Most companies tend to constantly update and optimise their websites by adding more and more content. However, they tend to overlook the fact that website and webpage performance is much more important than the content because this is the first thing analysed during user experiences. Simply choosing an SEO company is not enough; you must check analytics to analyse user experience.
This is why First Contentful and Meaningful Paint play such vital roles in page performance. Google has provided these metrics to measure how your site is performing from a user’s perspective. They come from Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tools (PSI) and tell you how successful your website is and what areas need improvement.
This guide will walk you down everything you need to know about First Contentful and Meaningful Paint and how you can improve them.
Before we discuss improving these performance metrics, it would be helpful to get a refresher on what they are.
First Contentful Paint (FCP) refers to the time it takes for the website to display the first few pieces of content. These typically include the header, but it can be any content that appears first. The main aim of FCP is to show that the website is functioning correctly and will provide the requested content.
First Meaningful Paint (FMP) refers to when the actual content is displayed on the website. This holds much more value because this is the content that visitors come to your site for. Hence, FMP refers to how long visitors have to wait actually to see this.
This meaningful and valuable content differs according to the website it is. It could be anything; written content like blogs, videos, images, etc.
First of all, you should be using Google PageSpeed Insight tools to measure these performance metrics. This metric should ideally be less than 1.8 seconds, which will allow you to get a favourable score from Google.
It also provides you with tailored suggestions on improving these scores. The most valuable and common recommendations they give include the following five:
HTTP caching is when the browser stores resources from a website to reduce server lag or paint time. These include content, fonts, styles, and media files. Retrieving and downloading all of this takes time.
Hence, you can also make use of HTTP caching for repeat visits. It can help improve site speed for those visitors coming to your website again because it stores assets in a cache for faster retrieval. It does this without making another trip to the server, saving time.
As a result, overall speed and performance metrics are significantly improved when this is done properly. It can make a world of difference to your page loading speed.
To minify file sizes, you must remove all extraneous spaces and characters. This would be harder to read for humans, but it will be much smaller and compact. The browser does not have issues with the lack of readability and will download it quickly.
Alternatively, you can also compress these files by identifying patterns and duplication and then resourcefully encrypting them. This will reduce paint time by removing excessive and unnecessary bytes.
Critical Rendering Path includes all of the assets needed by the browser to load the page and tend to visitors’ requests. You want to prioritise those assets that are essential to the visitor at that moment, which can only be done by optimising the Critical Rendering Path.
When optimising your website, you must remember to keep testing and incorporating the suggestions provided by Google PageSpeed insights. Both the First Contentful Paint and First Meaningful Paint should be at least one second.If your website is too slow, the best way to improve it is by using the suggestions mentioned above. You can also implement them successfully by leveraging Web integrations- a web design company in Aberdeen. They can make the process easier for you.