It’s been a few months since Google launched their Core Web Vitals (CWV) update, which had a rankings impact on the websites for many physicians, medical practices, and healthcare systems.
The Google Web.Dev website is a great resource to help with a doctor’s website affected by the Core Web Vitals. Here you can find a Google recommended audit workflow and develop an optimization plan post Core Web Vitals.
I’ll summarize the ABC approach that Google lays out below:
A: Evaluate the Current State of Your Website and Identify Problem Areas
There are many audit tools you can utilize, such as:
CrUX Dashboard: This tool provides an overview relative to your Core Web Vitals metrics.
Search Console: Google Search Console can help you identify specific pages on your website that require attention and currently have a poor patient experience.
PageSpeed Insights: This tool allows you to really dive into measuring the patient’s user experience (UX) on certain pages of your website.
Additionally, there are questions to consider, such as:
- How is my website performing currently? Does it actually require attention?
- Have my local rankings increased or decreased?
B: Debug and Optimize
Once you have your findings and identified opportunities for improvement, you can move on to step B. To start, begin by spending some time considering a few questions Google recommends, such as:
- What is the best way to optimize these pages?
- Where is the low-hanging fruit that can be fixed first?
- Are there fixes that require more planning? If so, what are they?
Again, Google provides some helpful tools for this step:
Lighthouse: By using Lighthouse, you can see the load time optimizations and use that information to improve the patient’s experience.
Web Vitals Extension: This tool is used to measure the First Input Display of a page.
Chrome DevTools: You can use this tool to debug performance issues and text changes made to your code.
C: Monitor and Update as Needed
After you complete steps A and B and then implement the required updates, you’ll want to continue monitoring your site to see if further updates are needed.
Algorithm updates like Core Web Vitals are examples of why I often say that the days of “build it and forget it” websites are done. For doctors to be successful with SEO, it’s a continuous process of both content and technical updates.
Following Google’s guidance and audit strategy for updates like these may be a lot of work. Still, it’s a great way to stay on top of your website and outrank the local competition.