Previously, measuring how quickly the primary content of a web page loads and is accessible to consumers has been difficult for web developers. Load or DOMContentLoaded were the older metrics that are no longer useful since they do not always match what the user sees on their screen. Furthermore, newer, user-centric performance indicators such as First Contentful Paint (FCP) only capture the first few seconds of the loading experience. The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a significant, user-centric statistic for assessing perceived load speed since it indicates when the website’s primary content has likely loaded—a quick LCP helps convince the user that the page is helpful. It was in 2021 that the Google user experience metric Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) became a ranking factor.

How to fix the Largest Contentful Paint issue?

Sometimes, when you go to a website, instead of seeing a well-designed homepage, you may get nothing but a blank screen. This can occur as a result of problems with the largest contentful paint element. Simply put, this indicates that if the website’s largest element isn’t entirely loaded, visitors will see nothing but a blank page. This not only degrades the user experience on your website but can also cause visitors to leave right away.

Slower server response times, render-blocking JavaScript and CSS, slower resource load times, and client-side rendering can all contribute to poor largest contentful paint. If your site’s JavaScript and CSS are render-blocking resources, it might result in a poor largest contentful paint.

There are certain steps to fix the largest contentful paint element issues:

  • Server response times should be reduced

The most common cause of resources not loading quickly on websites is your hosting plan. A shared hosting package will not provide lightning-fast server response times for most online shops. A sluggish host server makes it impossible to have a fast, responsive website. Aside from hosting, improving your server to handle traffic spikes is a smart approach to minimize LCP element problems. The usage of third-party plugins and technologies might potentially slow down the server response time. It increases the number of resources your site needs to fully load web pages by adding to your code. One of the greatest strategies to keep your LCP scores low is to enable page caching on your website.

  • Optimize your images to load quickly

To load any image rapidly without generating any LCP difficulties, make sure it is optimized. Images can be compressed to load faster for all sorts of visitors and internet connections. Individual demands and business objectives must be considered while determining the appropriate compressional ratio. Furthermore, when it comes to images, most website owners make the error of employing a single large image for all screen sizes. Large photos must be optimized so that no additional resources are consumed. After giving several image sizes of the same picture, let the browser determine which image size to use.

  • CSS and Javascript components should be optimized

All critical CSS and JavaScript files must be rendered before your browser can load your webpage. If CSS and JavaScript files are not optimized inside your code, this will slow down page load times and result in a low LCP score. Minifying and compressing code is one of the greatest techniques to eliminate superfluous “junk” code from your website in order to minimize file size and enhance page loading rates. Another excellent technique to improve response times and page speed is to remove all non-essential CSS and only use important CSS resources. Once you’ve identified the key CSS resources above the fold, you may experiment with eliminating or decreasing any irrelevant CSS from the code.

  • High-priority materials should be preloaded

One thing that can help you speed up page load times and decrease your website’s LCP score is pre-loading important resources. You may preload above-the-fold photos, videos, important CSS, and fonts on your website so that they can be utilized whenever they’re needed without causing a delay later. Reducing the file size of text files like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript will enhance your website’s LCP score. As text files are transmitted between the servers and the browser, it also improves loading times.

Why is LCP important for SEO?

Site speed is generally recognized as a ranking factor in the SEO market, but there are a number of reasons for this, and hence a variety of reasons why LCP will have an impact on SEO. We’ll explore five reasons why a decent LCP is vital for SEO and increasing the visibility of your websites to your target audience.

  1. It is a measure created by Google

There are other search engines than Google, but because it is one of the most widely used, it is generally the one that businesses aim for first. Furthermore, when it comes to new features and algorithms for SEO, many other search engines like to follow Google’s lead, so it’s always a good idea to listen to the experts.

  1. Rankings are influenced by site speed

The speed of a website is an essential aspect of its overall performance, and it is one of the signals that a search engine’s algorithm considers when ranking sites. Bounce rates are greater for sites that take longer to load. Many users will exit a website after three seconds if it has not loaded. Higher bounce rates might lead to lower conversion rates, which can have a detrimental influence on your SERP visibility.

  1. Crawling is hampered by slow loading

You may gain a better knowledge of the load time of your web pages by using LCP reporting. This might reveal any areas that need to be improved in order to lower your LCP. This is important since poor page speeds restrict the number of pages a search engine can crawl at once, affecting your indexation. This will have a direct impact on how highly your site ranks in SERPs.

  1. User experience is a key SEO ranking element

Page speed is crucial to visitors since it affects their experience on your site. Google has algorithms in place that seek to rank your web pages based on how enjoyable they are. It is an essential part of their algorithm to look at how delightful it is for people to browse your website. After all, they don’t want slow-loading, difficult-to-navigate web pages to appear at the top of their search results.

  1. Visitors value content.

The LCP measure accomplishes something that no other metric does: it prioritizes content experience over all other aspects of user experience. Presenting relevant material that is valuable to the visitor has always been a big aspect of SEO and ranking high. This increases your domain authority and convinces the search engine that you’re a useful and reliable source that deserves to rank higher in the SERPs.

What is a good LCP score?

LCP evaluates rendering time, therefore the lower your score, the better, because your users will view the important material sooner. The 75th percentile of page loads, divided across mobile and desktop devices, is an excellent benchmark to measure to verify you’re reaching this objective for the majority of your consumers.

For a good score, LCP should be less than or equal to 2.5 seconds. In this situation, the page will obtain a green score and will pass the test. If your LCP is between 2.5 and 4.0 seconds, you’ll receive an orange grade since your score “needs improvement.” Assume the LCP is longer than 4 seconds. The score is then marked as “bad,” and you must rectify it as soon as possible.

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Final thoughts

Largest contentful paint is a metric that shows how well your website is performing overall. It is the most significant measure for determining your website’s page speed and response time. You may strive for a lower LCP score by going through the many methods we outlined to solve the most contentious paint element issues. 

However, if you fail to monitor LCP and solve issues, it is going to be a major blunder that will harm not only the usability of your site but also your ability to attract consumers in the first place. Moreover, if you will implement the techniques discussed in this post, it will surely increase your LCP scores, enhance user experience, and assist you in meeting your conversion targets.

Samien Kidwai

Hailing from an academic background, I have been an Assistant Professor in Mass Communication with an additional decade of experience in creative writing. I’m passionate about music and theatre with an inclination towards movies. Being an avid reader, I love to scribble my thoughts and ideas when I’m not running behind my 8 year old daughter.