As a business, you want your site to appear at the top of search engines, but have you considered Google Web Vitals?
You’ve likely invested in digital marketing and design that attempts to keep users on your site for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can cause visitors to leave your site without converting into leads and these might not be showing up in your search console.
Core Web Vitals represents the real-world experience of a user, and are what Google considers as a critical ranking factor. Whereas search console, Google analytics, keyword research and search intent are used to measure the user’s behavior, Core Web Vitals are intended to measure page experience and make up an essential part of Google’s data for ranking pages.
Why does Google care about your website’s performance?
Google is always looking for ways to improve the page experience for users. They found that quick loading websites get more clicks and keep users on your site longer, which means they may be rewarded by ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
A 2-second delay from 1 – 3 seconds increases page bounce rate 32%. A 4 second lag time leads 90% greater chance of leaving an application before finishing one’s browsing session compared with 5+ secs or >=6 s delays respectively!
Considering this data, Google created a way for their tools to measure pages, loading experience and pagespeed insights to create their core web vitals.
What are the ‘Core Web Vitals’ ?
Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity and visual stability on the page. The three vitals in this category would be largest contentful paint (LCP), First input delay (FID) and Culmative Layout Shift (CLS). For site owners and web developers, this is an opportunity to be rewarded for investing in to user experience, faster hosting and designing for fewer key presses between each page.
Download our Web Vitals checkist to measure your performance
Largest Content Paint
LCP measures how long it takes from when your users request any given URL until they can see all elements loaded; including images/videos etc. A score between 1 – 100+ indicates an average response time wherein lower values mean quicker load times.
Often the largest element on a web page isn’t what’s driving the user experience, so these metrics and data points can really challenge designers to think about the user needs. Of course, utilising techniques such as lazy loading is also an option.
How to reduce the largest content paint
In Googles book, 2 seconds is a good performance, but there are some other factors in play into the content paint, like slow server response times and client-side rendering so it’s really about finding out the cause of long loading times on websites, for example by looking at graphics files sizes with compressing them when possible.
One thing we know works well is making use of the Jamstack architecture, because all content will be prebuilt – this helps reduce download times during users’ visits as only minimal data from remote sources is required.
Learn how we use Jam stack to optimise site performance here.
First Input Delay (FID)
The First Input Delay measures the interactivity and responsiveness of a web page. It takes into account users’ first impressions, evaluating how quickly events are processed on your site – in other words it measures delay between when someone clicks an element or link to what they see after interacting with that particular item for just one moment!
Ready to make better impressions?
There are many ways you can reduce the FID load time of your website. One developer tool to challenge this is to only load what’s required on page, like deferring third party scripts until after initial content has loaded and keeping request counts low by minimizing main thread work; another option would be keeping transfer sizes small with highest speed connections possible.
Performance issues like slow loading times and resource racing through shared hosting have a serious impact on your site’s performance. Hosting with managed cloud services will make the difference in rendering and providing an improved user experience that benefits both you as well as Google algorithms!
Learn about how we help Secure I.T Environments utilise faster hosting to improve their ranking.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of pages. Pages should not move around when interacting with your site, but if content does shift without warning users can have an unpleasant experience. They might also click buttons or make purchases they did not want to!
Create more stable experiences
Google has some great guidelines for avoiding surprise layout shifts. Make sure to include sizing attributes on images and video elements, don’t insert content above existing elements unless it’s in response to user interaction or an animation that will help provide context where they are transitioning between states of their page.
Remember, these metrics shouldn’t be used to define your page experience, often site owners can be worried about google tools reporting cumulative layout shift but remember that these are only metrics to consider the user experience. There are plenty of other metrics to measure for great SEO performance.
Ready to review Google web vitals?
If you’re looking at these developer tools and feeling lost with lost in a field of data then don’t worry. Batur are on hand to interpret these core metrics, our SEO experts will triage all of the factors that google considers and produce a roadmap that can improve your page performance.
While these tools paint a broad picture and do a great job quantifying how users interact with your site, there’s much more to consider. We not only look at the big picture, but we review all of our findings in order to present you with a plan that involves strategic and tactical changes.