Improving your business’s website ranking on Google may feel like an on-going battle especially with Google’s ever-changing criteria and algorithm updates. While Google’s intentions for these updates are to help users find better answers to their questions, they can be hard to keep up with. Google recently released their Core Web Vitals update. Let’s go over everything you need to know about the Core Web Vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Simply put, Core Web Vitals are elements of a website that directly affect a user’s experience. There are six ways to measure core vitals that boost your ranking on Google: Loading, Interactivity, Visual Stability, Mobile Experience, HTTPS, and no Intrusive Interstitials.
Core Vital 1: Loading
It’s nothing new that how long it takes your website to load is a determining factor of your business’s website ranking. Having a website that loads quickly is crucial for a website to have a good user experience. The Core Web Vital that measures your website’s loading time is Largest Contentful Paint or LCP for short. LCP acts as a timer to help determine how long it takes your website to load large elements such as an image or a graphic. To be considered good, an LCP should be 2.5 seconds or less. Between 2.5 and 4 seconds, your website is considered as “needs improvement”. Anything over 4 seconds is categorized as poor. Common causes of a slow LCP are large design elements such as images or videos and third-party scripts.
Core Vital 2: Interactivity
Core Vital 3: Visual Stability
Nothing jarrs a user more than when they are engaging with a website and all of a sudden, there is a portion of a website being blocked by a rogue image or graphic. Instances such as these can ruin a user’s experience. The Core Web Vital that relates to visual stability is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). CLS measures how quickly a website layout stabilizes. The faster the stabilization, the better the usability of the website is for the user. If your website measures as 0.1 it is considered good, 0.1-0.25 needs improvement and anything above 0.25 is poor. The main cause of a poor CLS is if the images on your webpage do not have predefined dimensions.
In addition to these three main Core Web Vitals, Google includes a few other important vitals when determining your business’s website ranking:
- Mobile Experience: Having a website that is not mobile friendly can cause major user experience issues for any user that attempts to engage with your website on a mobile device and it will ultimately affect your overall ranking even if your website is optimized for desktops. The bottom line, your website should be optimized for desktop and mobile devices to ensure it is performing optimally.
- HTTPS: It is common knowledge that the internet is not always secure and users face new online threats daily. When your website meets HTTPS security protocol ensures that both your website users and Google trust that their information is safe when engaging with your website.
- Intrusive Interstitials: Intrusive Interstitials are just a fancy way of saying no annoying pop-ups. They negatively impact the user experience by delaying user’s access to your website content and block visuals.
Now that you have a better understanding of what Core Web Vitals are, let us tell you why they are so important.
Why are Core Web Vitals Important and How They Are Measured?
All the above Core Web Vitals have an effect on not only user experience, but also page performance. It is Google’s intention to make a page experience a determining factor in your business’s ranking. Therefore these Core Web Vital scores will most likely be used to determine the page experience score your business’s website receives. While having a superb page experience score is important, you should remember that it is only one of many factors that contribute to search engine optimization ranking and it will not automatically push your website up to the number one spot. While you should get to work on the Core Web Vitals on your site, Google has announced that businesses will have until next year to improve their scores.
To measure the Core Web Vitals for your website you will need to use a combination of lab data and field data. Scores are determined using the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) which uses data from real users who visit your website which is considered field data. Lab data is categorized as data collected in ideal conditions such as when a developer is using a high-quality computer. Field data helps paint a more accurate picture than lab data as it takes into account users who are using older devices or have a slower internet connection. There are a couple of tools available for you to use that utilizes the CrUX report.
- Google Search Console
Your Core Web Vitals report can be accessed via Google Search Console. This report analyzes all the URLs that are indexed and identifies them as good, needs improvement or bad for both desktop and mobile devices.
- PageSpeed Insights
While the PageSpeed Insights tool does not give as much historical data as Google Search Console, it does offer suggestions on how to improve your website’s score on all the URLs that are tested.
Google recently introduced the concept of Core Web Vitals. These Core Vitals focus on improving the user’s experience when interacting with your website. They will help determine your website’s page performance score which will contribute to the overall ranking of your website. While having a website with a good user experience is not new, Core Web Vitals adds a new layer of complexity and importance. Google is giving businesses a year to improve their Core Web Vitals, but it’s never too early to get to work. Partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency such as TechArk Solutions. Contact Team TechArk today for help in getting started improving your business’s website’s Core Web Vitals.