In the dynamic world of brand marketing, the digital experience is paramount. Historically, the speed of a website’s load time was not just a technical metric, but a reflection of franchise brands promises to consumers. Today, with the advent of Core Web Vitals (CWV), the narrative has evolved. It’s no longer just about speed; it’s about delivering a brand experience that’s seamless and intuitive, particularly on location-specific pages.
Breaking Down the Core Web Vitals
It’s no secret that the sites and pages with the strongest core web vitals will have the best SEO rankings, and user experience has never been more important. The three major types of core web vitals are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay (FID) –
Your LCP measures how long it takes the largest piece of content on a page to load. This may just be a chunk of your overall load times, but it helps you measure and track your site’s performance, Your LCP is a great place to start when addressing your core web vitals. The faster your LCP, the better.
Meanwhile, your CLS provides insights to how stable your web pages are. As your pages load, “pieces” of your page may shift, impacting your user experience. Users may see something they’d like to click on or read, only for it to move on the page so they’ll have to find it again. They may even end up accidentally clicking on the wrong thing. Your CLS should be as low as possible, and ideally less than 0.1.
Finally, your FID is a more interactive measure of speed, and tells you how long it is between when a user tries to take an initial action on your page and when your page loads as a result of that action. This could entail actions like clicking, hovering, and scrolling. The recommended FID is extremely quick – less than 100 milliseconds.
How Core Web Vitals Are Fueling the Use of CMS in Franchising
As core web vitals become a cornerstone in each brand’s digital presence, franchise brands are making a strategic pivot. They’re transitioning from local marketing suites to more robust Content Management Systems (CMS).
But what’s driving this change? An introspective look at third-party location page providers offers some clarity.
While it’s universally acknowledged that a lagging website can tarnish franchise brands perceptions and diminish search rankings, the spotlight is on core web vitals like never before.
For franchise brands with brick-and-mortar locations, location pages aren’t just digital real estate; they’re brand touchpoints. Localization can make or break a franchise’s customer experience, and it could make all the difference between a customer choosing them over a competitor.
Yet, for multi-location businesses, the stewardship of these pages often rests with third-party entities like Uberall, RioSEO, Yext, SOCI, and Chatmeter.
Assessing Your Brand’s Digital Partners:
It’s imperative for franchise brands to gauge how these third-party collaborators fare on core web vital metrics. Brands can employ tools like Google Lighthouse to emulate website performance, offering a mirror to their digital brand experience.
What is Google Lighthouse
Google Lighthouse is an auditing tool that can give you the insights you need to improve your digital presence. From your load times to SEO, accessibility, and mobile optimization, Lighthouse simulates the user experience to show you all your metrics and highlight your biggest website-related obstacles.
The insights can be revealing. Several integrated local marketing platforms exhibit glaring gaps, with LCP scores being a recurrent concern. The gold standard for LCP is a swift 2.5 seconds, a mark that many providers grapple to achieve.
What Could Be Impacting Your Core Web Vitals
Various elements can sway a website’s CWV metrics. Websites rich in content might grapple with CLS due to shifting content blocks. Features like prominent maps and initial pop-ups can be detrimental.
Even well-intentioned additions like ADA accessibility tools or chatbots can inadvertently skew your core web vitals. Yet, franchise brands have the agency to sculpt their CWV through judicious content and design decisions, ensuring their digital brand promise remains intact.
Why More Franchises Are Opting for CMS Over Local Marketing Suites
The underlying message is clear: while third-party location page providers offer convenience, they might not always be the best choice from an SEO standpoint. Progressive franchise brands are discerning the strategic advantage of exerting more authority over their location pages.
By opting for CMS, they can ensure that their pages are optimized for core web vitals thereby enhancing user experience, boosting their search rankings and ultimately, superior SEO performance for their local pages.