize your FID score by reducing the following:

  • The effect of third-party code
  • The main thread’s workload
  • JavaScript execution time

 An FID measurement is only possible if there is user interaction. Google will use the field data, which is data from real users, to measure your site’s responsiveness to user interactions.

 

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS indicates the shifts in layouts while the pages load. A shift in the layout is a change in the position or size of an element during the page’s loading time.

For example, when a large piece of content takes a long time to load, it can push a button-down just before the user clicks it. One or more shifts in the layout can be frustrating, which is why Google uses this metric to gauge user experience.

CLS measures layout shifts on a scale from zero to one, with zero indicating no shifting. A score higher than 0.25 is insufficient and may indicate elements with undefined dimensions, asynchronous resource loading, or the dynamic adding or DOM elements to your page.

 

HVAC Online Trends: How to Measure Core Vitals

When people visit your page to learn more about your HVAC equipment solutions, you must provide them with an optimal user experience. Measuring and implementing CWVs as the latest HVAC SEO trends will help you rank higher in search engine results pages.

At Polianna, our SEO Marketing team can help you optimize your website’s core vitals to provide an exceptional user experience, engage visitors, and convert more leads into paying customers. To learn how we can help you, call us today at 703-475-6907.

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