SEO plays an essential role in ranking on SERP. However, there will be a new major factor that will join the league – the page experience. Google announced this huge news in November 2020 but the changes will take effect in May 2021. Basically, this means that the more user-friendly your website (web pages) is, the higher it will rank, of course, also taking into account the other SEO factors. And, that is where the Core Web Vitals comes in since it’s the factor that dictates your website’s user experience.
Core Web Vitals is a set of three metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS, which Google uses to evaluate a website’s user experience. They are a subset of the Web Vitals that apply to the entire website and have to be measured to track the site’s user experience, thus ensuring the higher rank of the site on SERP. Moreover, they will be provided across all Google tools.
First, it’s because they are the metrics Google soon will measure to rank pages. Also, each of them is a completely different part of the user experience. Plus, each one is measurable and reflects the real-world user experience.
The three metrics chosen by Google correspond to the three pillars of page experience: page loading speed, page responsiveness, and visual stability.
This metric measures the page loading speed. It does that by measuring the time the largest piece of content needs to load (be shown on the screen). Why is this important? Because no one wants to wait for more than a few seconds to see the page. In fact, page loading speed is one of the crucial factors in digital marketing because if your page loads more slowly, like for 6 or 8 seconds, visitors will immediately leave your site. This will negatively affect your analytics and, not to mention, SEO.
You can analyze your site’s LCP via Google’s Page Speed and Google’s Search Console, which is more recommended because you get more complete results.
Remove large page elements – Google’s Page Speed Insights will show you which element(s) on your site slow down its loading time.
Remove third-party scripts you don’t need – Don’t use third-party scripts if they aren’t necessary.
Minify your CSS – Smaller CSS means faster LCP.
Upgrade your web host – Better hosting brings faster loading speed.
Set up lazy loading – Let your web page load the images only when the visitor reaches them, to save on loading time.
The ideal result for your page speed is 2.5 seconds or faster.
This metric measures how long the site needs to react to the first user interaction. This refers to any action taken by the user such as a mouse click on some part of the screen of the web page or a tap on a button. Does the site need a lot to react to the user’s action or it reacts immediately? Imagine waiting for 5-6 or more seconds for your action to complete… it’s frustrating and, of course, you will immediately exit the page. And, this leads to a bad user experience, thus low ranking.
Remove third-party scripts you don’t need – Don’t use third-party scripts that aren’t necessary for your website’s proper functioning.
Limit transfer sizes and restrict request counts – Optimize your code to limit the file transfer sizes and restrict request counts.
The ideal result of your FID speed is less than 100 ms.
This metric measures the visual stability of the website, hence, if the things found on the web page displayed are moving while the page is loading or not and if so, how often. Don’t you hate it when you try to click on something and suddenly the contents of the page move up or down and you end up clicking something else? We all do of course and it frustrates us. How does that end up? With leaving the page and we all know what that means for your website’s rank.
Add new UI elements below the fold – This will ensure the web page elements and the entire page structure, in general, stay where they are while the user browses the page.
Use set size attribute dimensions for media – This will show you how much space each element on your pages will take, which will help you protect your pages from unprecedented content misplacement.
Assign a reserved space on your webpage for ads – This will ensure the page’s content stays in its place.
The ideal result for the CLS of your website is less than 0.1.
There’s a bar divided into three parts per metric. Each part has a different color ranging from green to red. Your site has an optimal user experience if all three metrics are green. Even if the metrics are not all green, it’s not an alarming sign and you don’t have to optimize your site to make them all green. Of course, this is desired if you want to boost your site’s rank and ensure your visitors have an enjoyable experience.
There are several tools you can use to measure these three Core Web Vitals metrics:
PageSpeed Insight – Shows you the web pages’ core web vitals and how to improve them.
GT Metrix – n online tool that analyzes and evaluates the performance of these three metrics.
Google’s Search Console – Analyzes all core web vitals of your entire website and shows them in a report you can find under the “enhancements” section.