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Core Web Vitals

Written by Dennis Ventura
January 28, 2023

Google considers Core Web Vitals to be a set of particular elements that contribute to a web pages overall user experience. Three specific page performance and user interaction statistics cover core web vitals: largest contentful paint, initial input delay, and cumulative layout shift.

In a nutshell, Core Web Vitals are a subset of variables that will be included in Google’s “page experience” score (essentially, how Google evaluates your website’s overall user experience).

The Core Web Vitals metrics for your site may be seen in the “enhancements” area of your Google Search Console account.

Why Are Core Web Vitals Important?

Page experience will be the official Google ranking criteria in the future.

The user experience on a page will be a jumble of variables that Google considers relevant, including:

  • HTTPS
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Lack of interstitial pop-ups
  • “Safe-browsing” (basically, not having malware on your page)

And core web vitals represents will play a significant role in that score.

Indeed, based on the announcement and the term, it’s safe to assume that basic web vitals will account for most of your page experience score.

It’s crucial to note that a high page experience score won’t automatically propel you to the top of Google’s search results. Google quickly clarified that page experience is one of several (about 200) characteristics they consider when ranking websites in search.

However, if you want to raise your Core Web Vitals score before then, that’s fantastic.

Let’s break down all three core web vitals in this article. And I’ll show you how to make each one better.

core web vitals

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is the time it takes for a page to load from the perspective of a real user. In other words, it’s time it takes from when you click a link to when you view the majority of the content on your screen.

LCP is distinct from other page speed indicators. Many other page performance indicators (such as TTFB and First Contextual Paint) don’t always reflect what it’s like to open a user web page.

LCP, on the other hand, concentrates on the most important aspect of page speed: the ability to see and interact with your website.

Google PageSpeed Insights can help you determine your LCP score, which is beneficial, particularly when identifying opportunities for improvement. In addition, when you use Google Pagespeed Insights instead of a service like webpagetest.org, you can see how your page fared in the real world (based on Chrome browser data). First, however, I urge that you examine your LCP data in your GSC.

Why?

The data in Search Console originates from the Chrome User Experience Report, much like it does in Google PageSpeed Insights.

Unlike PageSpeed Insights, though, LCP data is visible throughout your whole site. As a result, rather than examining random pages one by one, you obtain a list of URLs that are good, terrible, or somewhere in the middle.

Google has explicit LCP rules on the subject. They categorize LCP speed into three categories: good, needing improvement, and poor. In other words, you want every page on your site to reach LCP in less than 2.5 seconds. For huge websites, this can be a major difficulty; alternatively, pages with many features. This page on our site, for example, contains dozens of high-resolution photos.

As a result, the LCP on that page is 5.1 seconds (ranked “poor”). That isn’t a justification. However, it demonstrates that enhancing LCP is more complicated than simply deploying a CDN. We may have to remove certain photographs from the page in this situation. Also, clean up the coding on the page.

Is it difficult to work? Certainly. Is it worthwhile? Definitely! 

Following that, here are some things you may do to increase the LCP of your website:

  • Remove any unnecessary third-party scripts: according to our latest page speed study, each third-party script slows a page by 34 milliseconds.
  • Upgrade your site host: Better hosting equals faster overall load times (including LCP).
  • Set up lazy loading: Lazy loading prevents images from loading until the user scrolls down the page. As a result, you’ll be able to attain LCP far more quickly.
  • Remove big page elements: Google PageSpeed Insights can tell you whether an element on your page is slowing down the LCP.
  • Minify your CSS: Bulky CSS can cause LCP times to be greatly delayed.

If you’re looking for SEO Services to help your website rank higher, contact us today!

First Input Delay (FID)

Let’s look into Google’s second Core Web Vital: First Input Delay. As a result, your page has now attained FCP. However, the key is whether or not users will be able to engage with your page. That’s exactly what FID tracks: the amount of time it takes for a user to interact with your page.

Here are some examples of interactions:

  • Selecting an item from a menu
  • Using the site’s navigation to select a link
  • Filling out a form with your email address
  • Using a mobile device to view “accordion text.”

FID is crucial to Google because it considers how real-life consumers interact with websites. Therefore, they have certain criteria for what defines an approved FID, just like FCP.

FID does track how long something takes to happen on a page. So it’s a page speed score in that sense. However, it goes a step further and calculates its time for people to complete a task on your page.

FID is generally not a huge concern for a page that is entirely content (like a blog post or news piece). Scrolling down the page is the only true “interaction.” Alternatively, pinching to zoom in and out.

My Search Console doesn’t even report my site’s FID. It’s probably because I don’t have any login pages. Or other pages where someone would be required to enter information immediately. On the other hand, FID is essential for a login page, a sign-up page, or any other page where users must quickly click something. If you’re looking for an reliable SEO consultant in New York to help your website rank higher, contact us today!

Here are some suggestions for improving your site’s FID scores.

  • Minimize (or defer) JavaScript: Users are almost unable to interact with a website while the browser is loading JS. As a result, for FID, minimizing or postponing JS on your website is critical.
  • Remove any non-critical third-party scripts: Third-party scripts (such as Google Analytics, heatmaps, and so on) can harm FID, just as they might with FCP.
  • Use a browser cache: This speeds up the loading of content on your page. In addition, this makes it possible for your user’s browser to complete JS loading chores even faster.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) is a metric that measures how steady a website is as it loads (also known as “visual stability”).

To put it another way, if the items on your page move about while the page loads, you have a high CLS, which is a horrible thing!

Instead, you want the pieces of your page to be pretty stable as it loads. When the page is fully loaded, visitors won’t have to re-learn where links, graphics, and forms are situated. Or you might accidentally click on something.

Here are a few basic steps you may take to reduce CLS.

  • Use set size attribute dimensions for any media (video, images, GIFs, infographics, etc.): The user’s browser will know exactly how much space the element will take up on the page this way. And it won’t alter on the fly until the page is completely loaded.
  • Make sure ads elements have a reserved space: Otherwise, they may appear unexpectedly on the page, pushing information to the left, right, or to the side.
  • Add new UI elements below the fold: In that manner, they don’t push down content that the user “expects” to stay put.

If you’re looking for an organic SEO consultant to help your website rank higher, contact us today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Picture of Dennis Ventura

Dennis Ventura

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