What are core web vitals?
Core web vitals are a set of user-centric metrics that assess particular aspects of user experience. They are a set of factors that measure overall user experience for a particular website or page, and they determine how satisfied users are, as well as how easy it is for users to navigate a website.
These are metrics that focus on user experience of websites, rather than search engine optimisation.
Core web vitals are made up of three measurements in relation to page speed and the overall user experience:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Largest Contentful Paint
LCP measures how fast the largest piece of content of a website takes to fully load, whether that is a piece of text or an image.
First Input Delay
FID is a measurement of how quick a website is to react to a user’s initial interaction, and how long it actually takes for a user to interact with your page.
Cumulative Layout Shift
CLS focuses on how much the visual layout of a homepage or landing page moves around when the page is initially loading.
Why are core web vitals important?
Core web vitals are all about the measurement of user experience – it’s part of Google’s page experience score. This is part of Google’s effort to offer the highest quality experience for its users.
Many things like mobile-optimisation, HTTPS, safe-browsing, and intrusive interstitial guidelines are measured within core web vitals too.
Core web vitals are important as they are related to Google’s ranking algorithm, meaning that they can help to boost your page and increase traffic to your website. They are also important as they help to develop a good conversion rate, turning visitors into buyers for particular websites.
How to improve your core web vitals
As you now know the importance of core web vitals, you’ll be looking to find out how to improve yours for your particular website, so that it can rank much higher.
One thing you can do is optimise your images on your website, particularly on your homepage and core landing page. This may seem obvious, but one unoptimised picture on your website could be the one thing leaving users dissatisfied. So be sure to check all of your images on your pages and make sure that they are fully optimised.
Server Response Time
Another thing that will help to improve your core web vitals is to improve or speed up your server response time. This will ensure that loading time is down and the speed metrics of your website will be a lot better. It also will help users stay engaged with your website, as a slow website that takes a while to load will lead to users abandoning your site and not returning.
Mobile Friendly Templates
Alongside this, it is also a good idea to make sure that your website templates are mobile friendly. Nowadays, many people use their mobile devices to access websites and search up information, so it is vital that the layout of your website is clear and visually appealing when loaded on a mobile device.
Lazy loading your pages can help to speed up load times, as the content loads for a user as they reach it. This is more impactful on mobile than desktop, as it takes far more scrolls to reach the end of a page on mobile, but on all platforms can really reduce the initial load time.
If someone frequently visits your site, showing them a cached version means that they see the same version as last time, but it’s much quicker to load for them. Some pages can’t be cached as it may impact their functionality, but as a rule of thumb, caching static pages can help.
Whilst improving your Core Web Vitals can help to move the needle of your SEO performance, it’s important to balance usability with the benefits of this. For instance if you’re an e-commerce store, the quality of your images is paramount and is likely to assist with conversion, so you won’t want to do anything that can negatively impact this.