INP: A New Core Web Vital

As we’ve discussed many times, SEO is an ever-changing process! Google is constantly rolling out updates to help improve the user journey on their platform, and this next wave of rollouts is one that you’ll want to pay close attention to. Google is introducing a new Core Web Vital metric called INP, or Interaction to Next Paint. As with all parts of the user experience, INP is a factor that you’ll want to understand and perfect in order to improve your user experience. In fact, Google has even released a video about identifying and correcting INP issues using a new plugin for Google Chrome, which you can see here!

As is the case with any core web vital, you should both understand what INP entails and how to combat any problems with it. We’re here to help answer any questions! If you’re unfamiliar with INP, read on to expand your knowledge and improve your website’s performance!
An illustration of a laptop with a window open. Displayed on the window is a speed gage ranging from green to red with "loading" written on the bottom. This is meant to represent page speed.

What Is Interaction To Next Paint?

The first thing you should know about INP is that it wasn’t actually a unique idea. In fact, it’s serving as a replacement for a different core web vital metric: First Input Delay (FID)! However, it’s not the same thing. First Input Delay, as you might gather from the name, refers to the speed in which a website responds to a user’s first action (ex. clicking on a different page, hitting a CTA button, viewing a photo). Data from Google Chrome highlighted how ineffective this was at capturing the full user experience. Instead, INP is taking its place! INP doesn’t just measure the first interaction. The user experience as a whole is gauged by a combination of all of the interactions in a given web session.

How To Test Your Website's INP

In general, INP is measured using three distinct parameters:

  1. Input Time
  2. Processing Time
  3. Presentation Delay

With that being said, the best way to test your website’s INP is to mirror a potential client’s interaction with the website. You can even use Chrome DevTools for more enhanced measurements! Take some time to click on your website and browse the pages like a user would. Make sure that you click on all of the important amenities! As you move through the website and test its components, you’ll be able to get a gauge of all of these metrics. If the results aren’t what you hoped, there are plenty of corrections you can make!

Fixing INP Issues

Once you’ve been able to identify issues with your website’s INP, the next step is to resolve the situation. Many of your website’s issues with this metric will solve themselves when you fix page speed. We’ve included a few helpful pointers below:

  • Install Page Speed Plugins: Especially if you use WordPress, there are a variety of plugins that can improve page speed behind the scenes!
  • Limit Complicated Scripts: The more complex a script is, the harder it will be to execute. The simpler your website operates, the greater your INP statistics will be!
  • Examine Image Quality: Having high-quality images is great for a website, but sometimes the quality can hamper page speed. A happy medium ensures that your website appears professional and stays fast!

Core Web Vital Optimization With Boston Web Marketing

In today’s world, the small details aren’t things you can skip over! You should know that these things add up, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to SEO. Boston Web Marketing can help your business juggle the many components of SEO to create the best possible strategy. We’ll give your business the best odds of appearing high on search engine results pages across the web! Don’t let core web vitals like INP hamper your website’s performance. Contact our talented team today and let us handle it!

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