Core Web Vitals are Google’s top three page experience metrics. Google explains page experience as a
signal that measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page
According to Google, optimizing these factors
makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile.
These three factors make up part of Google’s overall page experience score. The additional factors that go into this score include:
Although some have reported that safe web browsing is a ranking factor, Google has clarified that it is not.
If you’re not familiar with Page Experience, that might be because it hasn’t been a major factor for ranking. However, that’s changed. Google is officially making page experience a key ranking factor and started a gradual rollout in June 2021.
Since Core Web Vitals are specific to Google, you can find your stats through Google Search Console under ‘enhancements.’ From there, you can view the mobile SEO and desktop stats that will give you an overall view of URLs that need improvement with the option to view a full report.
Google’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric measures perceived load speed. The faster elements appear on a web page, the more usable it is considered. More specifically, LCP measures how long it takes for the largest visible content block to render when the page is loaded.
The ideal LCP score is 2.5 seconds or less. Any page with a score between 2.5 and 4 seconds needs improvement, and a score above 2.5 is considered poor.
LCP is different than Google’s other page speed metrics. For example, Time To First Byte (TTFB) and First Contextual Paint (FCP) measure loading speeds that don’t necessarily affect what a user sees.
The best way to check your LCP score is through Google PageSpeed Insights. All you do is enter your URL in the text box and you’ll get the info. However, you’ll only get the data for an individual URL.
To get data for your entire website, retrieve your LCP data from your Google Search Console.
Improving your LCP score for each of your webpages will require optimizing each page by limiting the number of high-resolution images and might require cleaning up your code. Here are several more ways to improve your LCP score:
Google’s First Input Delay (FID) metric measures load responsiveness, which quantifies the experience of interacting with unresponsive pages. For example, the metric measures how long it takes for the website to process an action initiated by a user. The lower the score, the faster the response, and the more usable the page.
The ideal FID score is an input delay of 100 milliseconds or less.
FID measures the time it takes a webpage to respond to user input for actions like:
Essentially, any action a user takes can be measured to calculate the FID score.
Google’s Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metric measures how often your content shifts around for your web visitors in bursts. Layout shifts can be an extreme burden on visitors, impeding their ability to navigate your website and frustrating them in the process.
The ideal CLS score is 0.1 or less. A page with a score between 0.1 and 0.25 needs improvement, while a poor score is 0.25 and above.
Have you ever experienced web page elements suddenly change position, appear, or disappear? These types of glitches are common, and they interfere in the user experience. For instance, a shift in layout can cause someone to click the wrong option if the shift occurs a split-second before they click.
A layout shift is when a visible element starts off in one position and moves to another and are considered unstable elements.
The CLS metric used to add up the total number of shifts. However, this metric now measures and records the largest burst of layout shifts.
These layout glitches are usually caused by loading resources asynchronously or dynamic DOM elements that appear above static content. One element moves and shifts the position of another element. For example, third-party ads often dynamically resize on their own and sometimes videos load with unspecified dimensions.
Core Web Vitals measure user experience on your website. You need an easy user experience in order to rank in the search engines, generate repeat traffic, get loyal visitors, and plenty of sales. By optimizing your core web vitals, you’ll increase your chances of ranking for your keywords and generating more sales.
Google already has approximately 200 ranking factors, but Core Web Vitals will likely be one of the most significant. Although a poor score will hurt your rankings, a good score won’t necessarily have an equally strong impact. That’s because a good page experience won’t overpower poor content or other subpar page elements that affect ranking.
Does all this sound confusing? Would you rather have someone else optimize your website for you? If so, we can help.
At SEO.co, we are an expert SEO company that will analyze all of your webpages to see what your LCP, FID, and CLS scores are. If you have any low scores, we’ll analyze each page to figure out what’s causing the problem and then we’ll fix it for you.
If you’re ready to get better results with these important metrics, contact us today to learn more.
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