What are Core Web Vitals and why do you need to pay close attention to them?

There are many criteria that go into the user experience of your webpage, and your Core Web Vitals are a hugely important part of this. It is essential that you optimise your performance in these areas to offer a better total product and to raise your ranking overall in the results pages. Here we will look at what exactly Core Web Vitals are, how they are and will become even more important, and a few ways you can ensure that they are at their best.

What are Core Web Vitals?

 

Your Core Web Vitals are the metrics used to measure customer experience and your page performance. They consist of three different measurements relating to speed and user interaction:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this is basically the loading speed, measuring how quickly or slowly the page loads and how soon it is visible to users. From clicking on a link to being able to see the largest image, a good time is less than 2.5 seconds. After that, 2.5-4 seconds needs improvement while anything over that is poor and should immediately be reduced.

 

  1. First Input Delay (FID) – the interactivity, or how quickly and easily the user can actively interact with or use your page. When the user tries to interact by clicking on something, your FID measures how quickly the page is able to start to respond.  A green score means that you are good is less than 100ms, 100-300ms is orange, or moderate, while 300ms + is poor.

 

  1. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – as it sounds, this measures the changes and shifts in the layout on the page as it loads and in the lifespan of the page. Also known as its visual stability, the more the elements move around on the page the worse your score will be. A good green score is anything less than 0.1, with 0.1-0.25 orange and needing improvement, and anything over 0.25 giving a red, or poor, score.

 

These combine to form your Core Web Vitals, determining the overall experience that your users will get when they visit your page. You can and should check on your own scores regularly to see if they are within the right margins for the best user experience.

 

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How are Core Web Vitals important to you?

 

Core Web Vitals have always been important to your customer, as quicker and more optimized sites are preferable to slower and inconsistent ones. However, they are now becoming more crucial than ever, as search engines like Google are taking them into account when compiling their rankings for search results.

There are many ways to increase traffic to your site, with SEO one of the key ways to do so. Optimizing your site, using back-links, and hitting all of the criteria that the search looks for increases your chances of being on the all-important first page of results, and getting more views. Core Web Vitals are now being included in the criteria, and not as the least of them.

Core Web Vitals form a major part of what will be your page experience score, making up the user experience along with other factors like mobile-friendliness and lack of pop-ups. While there are so many different parts that make up your final position, you should be doing your best to work on everything you can to give your page the best chance of a high ranking.

How can you improve your Core Web Vitals?

Now that you understand your Core Web Vitals and have checked your scores it is time to improve them if needed to try and get all green results. If you are already there, good work. If not, don’t worry. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to optimized vitals and an all-round great user experience:

  • LCP – if you have lots of large, detailed images and information it can be tricky to keep your loading time to a minimum. You can help this by setting up lazy loading, where the lower images only load as you scroll down. Another tip is to simply remove the larger elements that are lowering your score.
  • FID – allowing your user to interact as quickly as possible is key, so try minimising JavaScript on your page as it takes time away from you. You can also try and remove non-critical third-party scripts that will also bring down your score.
  • CLS – to stop images and content from moving too much assign specific space for ads to keep them in one area. Similarly, if you keep a standard size for everything on your page it shouldn’t move about too much over time.

Ensuring you have good scores in all three categories of Core Web Vitals is key to a better user experience and will help you rise in the search engine results and reach more customers in the long run. Have a look at your Vitals and see how you can improve them today.

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