How a CDN can boost your Core Web Vitals

by | Jan 12, 2022


Jose would have been a civil rights lawyer if he wasn’t in IT marketing – he even got into law school! He loves the cold climate of hill stations and the long drive that takes him there. Once there, he would read or stream; not one for the outdoor.

Ecommerce merchants are always looking for ways to improve their site’s performance. Slow website pages can harm businesses as they increase bounce rates and can negatively impact customer satisfaction. Beyond this, poor performance can also impact end-user retention, and that can have significantly longer term implications for the business.

It’s well documented that a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% loss in conversions, and up to half of your potential customers will move on if the storefront takes 10 seconds or more to load fully.

Merchants are looking for ways to understand and improve the user experience (UX), which incorporates elements such as page load time, responsiveness, and stability. One of the most common ways to achieve this today, is to look at Core Web Vitals.

Google’s new standard

Most UX measurements are gathered from user testing and analyze how real people use websites. Google’s Core Web Vitals concentrate on a few select elements that it can measure more efficiently to rank a website. These new metrics measure factors that directly affect the UX when a visitor lands on a web page:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) “Loading” measures the time it takes for the largest asset on a web page to be viewable. This might be an image, a large block of text, etc.

First Input Delay (FID) “Interactivity” measures the time before the visitor can interact with a page. Think of it as the delay before a hyperlink is clickable or before a text field can be completed.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) “Visual Stability” – This metric relates to the visual stability of a page. Moving or unstable elements when a page is loading can lead to users clicking incorrect links resulting in a frustrating experience.

What is a CDN?

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) enhances a website’s performance and page load time by caching assets across multiple edge locations which are geographically distributed to be located no more than 40-60 milli-seconds from an end-user. Caching static content like images, CSS, and JavaScript close to the users, a CDN helps improve Core Web Vitals scores. Metrics such as LCP, CLS, and FID depend on shorter load times. A CDN improves the performance of an ecommerce website, meets the requirements of Google’s new ranking algorithm, and enhances the overall experience for end-users.

How can a CDN improve Core Web Vitals?

Improving LCP – A blend of storing and shrewd directing will further boost a website’s LCP. The CDN reserves a website’s static content in server farms from one side of the planet to the other. Since those server farms are genuinely near users — inside 100 milli-seconds of 95% of all internet users — content has less distance to travel to and from users’ devices, and page loads are quicker as a result. The sooner the content gets to the user, the sooner they can interact with it.

Improving FID – The faster a website loads, the faster end-users will want to engage with them. Using a CDN will ensure these users engage with a site on the lowest latency/route. Another important factor that affects FID is JavaScript execution which, in most cases, is the slowest part of a web page to load. Delivering assets like these from a CDN edge, close to the end-user, will reduce the overall delay.

Improving CLS – Cumulative Layout Shifts are usually caused by images with improper sizing or when images fill in slowly. With a CDN, static assets like images can be optimized, reformated, and resized before they are delivered to end-users who are accessing a site from multiple devices and different internet quality.

Image Optimization – Images are one of the largest influencing factors in Core Web Vitals scores, as they are a major source of delay in fully loading a web page. Therefore, optimizing images, when done correctly, is a powerful tool for improving Core Web Vitals.

Webscale CloudEDGE CDN

The Webscale CloudEDGE CDN is a CDN purpose-built for modern commerce with advanced security, high availability, and high performance. The foundation of being able to run JavaScript code directly on arrival, and in-line through all application traffic logic, means ecommerce merchants and their developers can get full visibility and real-time control. Webscale CloudEDGE is a distributed computing platform that simplifies the global delivery of web applications and services, securely executing code close to the customers at scale. This translates into websites that execute code and fetch assets from an edge server/node closest to their geographical location.

Hundreds of B2C and B2B merchants have deployed Webscale CloudEDGE CDN and over the 2021 Cyber Week sales season reported significant uptick in performance and Core Web Vitals.

“Our Cyber Week 2021 campaign has been one of the most successful we’ve ever run, and the performance improvements we’ve seen with the Webscale CDN were a significant contributor to delivering a great customer experience.”
Rod Williams, General Manager Digital, Baby Bunting

“We’ve seen a marked improvement in website performance, and our Core Web Vitals scores, which allows us to compete effectively in a business where the level of engagement, conversions and revenue are all dependent on the overall user experience.”
John K Nelson Jr., COO, REEDS Family Outdoor Outfitters

To request a demo of the Webscale CloudEDGE CDN and learn how it can boost Core Web Vitals by up to 30 points for your storefront, click here.

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