In 2020, Google introduced Core Web Vitals. And from that moment, everything changed. It was no longer enough for a site to be spectacular. Great sites also needed to be speedy sites, providing the ultimate experience for every visitor. So the question many business owners are asking today is:
How do we do that?
And it’s a good question. The problem is that many of the aspects that make a website ‘good’ are the exact same things that are slowing it down. Interactive elements for visitor engagement. Huge knowledge bases and extensive blogs to keep visitors on the site. Images that communicate in ways that text can only dream of. Tracking tools which make it easier to understand what visitors need. These are all things that a great website can’t do without… yet they’re limiting speed improvements.
And today, thanks to Core Web Vitals, a slow site isn’t just a visitor frustration. It could result in Google penalties that prevent you from getting to the top of the search engine results pages.
But improving site speed isn’t simply a case of getting rid of all the high bandwidth elements. Your visitors would be left with nothing. In the age of Core Web Vitals, businesses need to find a way to bring the two ideas – quality and speed – together as one. Working with each other, not against.
And the best way to achieve just that is to apply that same theory to the workplace. We need to get departments working together – collaborating – in order to tackle the speed challenge effectively.
Who’s responsible for speed? Well, it depends on who you ask. Obviously, a lot of the responsibility falls on developers. After all, they’re the ones building the site, and it’s important they do so with speed in mind. Some people might say that it’s worth having a dedicated ‘site speed team’ whose job is to ensure websites are performing as fast as possible. But here at Freestyle Internet, we think that there’s no single person, no single team, that’s responsible for site speed. It’s a combined effort.
A website that’s both spectacular and speedy requires input from multiple departments. By working together, we can effectively balance the two opposing ideas and create something that really works.
For a site that ‘does it all’, you should be bringing together the following…
Designers are essential to the process. They’re able to use their experience and know-how to recommend the best fonts, spacing, layouts, and other design elements that produce engaging, attractive, and easy-to-navigate sites without compromising on either speed or content standards.
Search engine optimisation specialists are best placed to (a) understand the primary function of each page, and (b) ensure that the content added to each page is 100% relevant. This can help to ‘trim the fat’ and produce leaner, more concise websites that aren’t weighed down by unnecessary fluff.
Marketers need insight into user behaviours. And to generate this insight, they’ll often embed tools that collect huge amounts of valuable data, yet slow down websites. Working together is key, ensuring redundant tools are removed to boost speed, while still satisfying the needs of the marketing team.
Content teams must be able to understand how their content affects speed, and follow best practices for sharing news and telling stories concisely. They should also be able to work creatively, linking together ideas into single, long-form pieces to prevent needing separate pages for each topic.
And at the very heart of this collaborative circle is you. The professionals that you choose to deliver your website matter. They must view speed as a priority. They must be willing to collaborate and work closely with your own teams. And they must be experienced in using practices that balance quality and speed. You’ve got to have trust that you’re placing your website into the best hands.
Collaboration comes from breaking down silos, and promoting the value of working together, as one, to reach a common goal. It’s important that every team has the tools they need to communicate across the organisation, and also that they understand the role others play in success.
Ultimately, collaboration is about changing the narrative, from a ‘them’ problem to an ‘us’ problem. Site speed isn’t something that can be fully resolved by ‘them’ and them alone. It’s a challenge that we’re only able to tackle if we all play a part, and work together to create something incredible.
At Freestyle Internet, we know just how important collaboration really is. Our business is built on a foundation of trust and partnerships, working together with SEO consultants and designers to transform your big ideas into a reality. We believe that listening is key, and we’re proud to collaborate with our clients every step of the way, building sites that are fast, valuable, and epically powerful.