What is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and how it affects SEO

Google Core Web Vitals

The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)together with the Cumulative Layout Shift and the First Input Delay, form the Google Core Web Vitals, metrics of navigation quality and user experience that, for some time now, have been Google’s new SEO positioning factor.

The Largest Contentful Paint is one of three metrics that analyze usability and user experience on a website as part of the Google Core Web Vitals.

LCP is a metric that is responsible for measuring how long it takes the main content of a web page to download and be fully ready for the user to interact with. In this case, the largest image or block of text that appears within the user’s viewport is measured, anything beyond this frame does not count.

Elements that are measured are images, banner images, video thumbnails, background images, and text elements such as blocks or sections with “

” paragraph tags.

This is an important metric for measuring user experience, as it allows you to measure how long it takes for a web page to be fully functional for a user. Moreover, of the three metrics that make up the Core Web Vitals, LCP is also the easiest to measure and optimize.

This is because the elements that cause the LCP score are usually contained in blocks using HTML “main”, “p”, “div” or “section” tags, making them simpler to manage. At the same time, it is simple to understand and measure, since it is enough to look at the web page and determine which is the largest text or image, and optimize it by removing any elements that make it difficult to load or making it smaller.

How to troubleshoot problems with LCP?

To fix a problem with a large image that takes a long time to load, the best thing to do is to always upload images at the right size. Many professionals upload the image at full size and then use HTML or CSS tags to adjust the size. This causes the image to initially load at full size (causing CLS issues) or take longer to load as it must be resized to fit.

On the other hand, images loaded from a CDN do not count towards the LCP, so there is no problem if a large image is loaded from an external server.

Another common problem that often causes a bad LCP score is slow servers. In this case, you should look to improve server performance, either by switching hosting companies or installing CDNs. In some cases, slow server loading may be due to problems with DDOS attacks, so it is possible to install defense plugins.

Other common problems that cause a bad LCP score are solved by optimizing the rendering of screen elements, using style sheets (CSS) or applying JavaScript solutions that allow “preloading” of certain large or heavy elements.

In other cases, it is possible to speed up the loading of elements by removing all CSS code that is not essential for the correct initial loading of the web page.

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