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How To Completely Optimize Your Google Business Profile

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How To Completely Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is a free feature from Google that helps business owners manage their online presence across the search engine and its growing portfolio of utilities, including Google Maps.

Seasoned SEO professionals use Google Business Profiles to leverage a location-based strategy.

Creating a Google Business Profile is the first step to local search success.

And for good reason.

GBP offers the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure.

A feature like Google’s Local Search emphasizes the need for a GBP for both new and established businesses.

Google Business Profiles: The Basics

It gives a list of businesses nearby and a lot of information needed to find a specific business like:

  • Business address.
  • Business hours.
  • Category.
  • Reviews.
Screenshot from search for [pizza near me], Google, September 2020

Google’s Knowledge Graph also utilizes verified Google Business Profile information.

It helps generate details for its database about businesses and related entities that are relevant to specific searches.

Once a new profile is created, a Google Maps location is then generated.

That synchronizes with traditional Google Search for ease of access and searchability.

It certainly helps that the clear majority of organic searches come from Google – around 90% for worldwide search engine market share.

It also shows the value of a GBP and effective local SEO.

Use this guide to ensure you’ve completed your Google Business Profile correctly and optimized all possible facets of the tool.

Doing this will also give the most leverage for your business on Google and third-party platforms that use the Google Maps API to generate location information for users.

If digital marketing is a somewhat new endeavor for you and your business, there are some basics to know.

And it’s good to understand Google Business Profiles and the value they offer.

First off: Yes, using Google Business Profile is free.

And, no, a GBP doesn’t replace your business’s website.

Google Business Profiles complement a brand’s already-existing website(s) by giving it a public identity and presence with a profile on Google.

The information provided about a business through Google Business Profiles can appear in Google Search and Google Maps.

Any third-party platform utilizing the Google Maps API will also show Google Business Profiles regardless of what device type is being used to search.

If you’ve previously used certain Google tools to complement your business (Google+, for example), or your business has been operating for a while, chances are your business is already listed on Google Business Profiles.

Google My Business, Google Places for Business, and the Google+ Pages Dashboard were the best ways to manage your business information previously.

These have automatically been upgraded to Google’s universal platform, Google Business Profiles.

Starting Your Google Business Profile

The first step to getting your Google Business Profile up and running is to actually conduct a Google search to ensure your business doesn’t already have one.

You can also use Google’s in-platform search feature to locate your business on GBP.

Starting Your Google Business ProfileScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

If your business has been around for a while (several years or more), it’s likely it already has a GBP, and you just need to claim it.

Once successfully claimed, you can manage the information as if you started the GBP yourself.

If there is already a profile for your business, it will notify you.

It may also notify you that someone else has already claimed your business.

If that happens, follow these steps.

If your business profile is not already created, you can set it up pretty quickly.

Verification takes a bit longer to complete, but it can usually get done within a week.

Start with the official business name before inputting more important info. Then input your main business category.

 

Building your GBPScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

You can change and add to this later, but this is a critical part of completing (and optimizing) your brand page.

Be sure to find the best relevant category for your business.

There are a lot of variations to choose from, but there should be at least one that summarizes your business best and most accurately.

You will then be asked if you want to “add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”

This is valuable information since many businesses operate as service-area businesses and do not need/allow customers at the brick-and-mortar location.

For these instances, the specific location of the business will not show up on Google Maps.

However, the business will still show up for relevant searches in its service area.

Adding location in your GBPScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

For those businesses that operate in a specific service area and don’t want the actual brick-and-mortar location to show up in Maps, select the service area(s) that pertain to the business.

Adding area to your GBPScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

You can then add contact information for the business, including the contact phone number and the current website URL.

For businesses with that brick-and-mortar location that people can go to during business hours, you should add the business address next.

Adding an address to your GBPScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

Once the address is set, Google Business Profile will ask if you “also service customers outside this location?”

It lets you set where/how far the business is willing to physically go to deliver goods or services.

If yes, you will be able to walk through the same service-area business details.

You can add or change service area details at any time.

If you don’t service customers outside of the brick-and-mortar, select No, then input contact details on the next prompt.

Adding contact information to your GBPScreenshot from Google Business Profile Manager, September 2020

After that, you can then click Next to verify the profile.

Verifying Your Google Business Profile

You need to verify your Google Business Profile.

This is done via postcard by mail, which takes up to five business days.

It proves to Google you can manage and do, in fact, represent the business you claim.

Verifying your business is crucial for the visibility and performance of the profile.

It’s important to know that Google won’t display your business or its edits until the business is verified.

Without verification, you cannot access page insights/analytical information or business reviews from the back end.

Verification typically takes less than a week.

Google will send you a verification code postcard that you will use to verify your profile, and your business will officially be live.

After you confirm the verification method, you can add additional details about your business, including business hours, business messaging options, a business description, and photos.

Publishing Your Google Business Profile

Once you complete this process, you will be taken to Google Business Profile Manager, where you can manage your business profile and modify your details.

Here are some basic but crucial tips for optimizing your profile:

1. Enter Complete Data For Your Profile

Local search results favor the most relevant results for searches.

Businesses offering the most detailed and accurate information will be easier to serve in search.

Don’t leave anything to be guessed or assumed.

Make sure your profile communicates what your business does, where it is, and how they can acquire the goods and/or services your business is offering.

2. Include Keywords

Just like traditional website SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to serve search results.

Including important keywords and search phrases to your business profile will be incredibly helpful, especially since your business website is listed directly within your GBP.

Use these in the business description and each time you post a Local Post to your audience.

3. Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate

It’s important to put your business hours, but it’s equally important to update them whenever they change.

Google offers the ability to customize hours for holidays and other special events.

It should always be updated to keep your site accurate and users happy.

And, in the age of COVID-19, GBP offers even more flexibility around hours and messaging for potential customers.

Note: Additional hours won’t show for your business until regular hours are set.

4. Add Photos

Photos help business profiles’ performance more than most business owners and marketers probably expect.

Businesses with photos on their profiles receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos, according to Google.

Keep reading for more GBP photo tips below.

5. Manage & Respond To Customer Reviews

Interacting with customers by responding to their reviews illustrates that your business values its customers and the feedback that they leave regarding it.

Positive reviews are going to have a positive effect on potential customers when researching your business.

They also increase your business’s visibility in search results.

Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews for your business.

6. Let Customers Message You

It can be somewhat inconvenient at times, but messages to and from customers are only available through the Google Business Profile app.

To do so, tap Customers, then Messages, then Turn on through the app.

Once enabled, customers will be able to message businesses through their Business Profiles with the Message button that appears.

Messages can have customized automated responses to welcome customers for incoming messages.

This helps with the responsiveness and visibility of the business since response times won’t suffer as badly.

For maximum performance and visibility through the GBP, it’s critical to keep message response time under 24 hours.

But obviously faster is better.

Customers don’t want to wait for answers, and oftentimes a fast answer is the difference between a customer and a non-customer.

7. Use Local Posts

You can publish offers, events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps through posts on Google Business Profiles.

Posts let you engage with your audience and keep your presence fresh on Google.

And they can be sent on the go from either a phone, tablet, or computer.

Businesses can also influence their Knowledge Panel breakouts with direct feedback about their businesses and the people that represent them.

Some Google-provided tips for making the most out of Local Posts are: Make sure each post is high-quality – free of spelling errors, broken characters, gibberish, or useless information.

And they should be respectful and non-offensive.

The best posts include visuals and links, but the links should always be to sites that are trusted.

Links that lead to malware, viruses, phishing, or pornographic material aren’t allowed.

Posts from businesses that operate on regulated goods and services are allowed to use posts but can’t post content related to the products themselves.

These industries typically include:

  • Adult services.
  • Alcohol and tobacco.
  • Pharmaceutical products and recreational drugs.
  • Health and medical devices.
  • Gambling-related services.
  • Fireworks.
  • Weapons.
  • Financial services.

These posts can and will show up in Google, so they need to be kept PG.

8. Stay Connected During COVID-19

This year has provided us with plenty of surprises. The biggest has been COVID-19 and the craziness it left (and continues to leave) in its wake.

If stores operate differently than normal due to COVID-19 restrictions, mandates, or safety guidelines, businesses can update their profiles on GBP to provide the most accurate information to customers.

Recently added features make communicating with current and potential customers easier in the time of the pandemic.

In addition to customizable business hours and Local Posts, a business can:

  • Mark store temporarily closed.
  • Manage delivery options.
  • Add healthy and safety attributes.

9. Use The Special Attributes

Newer features to GBP allow Black-owned and women-led businesses to be highlighted on their profile.

These also allow for other features like outdoor seating and the like.

If the business is healthcare-related, additional attributes may be available including:

  • Inform customers whether your business offers online care.
  • Provide customers with a direct method to schedule and receive online care.
  • Edit your gender information.

The attributes available to your listing depend on its primary category. Learn more about attributes here.

10. Use The Product Catalog

For merchants with products to showcase, GBP’s Product Editor allows them to do just that.

Most business types are eligible to showcase products, so long as they are small- and medium-sized businesses; and a few business verticals.

Larger businesses need to use Local Inventory Ads to showcase their products.

Offering information about products, including pricing, details, and photos, allows customers to get a better idea of products offered and interact more with businesses.

These product details also allow Google to better understand a business.

Photos & Videos For Your Google Business Profiles

The most important piece of imagery for a GBP is obviously the logo.

There likely won’t be an image that gets more exposure or has more of an impact.

Google recommends businesses use their logo to help customers identify your business with a square-sized image.

Other types of digital assets that should be added to your GBP are:

Cover Photo

Your cover photo should showcase your brand page’s personality.

The cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of the brand’s business profile, it will always be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Interior Photos

This helps customers better understand the in-store experience at a business.

It lets business operators share the look and feel of the business interior, so make a good impression!

It also lets potential customers get a visual idea of the store, its layout, and any potential limitations it may have.

Video

Videos are one of the most popular media forms on the web.

It’s because they are extremely effective at telling a story and/or explaining something that could otherwise potentially be tough to explain.

Additional Photos

Other kinds of photos are used to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions.

These photos will differ from the above-mentioned rich media and are dependent on the kind of business you manage.

These photos may include other general photos that summarize the business and what it can do for its customers.

They can be:

  • Goods and/or services your business offers.
  • Business staff working and/or assisting customers.
  • The exterior of the business and available parking.

All photos should follow Google’s best practices:

  • Format: JPG or PNG
  • Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB
  • Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
  • Quality: The photo should be in focus and well-lit, and have no alterations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.

Google also offers the opportunity for a Virtual Tour, which will further enhance the brand profile’s visibility.

It can also draw traffic to the business with a 360-degree interactive experience.

Monitoring Your Google Business Profile Insights

Over the last several years, Google has made tremendous strides with available analytical data for Google Business Profiles.

Now called Insights, Google offers businesses a different way to understand how customers interact with business profiles, including:

  • How customers find your profile.
  • Where customers find you on Google.
  • Customer actions.
  • Direction requests.
  • Phone calls.

How Customers Find Your Profile

This section of Insights shows how customers found you in a “Direct” search (they searched for your business name or address) versus a “Discovery” search (they searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your profile appeared).

These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:

  • Total searches.
  • Direct searches.
  • Discovery searches.

Where Customers Find You On Google

This section shows how many customers found you via Google Search or Google Maps.

Besides Listing on Search and Listing on Maps, you’ll see the number of views your profile received from each product in the timeframe you’ve selected.

According to Google, “views” are like “impressions” on other analytics platforms.

To see how many people found you on a particular product on a particular day, place your cursor over the appropriate segment of the graph on the day you’re interested in.

These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:

  • Total views.
  • Search views.
  • Maps views.

Customer Actions

This section shows what customers did once they found your profile on Google.

Total actions give the total of the following types of actions that customers took on your profile:

  • Visit your website.
  • Request directions.
  • Call you.
  • View photos.

The following labels are available as reports in this reporting section:

  • Total actions.
  • Website actions.
  • Directions actions.
  • Phone call actions.
  • Direction requests.

This part of Insights uses a map to show where people are that are requesting directions to your business.

Your business location is identified on the map and some of the most common spots that people request directions to your business from are shown.

It even breaks the total number of direction requests down by city or neighborhood.

Phone Calls

This section shows when and how often customers called your business via your profile on Google.

At the top of the section, Total calls give the total number of phone calls for the selected time frame.

The graph offers the ability to view trends by phone calls by either day of the week or time of day.

This lets marketers and business operators know when customers are most likely to call after seeing your GBP.

Photos

Lastly, GBP allows you to examine how often your business’s photos are being viewed with the Photo views graph and Photo quantity graph.

There are also lines on the graphs that compare your business’s photo data with photo data for other businesses similar to yours.

Section of this reporting component includes bulk insights for:

  • Total owner photos.
  • Owner photo views.
  • Total customer photos.
  • Customer photo views.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

How To Completely Optimize Your Google Business Profile




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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.

Ready to start optimizing your website? Sign up for DebugBear and get the data you need to deliver great user experiences.


Image Credits

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

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