CLS: do you know its importance?

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This metric is very important since it becomes one of the primary factors of ranking on Google. It is therefore necessary to understand what the CLS is in order to be able to optimize it.

What is the CLS?

The CLS refers to the movement of the various elements present on a web page. This displacement occurs when the page is downloading. It is caused by loading:

  • fonts,
  • images,
  • see videos,
  • or even contact forms …

Short, anything related to the content to be displayed. To avoid any inconvenience to the user, it is important to minimize the CLS as much as possible. Indeed, a simple movement of text can harm user experience.

What are the impacting elements?

There are several reasons that Google says creates a layout mismatch. Indeed, the latter occurs because of:

It is important for images to have height and width dimensions written into the HTML code. This detail helps you improve user experience and minimize CLS. In the case of dynamic images, the size of all the images must use the same aspect ratio.

For its part, Google is doing everything to help you minimize your CLS as well. Indeed, the search engine is satisfied with specific spaces to install its ads.

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Thus, if you correctly configure the

element (document division) supposed to host Google ads, you greatly reduce the CLS.

The ad, having a specific height and width, is limited to its insert and offers a better user experience.

Dynamic content is a specific element added to a web page. For example, it is possible to link to a YouTube video or any other external source in WordPress. The program then displays the element as a built-in dynamic object. By properly tagging this content, you significantly reduce the CLS.

Finally, poorly optimized web fonts also create a lag problem when loading the web page. To avoid this type of problem, it is important to check that the rel = “preload” command is present when downloading the font in question.

The calculation of the CLS involves two particular events: the impact proportion and the distance proportion. The impact proportion is the measure of the space occupied by a non-optimized element of a window. When this element downloads and moves, its initial location as well as its final location are calculated by the metric.

Thus, when an element occupies 50% of a display window and then, following loading, gains an additional 20%, the two values ​​are added together. The proportion of impact is then expressed as a score. For our example, the impact proportion score would be 0.70.

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The other measure is the proportion of distance. This is expressed based on the amount of space generated by the movement of the element on the page. Thus, the proportion of distance takes into account the home position and the end position.

In the example we took previously, this proportion of distance represents 20%. To calculate the CLS, the algorithm is based on a multiplication of the two data. Thus, our example gives us the following formula: 0.70 x 0.20 = 0.14

Of course, to this score are added many other mathematical parameters. Here, we want to simplify the calculation in order to properly popularize what the CLS is. However, the score obtained by this calculation is a great way to measure user experience.

cls calculation

Other ways to measure it

There are other ways to measure CLS. Indeed, webmasters use simulations to calculate the user experience score. Theoretically, they simulate a real user browsing a web page. Using Chrome Dev Tools, for example, it’s possible to get as close as possible to a page’s theoretical CLS score.

These simulations are ideal for understanding how a layout works. The webmaster, before the website goes online, checks the correct functioning of the web page before distributing it to users. In this way, he visualizes layout problems and resolves them instantly.

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The importance of the CLS in 2021

Today more than ever, the user experience is an element to respect. With this in mind, it is important to take into account all the parameters that considerably improve the experience that your user has on your website.

If the layout shift was not a priority for Google, in 2021, it becomes and is part of the long list of parameters to be respected for stay in the SERPs ranking. While it is not necessary to carry out the calculation of the CLS score on your own, it is very important to understand that it becomes an additional criterion on the Internet.

Fortunately, there are many tools that help make your site better every day. By relying on the results recorded by the dedicated tools, you optimize your site even before it is online. Of course, if in doubt, you can always hire a web marketing agency. Specialized in the field, these web players know precisely what needs to be changed to improve your site.

By taking the CLS seriously and applying the various optimization parameters of your website, you improve your ranking in the SERPs and enjoy full visibility for your services.

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