Improving Cumulative Layout Shift Score

The Importance of Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) for Your Website

Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is & How to Improve Your Score

What is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)?

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a Core Web Vital that measures unexpected shifts in a page‘s content. In simpler terms, it refers to the amount of visual instability users experience when interacting with a web page. This can be caused by elements on the page moving around unexpectedly, leading to a poor user experience.

Why is CLS Important?

CLS is important because it directly impacts user experience. When users visit a website, they expect a smooth and seamless browsing experience. If elements on the page shift around unexpectedly, it can be frustrating for users and lead to a higher bounce rate. In addition, Google has announced that CLS will be a ranking factor in its search algorithm starting in 2021. This means that websites with a poor CLS score may see a drop in their search rankings, resulting in less organic traffic.

How to Improve Your CLS Score

Improving your CLS score is essential for providing a better user experience and maintaining your search rankings. Here are some tips to help you improve your CLS score:

1. Optimize Images and Videos

Large images and videos can cause layout shifts on a web page. To prevent this, make sure to optimize your images and videos by compressing them and using the correct dimensions. This will help reduce the chances of unexpected shifts in content.

2. Reserve Space for Ads and Embedded Content

If your website displays ads or embedded content, make sure to reserve space for them to prevent layout shifts. This can be done by using placeholders or setting fixed dimensions for these elements so that they do not cause unexpected shifts in content.

3. Load Fonts Properly

Fonts play a crucial role in the overall layout of a web page. To prevent layout shifts caused by font loading, make sure to specify font sizes and styles in your CSS and use font-display: swap; to ensure that text remains visible while fonts are loading.

4. Avoid Dynamically Injected Content

Avoid dynamically injected content that can cause layout shifts on your web page. If you need to add content dynamically, make sure to reserve space for it beforehand to prevent unexpected shifts in content.

5. Test Your Website

Regularly test your website using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse to identify any issues that may be causing layout shifts. These tools can provide insights into your CLS score and suggest ways to improve it.

Conclusion

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important metric that measures the visual stability of a web page. Improving your CLS score is essential for providing a better user experience and maintaining your search rankings. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can optimize your website to reduce unexpected shifts in content and improve your overall user experience. Remember, a smooth and seamless browsing experience is key to keeping users engaged and coming back to your website.

By prioritizing CLS and making the necessary adjustments to your website, you can ensure that users have a positive experience when interacting with your content. This will not only benefit your users but also help you maintain a strong online presence and attract more organic traffic to your website.

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