Without optimized Core Web Vitals, you could be losing visibility and customers to your competitors.
Google’s Core Web Vitals are a suite of metrics that evaluate the user experience on your website based on responsiveness, speed, and visual stability. These metrics are a few of many ranking signals used to determine where your website appears in the search results.
Any effective SEO strategy needs the combination of a solid technical website foundation and well written, useful content. What many businesses often fail to recognize is that the user experience of your website is equally as important.
You can have the most informative guides and blogs on your website, but if they are laced with a terrible user experience (shifting layouts, slow load times, etc.) you most likely are not going to achieve the user engagement, or the search engine rank, you desire.
While the importance of user experience has been reinforced by Google by rolling out various ranking updates like mobile first indexing and website security, it wasn’t until 2020 that they announced overall user experience was going to become a ranking signal. Google is combining multiple metrics that are now known as Core Web Vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a subset of Web Vitals or metrics that measure elements of a user’s experience on a web page. The main aspects of Core Web Vitals measure loading speed (LCP), page interactivity/responsiveness (FID), and visual stability (CLS).
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This Core Web Vital measures the web page’s loading performance. LCP is a measurement of how long it takes a page to load from the viewpoint of an actual user.
An optimal LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
First Input Delay (FID)
This Core Web Vital measure the web page’s interactivity. FID is a measurement of how long it takes before a user can interact with your website (click a menu item, entering an email address, etc.).
An optimal time to interactivity should be less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This Core Web Vital measures the web page’s visual stability. CLS is a measurement of how much and how often your website has elements that “shift” or move around as the page loads. Shifting elements generally cause a poor user experience, especially on e-commerce websites.
How to Improve Core Web Vitals
While Core Web Vitals are relatively new ranking signals, issues flagged in Google Search Console should be prioritized as they both impact website ranking and indicate issues with user experiences. Expect the goal-posts of Core Web Vitals to continue to evolve as technologies advance and your customer’s’ online journeys change.
Improving your website’s Core Web Vitals includes:
- Improving website loading times by removing large page elements, removing unnecessary third-party scripts, upgrading your web hosting, and minifying CSS
- Minimizing layout shifts by adjusting attribute dimensions, adding UI elements below the fold, and reserving space for ad elements
Staying up to date on the optimal website enhancements for users and search engine rankings is what we do at Ontario SEO. Let our technical SEO experts ensure your website provides the best online user experience for your current, past and potential customers.