In late 2021, there was a collective cheer in the SEO and web developer communities.
Google had officially announced that AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages, was no longer a ranking factor. Instead of optimizing a site using AMP as a guiding factor, Google rolled out Core Web Vitals – a series of metrics that the company said would measure the real-world experience for site load and performance.
Yet with all that being said, we’ve run across some web providers in the legal space in 2022 that are utilizing AMP as a major component of their platform – and a selling point. If someone is still talking about the benefits of AMP on your law firm’s website, you need to know the facts. Instead of optimizing for AMP, you need to ensure that your law firm website hits the marks on the Core Web Vitals that can move the needle for your site today.
What Really Is/Was AMP?
Before we get into how your law firm website should be optimized in 2022 and beyond, let’s look at what AMP was to understand the picture fully.
Google has for several years been very open about the fact that it wants the website to load very quickly. This is even more crucial on mobile, as a greater percentage of overall traffic on websites slants toward mobile every year. Today, 70% of traffic is mobile in many areas, with over 50% being the norm everywhere.
To deal with the increasing search volume done on mobile devices, and the current state of web development, Google essentially offered a “cheat code” for web developers. They could install AMP on their site, which would strip the site down to bare HTML, allowing it to load very quickly on a mobile device.
As you can imagine though, the overall user experience suffered as pages didn’t offer the full display that designers and developers originally intended. The result was businesses utilizing AMP because it would get them better rankings, but conversion rates often suffered. Many companies started dumping AMP and instead focusing on ways to make their full site better optimized for mobile.
Fast forward to the 2021 announcement from Google, which not only speaks of the deprioritization of AMP as a ranking factor but gives developers insights into how to make their sites load quickly on mobile devices.
There were also issues with Google owning the AMP process and tools, and requiring websites to utilize it for online success that may have led to the quick about-face.
What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Instead of stripping web pages down to help them rank with AMP, Google did a 180 and decided to reward developers who could create websites that both provided a good mobile user experience and loaded quickly. Some key metrics that would be utilized in determining this would be referred to as the Core Web Vitals.
The three metrics that Google uses as its initial Core Web Vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures loading performance. The key metric associated with this is less than 3 seconds (2.5 seconds or less ideally).
- First Input Delay (FID): This metric measures interactivity. A good user experience is characterized as having an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric measures visual stability. The CLS score should be less than 0.1.
The Core Web Vitals are part of the bigger Page Experience algorithm that Google utilizes in ranking pages. The algorithm is how Google determines the value of a page concerning the search query that was input. The Page Experience objects include:
- Core Web Vitals – Page load and ranking factors
- HTTPS – Safe and secure site
- Safe Browsing – Site clear of phishing or other malicious software
- Mobile-Friendly – Site loads properly on mobile
- No Intrusive Interstitials – Site does not contain UX blocking elements or gates
Again, the Core Web Vitals are a clear component of site speed and play into the overall ranking algorithm, but these other factors are just as vital and should be taken into consideration with your law firm website.
A quick way to check on your Core Web Vitals is through Google Search Console, as there is now a tab integrated for this item in the interface. In addition, the Google Pagespeed Insights Tool shows much of this data as it pertains to site speed and performance. A speed test on your website only takes a few minutes and can provide some actionable insights for you and your providers.
We also wrote a whitepaper on How to Improve Your Law Firm’s Page Speed that you can use as a guide to help your efforts.
Google Approved Law Firm Website Platform
At Civille, we understand that Google holds the keys to organic success for law firms. That’s why we built our entire platform according to Google’s best practices. The Civille website platform is mobile-first and adheres to the Core Web Vitals by being the fastest website platform in the legal industry.
If you’d like to learn more about our products and services, contact us to set up a quick discussion or demo today.