#4: Hieronymous Bosch levels of detail
It’s a newsletter from Ercule! 👋 In this issue:
- Why giant image files matter, and what to do about them
- More on Core Web Vitals, and how Google Search Console can help
- Finding joy on the web
- URL shortening is over! Try URL lengthening instead. Plus, building trust through content marketing, and hiding nice messages in Google Analytics.
🖼 Attack of the giant .jpgs
You want your site to load as quickly as possible. Site speed is becoming an increasingly important factor in whether your site ranks. And it has a major impact on conversions, too.
A big culprit we’re seeing for slow site speed these days is – oversized images!
- Your 2,000 x 2,000 pixel Ultra HD author thumbnail
- Images that aren’t compressed at all, but could be, with no loss of quality
- A blog image with detail like a Hieronymous Bosch painting. (Actually, this would be cool, let us know if you do this)
These are easy mistakes to make. Fortunately, they’re also easy to correct. Here’s what you can do:
- Look through your CMS image library. Sort the images by size. Look for images that are larger than around 500kb and see if they really need to be that big. (And note that things like icons should be much, much, smaller).
- Most CMSes have plugins that ensure images have optimal compression. Or use something like Image Optim before you upload.
- Talk to your web dev. Ask: What are we doing to compress images?
- Talk to your graphic designer. Ask: Can you provide cropped and sized images, if you aren’t already?
- Build good habits. Whenever you add an image to a post from now on, make sure the dimensions aren’t any bigger than they need to be.
🌱 Core Web Vitals are slightly delayed
Google had planned to roll out its new Core Web Vitals ranking criteria this month. (We went into detail in a previous newsletter).
But now Google has decided to delay the rollout to mid-June, gradually, completing the rollout in August. So you’ve got a little more time to get the optimization process underway.
In anticipation of the rollout, they’ve released a new Page Experience report, designed to give you a more nuanced view of page performance across your site.
You’ll need to set up Google Search Console to use the report. If you haven’t used Google Search Console, it’s well worth your time to get it set up. Very, very well worth your time.
Search Console will give you access to tons of Google’s internal information about your site, including whether Google views it as a good experience for users, how much you’re showing up in (not just getting traffic from) search, and much more.
Ask your dev team how they’re preparing for this page experience shift. Send them a link to the Page Experience report and ask them if it’s pointing out any unforeseen avenues for optimization.
🥰 Finding joy on the web
Look, above, we said some boring stuff about the importance of optimizing file sizes. (We totally stand by that, by the way, it’s important.)
What’s also important is fun. A marketer who’s having fun is a much better marketer.
So take part of your brain and think about file sizes, and then take another part of your brain and think about fun, engaging design. Whimsical.club is a great resource – they’re advocating for quirky, outlandish, personal web experiences. A couple of favorites:
- Lots of visual treats are hidden on Cassie Evans’ site, and some great talks and articles.
We’ll throw out a shoutout to Glitch, too, which has one of the more engaging product-driven websites we’ve seen in a while.
- Inspired by Maya Best over at Sysdig, we came up with an idea to brighten your marketing friends’ day with a secret message in their Google Analytics data.
- Learn how to use content marketing to build trust from our friend Leah Friedman, on the 3C podcast.
- Short URLs are over. Make an extra-long URL instead!
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🕵️ About Ercule
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