Google recently announced a major update to its ranking algorithm and the way it ranks websites in its search results pages. Mobile functionality, content relevance, and site security will continue to play a major role in a website’s ranking. However, Google now wants to rank better websites with the best user experience. That’s why they launched Core Web Vitals. This is a group of metrics designed to measure a website’s ability to interact and user experience. Google will use these new metrics to update website rankings.
To help you get started on this new initiative quickly, our digital marketing team is sharing everything you need to know about Core Web Vitals. We will also share how you can improve your metrics to increase your search rankings and provide the best user experience.
What is Google Core Web Vitals
Google’s prioritization of user experience in website ranking is not new, and many legacy factors such as site security and content relevance will continue to endure. Even so, the big change is in the way they measure a website’s performance, moving away from generic metrics to be replaced by Core Web Vitals, three metrics aimed at users related to speed, interaction and reliability. reactivity.
First entry delay (FID)
This component measures the time it takes for the browser to respond to the user’s initial interaction with your website. This could be clicking on a product category, hitting the search function, or selecting a blog post. Measured in milliseconds, the longer it takes, the lower your score will be.
Largest Content Paint (LCP)
The LCP component measures the time it takes for the largest piece of content to appear on screen. It could be a banner image, a block of text, or a video, but just like the first entry delay, the longer it takes, the lower your score. After all, users want to access your content and have little patience for sites that are slow to load.
Cumulative Layout Offset (CLS)
Have you ever clicked a button on a website only to be redirected to an ad because the button moved while the page was loading? This is what happens when a website has a bad cumulative layout change. CLS measures the visual stability of your site. Specifically, buttons, headers, text, and images move and drop as the page loads. A site with excessive lag will get a lower score than one that is stable while it loads.
Why are the essentials of the web so important?
As we mentioned above, Google wants to provide feedback that will lead users to the best experience. Optimizing your website to load fast, provide smooth and fast interaction, and visual stability will improve your ranking. This will be especially true once the page experience update is in full swing (usually these initiatives are introduced gradually). Higher rankings equate to more visibility, resulting in more traffic to your website.
While we understand that you want to achieve these metrics to increase your rankings, the biggest benefit of leveraging your top web vital elements is providing your visitors with the best overall experience. After all, whether a visitor found you through Google, a pay-per-click ad, or even a shared social media post, a good experience will keep them on the page and increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Find your web essentials
The first place you can find your Core Web Vitals is through the Google Search Console. In the left menu, expand the Experience section. From there, you can click on Core Web Vitals which will provide you with an overview of your metrics. When you open the report, you get a complete overview of which pages on your website need improvement and why they are struggling. This could be due to one metric or a combination of all three.
Rather than relying on Search Console for your reports, you can also choose one of these options to check your metrics and get the information you need.
Google PageSpeed Insights
This is the most commonly used tool for evaluating the essentials of the web. Powered by both Lighthouse and Chrome UX Report, it provides field data that shows how real-world users can interact with the site as well as lab data that is run in controlled settings. Not only will you receive an overview of the metrics, but you will also get specific recommendations on how to improve performance.
Google Lighthouse is a leading tool that measures your website performance based on performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO. It’s easy to use and features an action-oriented report so you can make improvements to your site, which will improve UX and search engine rankings. Core Web Vitals will be part of the performance measurements. Therefore, if your score is low when you run the audit, you will see specific areas of concern in the breakdown.
GT Metrix offers third-party analysis related to your site’s performance. It focuses specifically on speed and offers optimization opportunities. You just run your URL through the tool. In just a few seconds, you will receive a free summary report of your page’s performance. You can also go one step further and test your page on over 30 different options of simulated mobile devices. This way, you can determine if the web essentials of your website are the same on desktop and mobile devices.
Web Vitals (Chrome Extension)
Easily measure your Core Web Vitals with the Web Vitals Chrome extension. This free resource provides a convenient snapshot of a page’s vital data anytime. Just visit your site and click on the extension and get your metrics in seconds. When you implement updates and tweaks, this extension allows you to quickly analyze the improvements you put in place.
CLS Viewer (Chrome extension)
Cumulative layout shift can be the most difficult to diagnose and correct. This is because you may have difficulty determining which elements of the page move and how. This extension shows exactly which parts of the page are moving and what is causing the issues.
Once you have the data and know your metrics, what’s the next step? Put the information to work and make changes to your website that will increase speeds and visual stability. This can dramatically increase page rankings and user experience. If you’re not sure what to do to make these changes, work with an experienced digital marketing team! We can dig into the data, implement successful changes, and get your website to the top of the search engine results.
Let TheeDigital digital marketing experts help you improve your web essentials and user experience
Need help implementing Core Web Vitals in your marketing strategy? Our marketing experts can help you! Contact us by calling 919-341-8901 or by scheduling a consultation.