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Creating SMART SEO Goals For Your Enterprise Business

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A goal is only as useful as the thoughtfulness of creating it.

Like many overused marketing terms and cliches, a “goal” can become an overbearing or meaningless word or purposeless objective.

Employers may hand them down without fully understanding the feasibility of accomplishment. Employees may feel pressured to meet assigned goals, realistic or unrealistic, without a plan for how to reach them.

In particular, marketing leadership often overlook SEO goals if they assume organic is a cost-free acquisition channel that will automatically work for them behind the scenes.

Those who’ve worked in SEO for even a short time know that’s not how it works.

Especially in enterprise organizations.

While it can be challenging to determine the full impact of one’s SEO efforts, there are multiple KPIs and productive methods of tracking the effect of optimizations.

The most useful method of creating meaningful goals is applying the SMART framework to your KPIs.

You can apply the SMART framework to any goal, company, or business. But for SEO, there are particular considerations to include in your goal-building process.

And by layering SEO throughout this process, you’ll find goals that accurately reflect the impact of your SEO efforts and demonstrate you can deliver what you promised.

What Is A SMART Goal?

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic (or Relevant), and Timely (or Time-bound).

When creating any goal, ensure that those five dimensions apply to your goal.

As part of the goal-setting process, ask yourself each of these questions:

  • What specifically is it that you plan to measure?
  • Do you have a way to measure the KPI?
  • Can you make an actionable impact on this KPI?
  • Is the specific item you’re aiming to improve realistically changing based on your actions? Is it relevant to your company objectives?
  • In what timeframe do you estimate showing your efforts’ impact on the KPI?

Go through these and only proceed to the next question if you can determine a reasonable answer to each.

Once you’ve answered each question, transform your findings into a definitive statement. And there you have it.

Applying The SMART Goals Process To SEO

The five principles of SMART can be applied to any business, company, or client.

But when creating SMART goals specifically for SEO, here’s how you should think about applying each to your goal-building process.

Specific

The purpose of SMART goals is to demonstrate the impact of specific marketing efforts, or in this case, your search and site optimizations.

Ultimately, you want to prove that your optimizations increased your business’ or client’s objectives and goals

Therefore, start the set-up of each SMART goal by choosing one particular KPI.

Limiting each goal to one KPI helps ensure the accuracy of the remaining four qualifications of SMART.

When picking a KPI for SEO, start by checking if you can tie your SEO KPIs into broader business goals and objectives.

That way, you can demonstrate how your search optimizations support your company or client’s marketing conversion funnel.

Within the funnel, these KPIs often start with total impressions on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)and end with sales, purchases, or other financial transactions.

SEO KPIs Across The Marketing Funnel

Top Of Marketing Funnel (Awareness)

  • Total impressions.
  • Page 1 search volume.
  • Clicks from search engines.
  • CTR from search engines.
  • Users from search.
  • Pageviews from search.
  • On-page conversions from search traffic.
  • Earnings from search traffic.

Bottom Of Marketing Funnel (Conversion)

You may be inclined to rely on other SEO metrics such as specific results types, including Answer Boxes (also known as Featured Snippets), or People Also Ask placements.

However, there are two reasons to avoid those types of metrics.

They can drastically fluctuate in unrelated ways to your efforts, and more importantly, they don’t directly tie to the bigger picture business goals of traffic and conversions.

In contrast, Page 1 placements represent the number of times your content shows up on Page 1 of the SERP. There’s less than a 2.5% chance of a click if your content is not on Page 1.

So your presence on Page 1 is a huge indicator of the organic traffic you may be able to drive.

Similarly, conversions and earnings from search are particularly powerful KPIs to include in your goals as they help prove SEO and Content Marketing ROI, both critical determinants of marketing success.

Overall, it’s essential to ensure that our goals are crystal-clear and connected to our business objectives so everyone from the boardroom to the marketing department understands what success looks like.

Measurable

Fortunately, most SEO metrics are easy enough to track, as long as you have the right platforms, tools, and/or software set up to ingest your data:

  • Website analytics, traffic, and acquisition sources can be tracked through tools such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or other tracking software.
  • Search engines let you track your visibility, rank, and clicks of keywords that show your website through tools such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • Platforms such as  BridgeEdge, Conductor, and Semrush capture your keyword rankings, rank changes, keyword MSV, result types, and so on for keywords you’ve tracked and those you research. Some have integrations that allow you to ingest your website’s data and crawl it.
  • Site crawling can also happen with separate tools like ContentKing and DeepCrawl that track technical SEO components, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags, flag site errors, monitor Core Web Vitals like site speed, and more.

Before adding any of the metrics from these sources, you’ll need to establish a benchmark for it.

Timing and reporting will be discussed in greater detail when we get to the T in SMART, but essentially, your goal needs a comparison between two different points in time.

To compare data effectively, you’ll have to establish the baseline for the previous month, if not the year.

Unfortunately, it can be especially difficult to prove certain changes resulted in specific measurable metrics for SEO. And that needs to be expressed clearly when constructing and explaining your goals.

However, using segments to track specific pages you’ve updated and keywords for which you’re trying to optimize will help demonstrate whether results improved after your optimizations.

And by trying to ensure that you (or your content or web team) make your optimizations as close together as possible, you’ll have an easier time tracking changes over time.

Attainable And Achievable

There are many achievable and actionable ways to impact organic search performance.

SEO initiatives include keyword research, competitive analysis, site auditing, data analysis, resulting in optimization recommendations for new content, existing content, and technical fixes that improve the conversion funnel.

And hopefully, helps you beat out your competitors.

But not all SEO efforts can be tracked or clearly measured. Some challenges include not knowing the following:

  • When Google crawls a new web page or recrawls an optimized one.
  • When the SERP is updated to show optimized content.
  • If the content is still relevant to consumers at that time to encourage clicks.
  • If anything breaks on your site that causes errors or hurts rank or Core Web Vitals.

That last one represents why site health, internal/external linking, or other technical SEO metrics aren’t recommended for SMART Goals. There are just too many variables that you can’t control.

But by constructing your SMART Goals in a way that follows the conversion funnel, you can see the full picture that should more clearly highlight trends in organic success.

If any part of the funnel fluctuates unexpectedly, that may help flag external issues negatively impacting your success.

Plus, as long as you plan out your optimizations in advance, you can align your monthly goals to the level of impact you plan to have.

As long as you make those updates, you can get a sense of what you can achieve a month after each round of updates goes live.

Even if you don’t have SMART Goals for all parts of the funnel, tracking them will still help you better understand the role of organic at each stage and help you evolve your goals.

Realistic

Achievable also means realistic. Regardless of leadership expectations or the desire to set aggressive goals, you need to set reasonable expectations.

An up-and-coming company or one with very low SEO maturity may be able to set steep goals, at least initially, if they plan to implement improvements to the basic tenets and foundations of SEO.

A company already has a fairly high level of SEO maturity if they’ve optimized technical components, they are monitored frequently, and content is optimized regularly. It may only grow 7%–12% in metrics like organic traffic year over year.

So company context is key.

Before choosing specific metrics and estimating the improvement you’ll make, ask yourself:

  • Can you realistically make headway on the keywords that you’re going after?
  • Is there actual interest in the pages you’re trying to optimize?
  • Will your optimizations actually go live?
  • Do you have the resources to do the necessary SEO research and publish changes?
  • Do you have the reporting set up to measure your KPI?
  • Does the expected impact you intend to have on SEO match the SEO maturity level of the company or client you’re optimizing for?

Any one of these should be considered blockers when creating a SMART Goal.

Some versions of SMART use Relevant as the R.

But incorporating specific KPIs from within the conversion funnel that aligns with broader business objectives and goals – all of which are already built into this process – will ensure relevancy.

Time-bound And Timelined

Results should be demonstrable within an allotted time frame.

Establish a timeline with start and end dates to track when you expect to see your desired results based on when you begin your work.

This drives you to accomplish your goals in a set period and proactively manages leader and colleague expectations if someone asks you to speed up your efforts or asks why you haven’t achieved any of your goals sooner.

The actual optimizations you’ll want to measure, whether they are content or technical, can often be counted as soon as they go live, especially when SEO experts have direct access to edit their website.

But to adequately measure the impact of SEO efforts and prove effectiveness, either content or technical, you generally have to wait at least a month to begin measuring meaningful results.

Their impact could be visible as soon as the search engine crawls the page where the change happened.

But their impact needs at least a month to account for delays in crawling, for the change to reflect in the SERP, and for users to start engaging with content.

Especially if you have a site that is crawled less often, it may take Google an extended amount of time before it recrawls your site, allowing it to recognize the change.

Considerations Of SEO SMART Goals

Once you have considered all five of these components, carefully consider how they apply to the work you do regularly.

If you don’t find that your projects allow you to establish such goals, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your efforts or connect with your manager on expectations, available resources, and tracking options.

Framework For Creating SMART SEO Goals

To start building your own SMART goals for SEO, apply this process to each:

  • Pick any of the KPIs. One at a time.
  • Ensure that it aligns with broader business goals.
  • Review all SMART concepts and confirm you can apply the principle to your work using the following matrix.

SEO SMART Goals Matrix

Examples Of SEO SMART Goals

Based on this framework, you might create SEO SMART goals such as:

  • Move 20 optimized pages currently on Page 2 to Page 1 between 2022 Q2 and 2022 Q3.
  • Increase clicks from Google by 6% MoM (May to June 2022).
  • Increase organic traffic to your website by +10% by August 2022.
  • Maintain a base of 20,000 organic visitors per week.
  • Increase organic traffic to optimized pages by +16% within two months of the optimizations (July 2022).
  • Increase organic downloads by 7% per page between new content published in ‘22 1H and new content published in 2022 2H.
  • Increase revenue by 5% from organic sources for the next three months (June–Aug 2022).

Customizing Your SMART Goals For SEO

While you could adapt any of these goals to suit your SEO objectives and for any business, you’ll still have to consider the customizations needed.

When working on the R part of your SMART Goals, make sure you align the percentage increase with the extent of the effort you’ll be able to actualize.

Base the increases on original levels of impressions, organic users, and conversions per optimized page and total MSV and original placement of keywords.

If you have time, test out the impact of your optimizations for one or two months to determine the type of lift you see and aim to replicate that moving forward.

Regardless of customizations, ensure that your process follows the central tenants of SMART, as summarized in this infographic:

Image created by author, May 2022Infographic for How to Set SEO SMART Goals

Challenges When Creating SEO SMART Goals

In some cases, you may need to broaden your goal to get it approved.

While you may not have a choice in the matter, inform leadership that the numbers you estimate are based on the impact you believe you will have on the pages and keywords you are optimizing for.

Certain technical improvements, structural and speed enhancements, and optimizations on components that impact more of the site (headers, footers, pages with multiple incoming and outgoing links, etc.) may help overall findability.

But they are fairly difficult to attribute to specific actions and are especially challenging to report on.

Stick to reporting on your more trackable efforts.

Conclusion

Building goals is a challenging process.

It’s a serious task that takes careful consideration, team collaboration, and, most notably, the ability to deliver what you proposed is necessary to reach the goals.

And just because you create a goal using the SMART process doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to meet it, let alone surpass it.

But the SMART framework – when applied conscientiously, accurately, and honestly – will ultimately help you help yourself.

It will support your ability to prove your value when implementing SEO and demonstrate how both you and your endeavors benefit your company and its goals.

Featured Image: Natee K Jindakum/Shutterstock

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No Algorithmic Actions For Site Reputation Abuse Yet

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Looking up at an angle at the Google sign on the Head Office for Canada

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has confirmed that the search engine hasn’t launched algorithmic actions targeting site reputation abuse.

This clarification addresses speculation within the SEO community that recent traffic drops are related to Google’s previously announced policy update.

Sullivan Says No Update Rolled Out

Lily Ray, an SEO professional, shared a screenshot on Twitter showing a significant drop in traffic for the website Groupon starting on May 6.

Ray suggested this was evidence that Google had begun rolling out algorithmic penalties for sites violating the company’s site reputation abuse policy.

However, Sullivan quickly stepped in, stating:

“We have not gone live with algorithmic actions on site reputation abuse. I well imagine when we do, we’ll be very clear about that. Publishers seeing changes and thinking it’s this — it’s not — results change all the time for all types of reasons.”

Sullivan added that when the actions are rolled out, they will only impact specific content, not entire websites.

This is an important distinction, as it suggests that even if a site has some pages manually penalized, the rest of the domain can rank normally.

Background On Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Earlier this year, Google announced a new policy to combat what it calls “site reputation abuse.”

This refers to situations where third-party content is published on authoritative domains with little oversight or involvement from the host site.

Examples include sponsored posts, advertorials, and partner content that is loosely related to or unrelated to a site’s primary purpose.

Under the new policy, Google is taking manual action against offending pages and plans to incorporate algorithmic detection.

What This Means For Publishers & SEOs

While Google hasn’t launched any algorithmic updates related to site reputation abuse, the manual actions have publishers on high alert.

Those who rely heavily on sponsored content or partner posts to drive traffic should audit their sites and remove any potential policy violations.

Sullivan’s confirmation that algorithmic changes haven’t occurred may provide temporary relief.

Additionally, his statements also serve as a reminder that significant ranking fluctuations can happen at any time due to various factors, not just specific policy rollouts.


FAQ

Will Google’s future algorithmic actions impact entire websites or specific content?

When Google eventually rolls out algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse, these actions will target specific content rather than the entire website.

This means that if certain pages are found to be in violation, only those pages will be affected, allowing other parts of the site to continue ranking normally.

What should publishers and SEOs do in light of Google’s site reputation abuse policy?

Publishers and SEO professionals should audit their sites to identify and remove any content that may violate Google’s site reputation abuse policy.

This includes sponsored posts and partner content that doesn’t align with the site’s primary purpose. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk of manual penalties from Google.

What is the context of the recent traffic drops seen in the SEO community?

Google claims the recent drops for coupon sites aren’t linked to any algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse. Traffic fluctuations can occur for various reasons and aren’t always linked to a specific algorithm update.


Featured Image: sockagphoto/Shutterstock



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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

WP Rocket, the WordPress page speed performance plugin, just announced the release of a new version that will help publishers optimize for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), an important Core Web Vitals metric.

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a page speed metric that’s designed to show how fast it takes for a user to perceive that the page is loaded and read to be interacted with. This metric measures the time it takes for the main content elements has fully loaded. This gives an idea of how usable a webpage is. The faster the LCP the better the user experience will be.

WP Rocket 3.16

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps a site perform faster. The way page caching generally works is that the website will store frequently accessed webpages and resources so that when someone visits the page the website doesn’t have to fetch the data from the database, which takes time, but instead will serve the webpage from the cache. This is super important when a website has a lot of site visitors because that can use a lot of server resources to fetch and build the same website over and over for every visitor.

The lastest version of WP Rocket (3.16) now contains Automatic LCP optimization, which means that it will optimize the on-page elements from the main content so that they are served first thereby raising the LCP scores and providing a better user experience.

Because it’s automatic there’s really nothing to fiddle around with or fine tune.

According to WP Rocket:

  • Automatic LCP Optimization: Optimizes the Largest Contentful Paint, a critical metric for website speed, automatically enhancing overall PageSpeed scores.
  • Smart Management of Above-the-Fold Images: Automatically detects and prioritizes critical above-the-fold images, loading them immediately to improve user experience and performance metrics.

All new functionalities operate seamlessly in the background, requiring no direct intervention from the user. Upon installing or upgrading to WP Rocket 3.16, these optimizations are automatically enabled, though customization options remain accessible for those who prefer manual control.”

Read the official announcement:

WP Rocket 3.16: Improving LCP and PageSpeed Score Automatically

Featured Image by Shutterstock/ICONMAN66

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

This post was sponsored by DebugBear. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Keeping your website fast is important for user experience and SEO.

The Core Web Vitals initiative by Google provides a set of metrics to help you understand the performance of your website.

The three Core Web Vitals metrics are:

This post focuses on the recently introduced INP metric and what you can do to improve it.

How Is Interaction To Next Paint Measured?

INP measures how quickly your website responds to user interactions – for example, a click on a button. More specifically, INP measures the time in milliseconds between the user input and when the browser has finished processing the interaction and is ready to display any visual updates on the page.

Your website needs to complete this process in under 200 milliseconds to get a “Good” score. Values over half a second are considered “Poor”. A poor score in a Core Web Vitals metric can negatively impact your search engine rankings.

Google collects INP data from real visitors on your website as part of the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). This CrUX data is what ultimately impacts rankings.

Image created by DebugBear, May 2024

How To Identify & Fix Slow INP Times

The factors causing poor Interaction to Next Paint can often be complex and hard to figure out. Follow this step-by-step guide to understand slow interactions on your website and find potential optimizations.

1. How To Identify A Page With Slow INP Times

Different pages on your website will have different Core Web Vitals scores. So you need to identify a slow page and then investigate what’s causing it to be slow.

Using Google Search Console

One easy way to check your INP scores is using the Core Web Vitals section in Google Search Console, which reports data based on the Google CrUX data we’ve discussed before.

By default, page URLs are grouped into URL groups that cover many different pages. Be careful here – not all pages might have the problem that Google is reporting. Instead, click on each URL group to see if URL-specific data is available for some pages and then focus on those.

1716368164 358 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of Google Search Console, May 2024

Using A Real-User Monitoring (RUM) Service

Google won’t report Core Web Vitals data for every page on your website, and it only provides the raw measurements without any details to help you understand and fix the issues. To get that you can use a real-user monitoring tool like DebugBear.

Real-user monitoring works by installing an analytics snippet on your website that measures how fast your website is for your visitors. Once that’s set up you’ll have access to an Interaction to Next Paint dashboard like this:

1716368164 404 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Interaction to Next Paint dashboard, May 2024

You can identify pages you want to optimize in the list, hover over the URL, and click the funnel icon to look at data for that specific page only.

1716368164 975 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideImage created by DebugBear, May 2024

2. Figure Out What Element Interactions Are Slow

Different visitors on the same page will have different experiences. A lot of that depends on how they interact with the page: if they click on a background image there’s no risk of the page suddenly freezing, but if they click on a button that starts some heavy processing then that’s more likely. And users in that second scenario will experience much higher INP.

To help with that, RUM data provides a breakdown of what page elements users interacted with and how big the interaction delays were.

1716368164 348 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Elements view, May 2024

The screenshot above shows different INP interactions sorted by how frequent these user interactions are. To make optimizations as easy as possible you’ll want to focus on a slow interaction that affects many users.

In DebugBear, you can click on the page element to add it to your filters and continue your investigation.

3. Identify What INP Component Contributes The Most To Slow Interactions

INP delays can be broken down into three different components:

  • Input Delay: Background code that blocks the interaction from being processed.
  • Processing Time: The time spent directly handling the interaction.
  • Presentation Delay: Displaying the visual updates to the screen.

You should focus on which INP component is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time, and ensure you keep that in mind during your investigation.

1716368164 193 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Components, May 2024

In this scenario, Processing Time is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time for the set of pages you’re looking at, but you need to dig deeper to understand why.

High processing time indicates that there is code intercepting the user interaction and running slow performing code. If instead you saw a high input delay, that suggests that there are background tasks blocking the interaction from being processed, for example due to third-party scripts.

4. Check Which Scripts Are Contributing To Slow INP

Sometimes browsers report specific scripts that are contributing to a slow interaction. Your website likely contains both first-party and third-party scripts, both of which can contribute to slow INP times.

A RUM tool like DebugBear can collect and surface this data. The main thing you want to look at is whether you mostly see your own website code or code from third parties.

1716368164 369 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Domain Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

Tip: When you see a script, or source code function marked as “N/A”, this can indicate that the script comes from a different origin and has additional security restrictions that prevent RUM tools from capturing more detailed information.

This now begins to tell a story: it appears that analytics/third-party scripts are the biggest contributors to the slow INP times.

5. Identify Why Those Scripts Are Running

At this point, you now have a strong suspicion that most of the INP delay, at least on the pages and elements you’re looking at, is due to third-party scripts. But how can you tell whether those are general tracking scripts or if they actually have a role in handling the interaction?

DebugBear offers a breakdown that helps see why the code is running, called the INP Primary Script Invoker breakdown. That’s a bit of a mouthful – multiple different scripts can be involved in slowing down an interaction, and here you just see the biggest contributor. The “Invoker” is just a value that the browser reports about what caused this code to run.

1716368165 263 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Invoker Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

The following invoker names are examples of page-wide event handlers:

  • onclick
  • onmousedown
  • onpointerup

You can see those a lot in the screenshot above, which tells you that the analytics script is tracking clicks anywhere on the page.

In contrast, if you saw invoker names like these that would indicate event handlers for a specific element on the page:

  • .load_more.onclick
  • #logo.onclick

6. Review Specific Page Views

A lot of the data you’ve seen so far is aggregated. It’s now time to look at the individual INP events, to form a definitive conclusion about what’s causing slow INP in this example.

Real user monitoring tools like DebugBear generally offer a way to review specific user experiences. For example, you can see what browser they used, how big their screen is, and what element led to the slowest interaction.

1716368165 545 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a Page View in DebugBear Real User Monitoring, May 2024

As mentioned before, multiple scripts can contribute to overall slow INP. The INP Scripts section shows you the scripts that were run during the INP interaction:

1716368165 981 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP script breakdown, May 2024

You can review each of these scripts in more detail to understand why they run and what’s causing them to take longer to finish.

7. Use The DevTools Profiler For More Information

Real user monitoring tools have access to a lot of data, but for performance and security reasons they can access nowhere near all the available data. That’s why it’s a good idea to also use Chrome DevTools to measure your page performance.

To debug INP in DevTools you can measure how the browser processes one of the slow interactions you’ve identified before. DevTools then shows you exactly how the browser is spending its time handling the interaction.

1716368165 526 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a performance profile in Chrome DevTools, May 2024

How You Might Resolve This Issue

In this example, you or your development team could resolve this issue by:

  • Working with the third-party script provider to optimize their script.
  • Removing the script if it is not essential to the website, or finding an alternative provider.
  • Adjusting how your own code interacts with the script

How To Investigate High Input Delay

In the previous example most of the INP time was spent running code in response to the interaction. But often the browser is already busy running other code when a user interaction happens. When investigating the INP components you’ll then see a high input delay value.

This can happen for various reasons, for example:

  • The user interacted with the website while it was still loading.
  • A scheduled task is running on the page, for example an ongoing animation.
  • The page is loading and rendering new content.

To understand what’s happening, you can review the invoker name and the INP scripts section of individual user experiences.

1716368165 86 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Component breakdown within DebugBear, May 2024

In this screenshot, you can see that a timer is running code that coincides with the start of a user interaction.

The script can be opened to reveal the exact code that is run:

1716368165 114 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of INP script details in DebugBear, May 2024

The source code shown in the previous screenshot comes from a third-party user tracking script that is running on the page.

At this stage, you and your development team can continue with the INP workflow presented earlier in this article. For example, debugging with browser DevTools or contacting the third-party provider for support.

How To Investigate High Presentation Delay

Presentation delay tends to be more difficult to debug than input delay or processing time. Often it’s caused by browser behavior rather than a specific script. But as before, you still start by identifying a specific page and a specific interaction.

You can see an example interaction with high presentation delay here:

1716368165 665 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the an interaction with high presentation delay, May 2024

You see that this happens when the user enters text into a form field. In this example, many visitors pasted large amounts of text that the browser had to process.

Here the fix was to delay the processing, show a “Waiting…” message to the user, and then complete the processing later on. You can see how the INP score improves from May 3:

1716368165 845 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of an Interaction to Next Paint timeline in DebugBear, May 2024

Get The Data You Need To Improve Interaction To Next Paint

Setting up real user monitoring helps you understand how users experience your website and what you can do to improve it. Try DebugBear now by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

1716368165 494 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Core Web Vitals dashboard, May 2024

Google’s CrUX data is aggregated over a 28-day period, which means that it’ll take a while before you notice a regression. With real-user monitoring you can see the impact of website changes right away and get alerted automatically when there’s a big change.

DebugBear monitors lab data, CrUX data, and real user data. That way you have all the data you need to optimize your Core Web Vitals in one place.

This article has been sponsored by DebugBear, and the views presented herein represent the sponsor’s perspective.

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Featured Image: Image by Redesign.co. Used with permission.

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