Over the years, Google has collaborated with numerous web developers and site owners and analyzed innumerable page impressions to identify opportunities to improve user experiences. The Core Web Vitals is a new initiative by Google that focuses on specific quality signals in order to guarantee a smooth journey for users.
Google already has many tools and extensions that calculate different metrics that show you how your pages perform. However, the Core Web Vitals is the first of its kind that focuses on delivering a great user experience on the web. This blog will give you an overview of the new Web Vitals program and what it means for your website ranking in the future.
What are Core Web Vitals?
- Largest Contentful Paint
- Cumulative Layout Shift
- First Input Delay
These three factors are related explicitly to page speed and user interaction measurements. To sum up, the Core Web Vitals are basically Google’s way of sizing up the user experience of your website so that you can take the necessary action where required.
Foundation of the 2020 Core Web Vitals
When it comes to measuring the quality of user experience, there are many factors you can consider, including page speed, mobile-friendliness, pop-up ads and so on. However, through careful research Google has identified three standard set of signals that are critical to all web experiences. These three aspects, loading, interactivity, and visual stability, form the foundation of Core Web Vitals. Here’s a closer look at each of the factors:
Largest Contentful Paint: The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a specific metric report that checks the time it takes for the most significant content (either image or text block) to become visible within the viewport. The LCP is crucial because it accurately captures the loading experience when the user requests the URL. Google recommends that you design your page and create content so as to have the LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
Cumulative Layout Shift: Some websites include pop-ups that inadvertently leads to unexpected movement of page content. The Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS, is a metric that calculates the amount that the page layout shifts during the loading phase. It is basically the total of all individual layout shift scores that occurs when a user opens the page. For the best user experience, it is important that you aim to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
First Input Delay: In layman’s terms, the First Input Delay is the time it takes for the browser to respond to the user’s initial interaction, i.e. when they click a link or press a button. The FID is calculated and measured from the time a user first interacts with your page. This metric is important because it gives developers an insight into load responsiveness and helps you identify unresponsive pages. The FDI is especially useful when analyzing interactive pages where the user needs to do something. By and large, Google suggests that all webpages should secure a First Input Delay of less than 100 milliseconds.
What is the benefit of Core Web Vitals?
When the Core Web Vitals initiative was announced by Google, it was intended to provide guidance and insights to help website developers identify quality signals that can improve the user experience on the web. Here’s a quick look at some key features and benefits of Core Web Vitals:
Evaluate Page Experience: Before the launch of Core Web Vitals, there was no tool to measure the page experience as a whole. However, thanks to the Core Web Vitals report, you can see how your pages perform based on historical user data.
Ease to Understand Data: All the data related to Core Web Vitals is broken down according to the device used to view the page, i.e. Mobile or Desktop. Additionally, the data is also grouped according to status, i.e. Poor, Needs improvement, or good.
Prioritize Tasks: The status indicated in the Core Web Vitals will help you prioritize your work so that you can take action based on the relevant issues that affect most of your pages.
Track Issues and Fixes: The “Start Tracking” feature allows you to monitor and check for specific instances of an issue in your site. The 28-day monitoring session will allow you to check if you fixed the issue for all URLs.
Helps Build Pages: The insights and feedback available through Core Web Vitals will help site owners and web developers build pages and website that users enjoy visiting.
Increase Ranking: Since Google introduced Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor for search results, a website that can create a high-quality user experience will automatically rank higher in search results.
It is clear to see that the Web Vitals program provides publishers, web developers and business website owners with a clear game plan to make their sites faster and more efficient for users. It is important to note that the Core Web Vitals initiative was launched by Google recently, and it will take a while before it makes its way into the ranking factors. However, since Google has made it clear that user experience will become the key to long-term success, you need to learn how to make the most of the Core Web Vitals report. Since Google announced that Core Web Vitals would happen sometime in 2021, you have enough time to learn more about the metrics. Time to get cracking!