When it comes to SEO, perhaps you are already well aware of the importance of keyword research and metadata but have you ever given a thought about the Core Web Vital stats for your website?
Not too long ago, Google made waves when they announced that while page experience was always an integral part of web development and its impact on user experience, now it was now going to become an even bigger factor when it comes to search engine ranking.
Why are Core Web Vitals So Important?
Core 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. In a nutshell, your Core Web Vitals scores paint a picture that tells the story of your website’s user experience.
With a good Core Web Vitals report, you’ll learn about your website’s load speed, its response rate, and if there are any unexpected layout changes as the page loads. It also will show your website’s URL performance grouped by status (Poor, Needs improvement, Good), metric type (CLS, FID, LCP), and URL group (groups of similar web pages).
The report is based on the three main pillars of metrics as measured by actual user data: LCP, FID, and CLS.
What are the 3 Pillars of Core Web Vitals?
There are three Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures how long it takes for the largest piece of content to appear on the screen. This could be an image or a block of text. A good grade gives users the feeling that the site loads fast.
- First Input Delay (FID): A Core Web Vital that measures the time in milliseconds from when a user first interacts with your site (i.e. when they click a link, tap a button, or press a key) to when the browser is able to respond to that interaction.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): A measure of how much a webpage unexpectedly shifts between initial loading and page complete. For example, if a website visitor loaded a page and, while they were reading it, a banner loads and the page text jumps down, that would constitute a large CLS score.
How Can I Measure my Site’s Core Web Vitals?
There are many tools out there which will scan your website to score each area and provide you with actionable advice if needed. The tools we use ourselves are free and easy to understand, often with a traffic light system so you can prioritise any actions needed.
Here is a short list of the most popular tools to measure your site’s Web Vitals:
PageSpeed Insights A full-service website measuring tool with both field and lab data, it is a more compact version of Google’s Lighthouse Report. PageSpeed Insights focuses its audit on a single web page while Lighthouse will audit an entire website.
Lighthouse Google initially built Lighthouse as a tool to audit PWAs (Progressive Web Apps), but now it’s a great tool to monitor web performance. Lighthouse is more in-depth than PageSpeed Insights and can provide you with a wealth of information, just be aware that the information it provides can be a little more technical than most reports.
Search Console Core Web Vitals Report Found as a part of Google Search Console, this tab allows you to see a list of problem URLs to improve as well as a Validate Fix button to put in a request for Google to re-examine your updated pages.
With Knowledge Comes Power
Now that you’ve viewed your Core Web Vitals scores, you have actionable tasks to delegate to your team to help improve your website. As time goes on Google is putting greater emphasis on web content that is beneficial to humans rather than optimised for gamifying their algorithm changes. The improvements you make to your website will soon have a powerful impact on your site’s user experience keeping your users happy as you reap the rewards rising through the ranks of the SERPs.
Need help with improving your website’s Core Web Vitals? Drop us a line, we’re here to help!
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