Optimizing Performance for a Global Audience

Bookaway, a travel booking service, recently improved their website’s performance by auditing Core Web Vitals. Liran Cohen, a member of the Bookaway team, shared their process for auditing and monitoring Web Vitals and the effort it took to improve their site’s performance.

Bookaway is a digital travel brand that connects travelers with transport providers worldwide. Their goal is to simplify travel planning by offering a one-stop solution for all transportation needs.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for Bookaway’s success. They rely on organic traffic to increase visibility and profitability. Google’s Core Web Vitals, a set of performance metrics, play a significant role in SEO efforts.

The Core Web Vitals metrics include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). While optimizing for FID and CLS was relatively straightforward, improving LCP posed more challenges due to various factors involved.

LCP measures the time it takes for the main content on a webpage to load. Achieving a good LCP score involves optimizing stages such as Time To First Byte (TTFB), HTML processing, fetching and decoding images, and rendering the largest contentful element.

To monitor their website’s performance, Bookaway uses Next.js for real-time monitoring and stores data in BigQuery for analysis. They visualize the data using Looker Studio, which allows them to identify trends and make data-driven decisions.

Bookaway also implemented a Content Delivery Network (CDN) using Amazon AWS CloudFront. This CDN improves performance by caching web content and delivering it to users based on their geographic location. They also adopted the stale-while-revalidate strategy to address rarely visited pages.

The optimization efforts resulted in a significant improvement in LCP and TTFB metrics. The implementation of the CDN reduced LCP from 3.5 seconds to 2 seconds, and the stale-while-revalidate strategy further decreased LCP to 1.7 seconds. TTFB decreased from 2 seconds to 1.24 seconds.

Bookaway’s site performance improvements were reflected in the “Page Experience” section of Google Search Console, which evaluates user experience metrics. Their site received a 79% good page experience report.

In conclusion, Bookaway’s experience with improving Core Web Vitals highlights the importance of optimizing website loading and rendering, implementing performance monitoring tools, and considering static content delivery and CDNs. Each website may have different priorities and challenges, but these lessons can be applied to improve overall user experience and SEO rankings.