On May 2021, Google announced that Core Web Vitals are becoming a part of their ranking signals which means that they will be updating their algorithm soon.
In basic terms core web vital is all about page experience and how fast your page loads for a user.
Google ranks the web pages based on “Page Experience Score”. This is one of the major factors that Google’s algorithm uses for distinctive SERP of different web pages.
What Actually Are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals stem from these aspects as they derive the performance parameters included in Google’s assessment of page experience.
Whenever a user visits a web page, their page experience gets evaluated by Google’s algorithm.
Based on certain factors, the performance of the page gets assessed.
These parameters are generally referred to as Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals are pretty important for every website now if the website wants to improve its organic ranking on Google and its performance.
Importance of Core Web Vitals
We all know that how much Page Experience matters in Google’s ranking algorithm which is why if your website’s page loading speed is not good or the user is facing difficulties in accessing your web pages i.e your page is having low visual stability then it is surely going to affect your organic ranking.
For better result on search engines, one needs to put equal effort into improving the page experience and core web vitals.
This score is directly influenced by Core Web Vitals Metrics. The algorithm that web browsers use these days is quite complicated and understanding them is equally hectic.
However, with the use of Core Web Vitals, we can focus on one important ranking factor of Google. It is distinguishable unlike other factors and can be used in a better manner to boost your organic ranking.
While core web vitals metric are essentially favorable, they don’t always guarantee top-class performance as having amazing core web vitals metrics alone does not mean that you will rank high on search engine. You have to take care of On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Technical SEO as well as write high quality content to get ranked high on Google which is why businesses nowadays are hiring SEO Agency and Copywriting Agency for these tasks.
You will need to integrate the core web vitals with other important SEO elements then only you will achieve high ranking for your website on search engines.
Many among the SEO community wholly rely on optimizing Page Experience metrics but often forget about other important ranking factors.
But to get the best of Core Web Vitals, You have to make sure that your site’s core web vitals data and performance score is coming under the desired range.
What Influences Page Experience?
Majorly, there are only a few factors that greatly influence the page experience ranking signals. These ranking signals are all related to user experience metrics, your page’s main content, third party code and mobile friendliness.
Let’s check them out one by one.
This is by far one of the key aspect that is responsible for articulating the page experience score of your website on mobile devices. While it may not have much importance in previous years, it certainly is a huge factor right in 2021.
Google checks the page experience on both desktop devices as well as on mobile devices.
Your website should provide equal performance on both type of devices in order to achieve an optimum score.
This is another important aspect that needs full attention.
If there is any malware, unknown third party code, virus present on your website then it will affect the performance of your website by increase the page load times, redirecting pages to other pages from google search and much more.
Intentionally or unintentionally, your website will suffer a lot in google search ranking if you are not taking mesures about its safety and by safety we mean having an SSL certificate on your website, not linking any suspicious URL in your content, not including any suspicious or unknown external code on your website, etc.
Whatever you provide to your users through your site needs to be well regulated and you should frequently carry out checks.
Backlinking is an off page SEO strategy which is good but sometimes can get you into trouble too. You should always check the reliability of website where you are placing your site link beforehand and then only move ahead with it.
Also, having external links in your site’s content (mostly blogs) is a good thing as it increases the credibility and trust of your website but make sure to include only reliable and trusted website links only.
If the website provides retail services, the products listed on it have to be trustworthy. If you’re entertaining a vendor then they should be reliable. Also, If the customers suffer bad experiences in that aspect, you will again find a massive reduction in the score.
While these two are major aspects, in this case, there are also others like pop-ups and HTTPS that need equal attention for safe browsing. Regardless, the biggest one for optimizing Page Experience is Core Web Vitals without any doubt.
Let’s check out what parameters are associated with Core Web Vitals.
Parameters of Core Web Vitals
In total, there are three Core Web Vitals parameters.
Let’s see them one by one.
1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
In simple terms, it is the loading time of a webpage.
Technically, it is the period from the moment you click on the page and the complete appearance of all the content on it. For some websites, it can occur in milliseconds while some take a few seconds to load.
This all depends on Largest Contentful Paint.
The reason why LCP is important is that it considers the point of view of the users. It doesn’t depict an inherent performance of the website but how a visitor feels about it. That’s why, when it comes to improving the user interface, LCP plays a huge part. There are some tools available that can help you in checking the speed of your website or webpage.
A page with an optimum score will take only a couple of milliseconds to load the relevant content of blog post or page of your site.
But it can different when the internet connection is itself slow.
Hence you need to have a fully optimized website to avoid any negative user experience when actual users are visiting your site.
How To Improve LCP?
After measuring the largest contentful paint (LCP) of your website, if you feel it’s not up to the mark, you can make some changes in your website to improve it.
We’ve listed down some of the factors which might affect the largest contentful paint (lcp) for you.
Eliminate Third-Party Scripts
Scripts directly embedded in the website from a third party website are called third-party scripts. It can be harmful in some cases and their oversaturation can hamper the page experience score. You don’t necessarily need to eliminate all of them, however, make sure that you’re only using relevant scripts like google analytics, google tag manager, google search console, etc.
Lazy loading of images is a great strategy to reduce the loading time of a page.
In this method, the background images and images in between content on the web page only load when the user scrolls down to that section. If all media were to load at the same time, it would certainly increase the loading time and lower the page speed.
Hence being selective in this case is beneficial.
Note that images are important from SEO point of view and can help in ranking as well. Read all about Image SEO here.
If you’re using a poor hosting service, it will certainly affect the performance of your page. You need to spend some extra bucks and get it upgraded to the best possible setup. While it may not have an imminent effect but in the long run, it can improve Page Experience.
2. First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay is the second parameter associated with Core Web Vitals. It comes after LCP and it refers to the time taken for users to first interact with the page.
Many times, web pages loads completely but some of the links or images present on it remain non-interactive.
This may seem like a microelement but holds immense value in the case of the page experience metrics and is considered as a ranking signal.
You might have noticed that in some cases when you try to move the cursor over to a link, it doesn’t show an interactive symbol or you are not able to click on it at that particular moment. It is one of the examples of how high First input Delay (FID) can hurt the ranking of your webpage.
In some cases, even text boxes don’t receive any input. This is mostly seen in the cases where you want to search for something in the search box provided within the website.
Such kinds of experiences are not good for the website and this is the reason why the affected pages are not ranked high on Google.
Like LCP, there are tools present to check the First Input Delay (FID) of your webpage. Furthermore, an optimum FID has its standard value.
You also need to keep in mind that different types of web pages have different impact on FID. For example, if your webpage only contains text, there won’t be much problem. However, when things like textboxes, links, or tables are present on the website, this can pose issues.
But you don’t need to put much worry into this since there are proven methods to reduce the first input delay.
Ways To Reduce First Input Delay
Include Browser Cache
This is related to browser caching.
Eliminate Third-Party Scripts
Like LCP, 3rd party scripts & codes are also responsible for increase in first input delay. If you have 3rd party codes like Google analytics, Google search console, etc on your website then make sure that they are properly placed and are not hampering with your sites initial page load time.
Site owners needs to understand that having many 3rd party scripts and codes can lead to a worse user experience for visitors.
In such a case you need to keep them as minimum as possible. It’s not necessary to eliminate all of them but just keep the ones that are crucial for the web page and won’t affect your core web vitals.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This is the last aspect of Core Web Vitals. Once the website page completely loads up and passes the stages of LCP and FID, Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) comes into the picture.
Cumulative Layout Shift deals with the visual stability of the website.
For instance, when you scroll down the page, you may notice that it takes a few milliseconds for it to go down. This is a sign of bad Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and should be within the limits.
An optimum Cumulative Layout Shift score will result in a fairly stable webpage and core web vitals score. All the functions over it will remain interactive with real-time characters.
It means that all the unexpected layout shifts on the webpage will not be happening and users will not face any delay in user input operation. There is also an element of the positioning of all types of content on the page which can be affected due to unexpected layout shift on page.
CLS is quite essential in the case of media like images or videos. If their captions aren’t placed where they should be, it is an indication of bad CLS.
Like the previous two aspects of core web vitals, it is possible to reduce CLS.
Here Are Some Ways You Can Use To Achieve A Good CLS Score
Manage Set Media Size
The best way to improve the CLS is to keep a standard dimensions for all media you include on your webpage and maintain visual stability.
Generally, the page defines the dimensions and allows subsequent space for the included media. But if in case the dimensional capacity exceeds that of defined limits on user’s browser, CLS will get affected. So you need to ensure that dimensions of the selected media remain within prescribed limits.
Leave Spaces for Ads
If your webpage is using ads you have to provide separate space for their placement. A badly designed webpage will experience overlapping of ads over page content. If such a scenario occurs, users can miss out on vital information. To avoid this issue, you need to make sure that there’s a separate space available for ads. While you structure your content, leave a blank space where you’re going to include ads.
Now you know why are core web vitals important.
Will Core Web Vitals Affect My Rankings?
If you are looking for a one word answer then the answer is YES.
Recently Google announced that they will be releasing an algorithm update which will be known as the core web vitals update and will be added as a new ranking factor.
Google has more than 200 factors to determine rankings and core web vitals will be one of them now. The move is expected to come as a slow one – with fewer steps to be taken and sites will not re-energize.
If your website has a very smooth user experience and good content on it then it should probably not affect your organic rankings.
You may find that the page experience statistics are grouped by several other ranking factors for decades.
It might be a nicer score overall but you’re unlikely to outrank anyone with a lesser score.
A Good Web Experience can’t replace A Great Experience.
Is Page Speed A Ranking Factor?
Page Speed do weighs a bit in the ranking algorithm however it alone does not affects the ranking much.
Page speed i.e how fast the page loads is important but only when combined with user experience, how quick the user interacts with the page, mobile friendliness, page layout, and with core web vitals.
How To Find Core Web Vitals Score Of My Website?
If you want to check the core web vitals score of your website or webpage then there are many ways of measuring core web vitals. There are tools available for it which you can use for free to determine the core web vital of any page.
You can use tools like, Lighthouse, Google PageSpeed Insights by Google, Web.dev, etc to check the core web vitals for your website.
How Do I Find My URLs Which Are Performing Poor For Core Web Vitals?
Adding a segment called ‘Core Web Vitals’ to its Google Search Console platform Google said that “If you have done on point optimization and wish to inspect a URL that lost rank you can use a page experience testing tool like Lighthouse, Chrome Devtools, etc.
These tools will see the web vital score and show which component of your page must be optimized to improve the users experience on your page and the website’s performance.
We have covered almost everything in this article which you will be needing to understand what are core web vitals and how to improve core web vitals of your website.
Removing a Popup from your website or reducing image sizes will never impact website traffic but it can effect your ranking.
Optimize your website, continue to create great content, save time by removing unwanted marketing tools and make your website a better place for your users to enhance user experience.
Have a question? Let us know in the comments section below.