RebelMouse Feature: Improve Your Page Performance With Core Web Vitals Debugger

RebelMouse site owners already benefit from the incredible speed improvements delivered out of the box. For even more improvement specific to your site's own custom front-end design, RebelMouse site owners can now quickly determine what is hurting the key benchmarks Google calls Core Web Vitals, and find out how to improve your scores. We already know that better performance leads to more pageviews, lower bounce rate, and better SEO results, but with updates to Google Search's scoring algorithm coming soon, Core Web Vitals scores are about to play a much larger role in search rank!


Because we obsess over page speed and performance so much, we're always looking for ways to improve our network of sites. We have used CrUX historically to help us measure field data, but CrUX has a delay on when the data is available. So we now use Web Vitals Report with Google Data Studio to see near real-time data. This lets us quickly know if there are any problems with Web Vitals, as well as lets us rapidly see improvements after we deploy updates.

If you want to be ahead of the curve, you can run this report on your own site after installing this code in your production environment. If you're a RebelMouse client, you don't need to worry about installing the code, we've got you covered. Just check out your report and see how you're doing!

Below you can see what a RebelMouse client gets on scores for the key elements LCP, FID, and CLS. It's not days or weeks of engineering to get here — it literally takes years of engineering to get these kinds of scores on complex environments loaded with third-party calls and ads.

LCP

FID

CLS

In order to collect this data, we are sending events to Google Analytics for our tracking purposes. You may notice that you have a large amount of events being tracked for Web Vitals (as seen below). This is just our collection of the data in order to improve the sites and is nothing to be concerned about.

What Can Google Tell Me About My Core Web Vitals?

Using Google PageSpeed Insights (GPSI) score test page, you can see Core Web Vitals scores for any URL.

The GPSI tool is incredibly helpful in setting benchmarks, but RebelMouse wanted a way to take these measurements and give our customers a way to easily make improvements. Any site owner can make improvements on their site by analyzing the GPSI report and reviewing their code base, but this method takes time and expertise. RebelMouse users won't need nearly as much time or experience to get real improvements in two of the Core Web Vitals metrics using our debugging tool.

What Core Web Vitals Metrics Can This Tool Help?

This new tool allows RebelMouse users to find out what's hurting two of their Core Web Vital scores: the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metrics.

CLS

The CLS metric measures the amount that a page's content moves around (i.e., shifts) during the entirety of a session on a post. This may sound familiar: You open up a post on a website, and start scrolling down. Then, before you know it, the page has jumped right to a different spot, and you probably aren't even reading the same sentence anymore or, even worse, you inadvertently click on the wrong thing! This can happen as a post's images, ads, or anything else that takes up space, loads in after the content. When these extraneous visuals load, the content on the page has to move somewhere, and that's Cumulative Layout Shift.

LCP

The LCP metric looks at the largest file that needs to load in the visible part of the screen when the article first loads. Google thinks this is important because the smaller you can make your largest file, the better the experience for someone viewing the page. RebelMouse does a lot of things automatically like optimizing images, but you may find there are major things to address.

Using the Core Web Vitals Debugger

Our debugger can be accessed on any RebelMouse-powered page by appending any of the following URL parameters to one of your URLs:

  • ?debug=cls (CLS only)
  • ?debug=lcp (LCP only)
  • ?debug=cls,lcp (CLS and LCP together)

For example, the following would allow you to check an article using the CLS debugger:

www.site.com/post_name?debug=cls

The debugging tool examines the entire page in a way that human eyes are simply not able to do. If any element on the page is subject to a shift, our system is able to track the shift. We will then outline the element with a color-coded system to alert you to where the most urgent help is needed. See the red outline (fix me!) compared to the green outline (I'm good 🙂) below as an example of how we flag certain elements:

You can then hover over the individual element to get an indication of what is wrong, how it's shifting, and even suggestions on how to fix the shift:

Finally, in the upper-left corner of the screen, you can see the entire page's CLS score:

In this particular example, you can see we're in the orange, so we could use some help, but we're out of the red, so it could be worse! Note that the CLS score will continue to change as you stay on the page, as some elements may continue to shift as the page is viewed.

If you have any questions about this feature, please feel free to contact your account manager or support@rebelmouse.com — we're glad to help!

Not on RebelMouse yet? Ask for a proposal today.

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Take a peek into how our proprietary technology helps sites surge on search

The RebelMouse platform features a rich search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that guides writers and editors to think about the right search phrase behind every story, as well as how to focus on small but meaningful modifications designed to improve organic search performance.

Our SEO technology centers around best practices for search, including detailed metadata that will help Google's site crawler identify, index, and rank your content quickly. It often leads our clients to experiences traffic surges that look like the following after launching on our platform:

how to increase search traffic

Here's a look inside our proprietary technology that helps our clients experience quick search boosts that turn into long-term SEO wins.

The Search Tab

how to find the right search phrase

Every new article presents a new opportunity to win on search. RebelMouse's Entry Editor features an SEO tab that's designed to help you optimize every post to give it the best shot at winning a targeted search phrase. Here's a glimpse into how it guides editors through a perfected search strategy before the "Publish" button is even clicked.

Define Your Search Phrase

search volume data

It can be tricky to nail down which search phrase you want to win. Within the SEO tab, you can brainstorm your ideas in real time. Through the creative usage of APIs, we ensure writes and editors are armed with the right information when optimizing content for SEO. In the example above, the drop-down list is suggesting search phrases that are already performing well on Google. The number next to each recommended phrase is its monthly search volume.

This helps you determine which phrases are easy to win, or perhaps too competitive to strategize for, on an article-by-article basis. Click here to read more about this feature.

Optimize Your Slug to Match Your Search Phrase

submit url to search engines

The SEO tab in our Entry Editor is designed to repeat your desired search phrase throughout your content so that Google's crawler has every chance to index it correctly for search. With this methodology in mind, it's a best practice to have your article's URL slug match your desired search phrase. From the SEO tab, you can click the Optimize Slug button to automatically match your URL slug to the search phrase you want to win. Click here to read more about this feature.

Pick Smart Recirculation Links

seo outlinks

After you've defined your search phrase and optimized your URL slug accordingly, you can select highly relevant links to add as related content to the end of your article. We call these Around the Web (ATW) links. The SEO tab allows you to pick the best links from your own site, as well as from around the web, which leads to truly amazing traffic boosts. This is a proven SEO practice that's rewarded by Google. Since your article will link to pages already winning your search phrase, it can increase your own post's relevance score in the eyes of Google's crawler.

We automate the surfacing of both ATW and internal links for you, so it's as easy as ticking a handful of checkboxes to add them to your post. We've also done the math, and the data is clear: Adding ATW and internal links to the end of your articles can increase traffic coming to your posts from Google by over 300%! Click here to read more about this feature.

Craft Metadata Before Publish

what is seo metadata

When it comes to Google's site crawler, providing clever metadata is one of the best ways to contextualize your content for search. From there, Google's search algorithm will rank your site for search queries that it determines are relevant to your content. Our SEO tab allows you to write your metadata right from within our Entry Editor. Plus, our character counter will help you make sure that your SEO headline and description match Google's best practices for metadata text length.

It's important to make sure your metadata is clearly written in a succinct way so that Google can quickly understand the nature of your content. Click here to read more.

The RebelMouse Particle Assembler

how to optimize an article for seo

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler is a content creation tool within our Entry Editor that makes it easy to transform your posts into media-rich micro pieces of content, which we call particles, that can both be shared individually and crawled separately on search. Our Assembler functionality gives your content more legs, which means more chances to generate more traffic.

The following steps demonstrate how you can use our Assembler to optimize an article to win a search phrase.

Use Particle Headlines to Reinforce Your Search Phrase

how to write headlines for seo

Assembler is accessible via one simple click in the formatting toolbar of our Entry Editor. From there, an organizational layout will be inserted into your article that will help guide you through building out the particles that will shape your Assembler. The best way to think of Assembler is by treating it as an enhanced list format. If your article is about vegan cooking trends, each particle can feature a new trend. But Assembler does not need to be a simple list. It can also cover the main points of your article and feature user-generated content or even related stories.

Assembler is a helpful SEO tool because it can generate a unique URL slug for each particle, maximizing your article's ability to get indexed by Google for more than one key search phrase. Click here to read more about this feature.

Make the Most of Google's "People Also Ask" Module

how to optimize for people also ask

Particle headlines are also a great way to make use of Google's "People Also Ask" module. This will help you identify search patterns of users who are interested in your search phrase. By tailoring your particles to those patterns, it's likely that your post will move up in Google's search rankings. Click here to read more about this strategy.

Add Media to Every Particle

alt text for seo

Each particle is another opportunity to add relevant media to your post, and Assembler makes it easy to add alt text to every image you upload. Alt text is very important for accessibility and can also have benefits for SEO. Briefly, alt text is text that is added to an image to describe it to search engines, and also to allow people using screen readers to be able to know what the image is without actually being able to see it. You can easily add alt text to any image in RebelMouse from our Entry Editor. Adding your search phase into every alt text field will only bring you one step closer to the top of Google Search's first page.

Make the Most of Our SEO Toolset

RebelMouse's proprietary technology works for any kind of site, whether you're a brand, a new media company, or a legacy publisher. SEO doesn't have to be something that only developers and analysts can understand and augment. Our product is designed to put the power of search in the hands of content creators, editors, and social curators, too.

Start winning on search with every publish. Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

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