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What are Core Web Vitals and How Do They Affect a Website’s SEO?

Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.

Core Web Vitals are the subset of Web Vitals that apply to all web pages. This should be measured by all site owners, and will surface across all Google tools. Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience; it is measurable in the field, and reflects the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome.

The metrics that make up Core Web Vitals will evolve over time. The current set for 2020 focuses on three aspects of the user experience: loading, interactivity and visual stability.

In May 2021, Google announced that it will include Core Web Vitals of page experience as a Google ranking factor.

In this article, we will go into detail about what Google Core Web Vitals are and how to test your website’s Web Core Vitals. Also, we will talk about effective ways to improve your Core Web Vitals so that you get a better user experience and rank higher on Google search results!

What are Google Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are pagespeed and user-experience (UX) metrics that Google considers when ranking a website in Google search results. These vitals focus on how quickly page content loads, how quickly a user can interact with page elements and the stability of content while the page loads.

Three Signals for Google Core Web Vitals 2021

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP is related to loading performance. It measures how fast the largest elements are rendered on the user screen.
  2. First Input Delay (FID): It measures interactivity by calculating the time the user takes to start interacting with your page.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures the visual stability of the visible elements’ movement within the viewport.Have you ever been reading an article online when something suddenly changes on the page? Without warning, the text moves, and you have lost your place. Even worse: you are about to tap a link or a button, but the instant before your finger lands—BOOM—the link moves, and you end up clicking something else! Most of the time, these kinds of experiences are just annoying, but in some cases, they can cause real damage. The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metric helps you address this problem by measuring how often this is occurring for real users

Cumulative Layout Shift

How Can Users Find out their Core Web Vitals Metrics?

The easiest way to find your Core Web Vitals report is through your Google Search Console account. Other tools you can use are:

  1. Chrome User Experience Report
  2. PageSpeed Insights
  3. Google Search Console (Core Web Vitals report)
  4. Web-vitals JavaScript library
  5. Web.dev
  6. Web Vitals Extension
  7. Chrome DevTools
  8. Lighthouse
  9. WebPageTest
  10. ContentKing

Does Core Web Vitals Affect SEO?

Thoughts about the effects of the new search Web Core Vitals on SEO and search ranking vary. Examples include:

  • Danny Sullivana, renowned SEO specialist and search specialist, has stated that website owners should pay attention to their websites’ Core Web Vitals, but should not  expect it to have a major impact on the search results.
  • Michael Martinez, Another SEO specialist, commented in a Facebook SEO group about this update: “Core Web Vitals is not a requirement for better rankings. It won’t affect most sites’ rankings. That isn’t what it’s all about.”

That said, Google continues to update its search algorithm to deliver user-friendly webpages to users. It is likely that Google has or will include a website’s Core Web Vitals metrics as a part of the search engine’s algorithm to help Google display more user-friendly content higher on search results.

How Can I Improve my Google Core Web Vitals?

To “pass” Core Web Vitals benchmarks, 75% of your page visits should meet the recommended thresholds. If under 75% of your page visits do not meet the requirements, such as stable content or quick pageload time, you can optimize your website to improve your Core Web Vitals scores.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):

Every page on your site should have 2.5 seconds or less in the LCP section, especially if you have large web pages or many pages with lots of features.

Largest Contentful Paint

Tips for improving LCP

  • Remove any unnecessary third-party scripts.
  • Upgrade your hosting plan or use a good web hosting company to speed up your website page loading time.
  • Set up lazy loading, which makes images load only once users scroll down.
  • Remove unnecessary large elements on a page.
  • Minify your CSS, or it could delay LCP times.

First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring load responsiveness because it quantifies the experience users feel when trying to interact with unresponsive pages—a low FID helps ensure that the page is usable.

Google suggests that a website’s FID score should be under 100ms.

First Input Delay

To improve FID, you can engage in the following:

  • Minimize (or defer) JavaScript.
  • Remove any non-critical third-party scripts.
  • Use browser cache to improve pagespeed loading time.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS is a measure of the largest burst of layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of a page.

Cumulative Layout Shift

A layout shift occurs any time a visible element changes its position from one rendered frame to the next.

To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of 0.1 or less. To ensure you are hitting this target for most of your users, a good threshold to measure is the 75th percentile of page loads, segmented across mobile and desktop devices.

As mentioned, when trying to optimize CLS, it should reach under 0.1. To improve the CLS, you can use the following tactics:

Set size attribute dimensions for media files on your page such as GIFs or videos.
Add new user-interface (UI) elements below the fold.

Improve your Core Web Vitals with these tips

Overall, you can improve your Core Web Vitals by following these tips:

  • Reduce JavaScript (JS) execution.
  • Speed up visual load times by preloading key resources.
  • Minimize long tasks.
  • Reserve a specific space for images and large embedded elements to load into.
  • Implement lazy loading on the website images and other elements.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Audit your website for security issues.
  • Ensure that forms and embedded resources are served via HTTPS.
  • Ensure interstitials do not obstruct crucial content.
  • Keep validating issues in Google Search Console Core Web Vitals report.

Final Words

In addition to the typical SEO factors, such as meta description or title tag, Core Web Vitals are incredibly important because they measure your website’s UX and site efficiency. UX and site efficiency are essential factors in engaging audiences and converting leads. By optimizing your website and passing Core Web Vitals scores, you will ensure that your website visitors or clients reach their desired webpages easily and gain enjoyable experiences from your website.

If you have any questions about Core Web Vitals or want help with improving your website’s Core Web Vitals, contact us and we will be delighted to help!

Contact Us Today

We are here to help you with your digital marketing needs!

Contact Us Today

We are here to help you with your digital marketing needs!