Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The Unbeatable Strategy for SEO Success on Google’s SERP

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The Unbeatable Strategy for SEO Success on Google’s SERP

December 14, 2023

LCP is one the three important Core Web Vitals. Those who don’t know, Core Web Vitals are a set of performance metrics that have a core focus on the overall user experience, a website has to offer to its user. Google and other search engines use these vitals and sites that have good core web vitals score have an increased chances to rank higher in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

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When bots from google and other search engines crawl in your site, one of the thing they check is the loading speed of your site. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of the most important metric that measures how fast a webpage is loaded. Most importantly, it checks on how much time it takes for the largest content of the webpage to load and be visible to the user.

Now you have an idea about LCP, and his role in SEO, let’s dig deeper and see what LCP actually is, how strongly it affects search engine rankings, and things you can do to increase your chance to feature in the coveted SERP.

What is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)?

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a performance indicator or metric that checks the loading time of the largest content of a webpage. The content could be either an image, video, text or anything else that loads in the user’s viewport.

It is a crucial factor for search engine ranking as it directly affects how fast a webpage loads and offer a phenomenal interactive experience to user. It checks on factors like how smoothly a page loads, glides on the screen and become responsive to different devices. The goal as a website owner or marketer is to score a lowest LCP score when checking the core web vitals.

What is an ideal LCP score for a website?

A website should have an LCP score not more than 2.5 seconds. A lowest LCP score guarantees smoother user experience and greater chances of ranking. Meanwhile, if your site scores between 2.5 and 4 seconds, it means your site needs improvement. Search engines consider a website with a lowest LCP score as more user-friendly contents, which ultimately translates to a positive user experience. So of course, Google and search engines will prefer pages with good LCP score to users by ranking them higher in search engine results.

How is LCP measured?

You can measure LCP using the following tools and methods:

Search Console

You can check the LCP score through Google Search Console by checking the Core Web Vitals in the sidebar. LCP score is available for both mobile and desktop, giving you a clear look how your website fairs in different platforms and devices.

Google Lighthouse in Chrome Dev Tools

To check LCP in Google Lighthouse, you need to open Chrome DevTools, and go to the “Lighthouse” tab, Select “Performance”, and then configure your audit options. Now run the audit, and the tool will generate a report including LCP and other metrics. The report also comes with tips and tricks to optimize your LCP score. Lighthouse uses color codes to evaluate the LCP. Green- Good, Orange- needs improvement, and red- poor. Top of Form

Web Vitals JavaScript library

The Web Vitals JavaScript library provides an easy way to measure Core Web Vitals, including Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), on your website.

To measure LCP using the Web Vitals library, follow these steps:

Add the Web Vitals library to your HTML file. You can include it directly from a CDN or install it using a package manager like npm.

<script src=””></script>

Or if you’re using npm:

npm install web-vitals

Then, import it in your JavaScript file:

import { getLCP } from ‘web-vitals’;

Measure LCP:

Use the getLCP function to measure LCP. You typically call this function in your script after the page has loaded:

getLCP((metric) => {

  console.log(‘LCP value:’, metric.value);

  console.log(‘LCP entries:’, metric.entries);

  // You can handle the LCP value and entries here


The metric object contains information about the LCP value and entries.

Integrate with your analytics or monitoring system:

You can integrate the collected LCP data with your analytics or monitoring tools to track performance over time and identify areas for improvement.

Field Data and Lab Data: If you are an advanced user, and need more refined and real-world data, you can get our LCP scores from Field Data and Lab Data.

Field Data

Field data is a data retrieved through real users of your website. It provides insights how your website performs in various locations and conditions. For instance, the tool will check how your website performs when real users user its interface, buttons and other elements. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) and other other analytics platforms to collect real users data.

Lab Data

Lab Data is data generated in a controlled environment, especially during website development or testing. For example, you can use various tools to check how your website performed in a controlled setting. This helps developers and testers to assess and optimize your website’s performance before deploying it to the real world.

Tools you can use for getting LCP includes Lighthouse, integrated with Chrome DevTools.

How to improve LCP?

Eliminate Resource Load Delay:

Minimize delays in loading resources like images, stylesheets, and scripts to ensure faster rendering.

Eliminate Element Render Delay:

Streamline the rendering process to eliminate delays in displaying elements on the webpage.

Reduce Resource Load Time:

Optimize the loading time of resources by minimizing file sizes and leveraging efficient coding practices.

Reduce Time to First Byte:

Improve server response time to reduce the time it takes for the browser to receive the first byte of data from the server.

Utilize a CDN:

Distribute website content across a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce latency and improve loading times globally.

Ensure Right Image Sizing:

Use appropriately sized images to prevent unnecessary resource load and rendering delays.

Optimize Images:

Compress and optimize images to reduce file sizes without compromising quality. Consider using modern image formats like WebP.

Improve Server Response Time:

Optimize server settings, databases, and server-side scripts to enhance overall server response time.

Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider:

Select a reputable hosting provider with reliable infrastructure and good server performance.

Implement Caching:

Utilize browser caching and server-side caching to store static resources, reducing the need for repeated downloads.

Fix Lazy Loading Issues:

Address any issues related to lazy loading to ensure that resources are loaded efficiently, especially as users scroll through the page.

Minify CSS, HTML, and JavaScript:

Reduce the file sizes of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files by removing unnecessary characters and whitespace.

Preload Critical Resources:

Preload important resources to prioritize the loading of essential elements and enhance overall page speed.

Compress and Resize Images:

Compress images to minimize file sizes and use responsive images to ensure proper display on different devices.

Serve Images in Next-Gen Formats:

Consider using next-generation image formats like WebP to achieve better compression and faster loading times.

Eliminate Render-Blocking Resources:

Identify and optimize or defer render-blocking resources, such as scripts and stylesheets, to prevent delays in rendering critical content.

Reduce Number of Images:

Only include necessary images and avoid excessive use to prevent overloading the page with content.

By incorporating these strategies, website owners can significantly enhance their LCP scores, leading to improved user experiences and potentially better search engine rankings. It’s crucial to regularly monitor and adjust these optimizations based on evolving web performance standards and user expectations.