Google now considers user experience in its algorithm as a factor to rank pages in its SERPs (Search Result Pages).
Google updates that disrupt SEO are not entirely new. In the past, we have experienced updates that have seen some page experience signals validate whether a website page is optimised for mobile or whether the website is secure.
In its quest to provide a “better web” which promotes detailed user-centric experiences, Google announced an update about a replacement ranking factor that will influence SEO in 2021 and beyond—Core Web Vitals.
These new ranking signals relate to page loading speed, mobile responsiveness and visual stability. A combination of these three will be taken under consideration in Google Search’s algorithm in June 2021.
As you read on, we will explore what you need to know to keep your website afloat. We will look into the following questions;
- What Are Google’s New Core Web Vitals?
- Why should your business care?
- How to measure the performances of your website
- And finally how you’ll fix the Core Web Vitals
What Are Google’s New Core Web Vitals?
Let us start by understanding the tech search engine giant; Google. Google is shaping the web and it requests owners of websites to follow its “best” practices to have the b est results.
Google’s mission dating back to 1998 was to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Upon its 20th anniversary, the search engine giants reminded us that its core principle for search is user-centric and it is on a mission to provide users with the most relevant, best quality information.
The goal of Core Web Vitals is to measure the actual user experience using the loading performance, interactivity and visual stability of a website page.
Core Web Vitals consist of three main metrics namely Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of these metrics of Core Web Vitals.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures the load speed, i.e. how long it takes for your page to display the first elements that are important to the user. Note that it does not measure the complete loading of the page. Recommended time for LCP is within 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay (FID): It measures the time between when a user first interacts with your page (i.e., when they click on a link or button) and when the browser can respond to that interaction. This measures page responsiveness and quantifies the experience that users feel when trying to first interact with the page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric refers to the number of times that content on a page has shifted and has caused users to lose their spot without warning. It quantifies the number of unexpected layout shifts of visible page content.
Summary of Core Web Vitals
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This refers to the time to see the first details of your webpage.
- First Input Delay (FID): The time refers to the time before a user can interact with your website e.g a click.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Visual stability refers to the minimum time taken for your website to become stable to avoid any “Where is the paragraph I was reading?” feeling by your visitor
Why should your business care?
As a business owner attempting to optimise content for SEO (or for Google), Google is notifying you that it is required to make the user the focus and provide whole or full content that is structured and also guarantees an excellent user experience.
For example, if tomorrow Google recommends that websites should have dark modes for readability, all sites will have to get one to rank highly on the SERPs.
A study published in August 2021 has revealed that less than 15% of sites are optimised well enough to pass the Core Web Vitals test.
How to measure the performances of your website
Google is ranking websites based on their real-life user’s experience in its algorithm update as of June 2021. There are 6 (six)ways to measure Core Web Vitals and these include:
What can businesses do to secure a high ranking on SERPs after this update?
How to fix the Core Web Vitals
- LCP: helpful tips to increase your LCP speed include:
- Removing some images
- Removing any unnecessary third-party scripts
- Upgrading your website hosting
- Employ lazy loading
- FID: You can improve your website’s FID score by:
- Removing extrinsic third-party scripts
- Using a browser cache
- CLS: Here’s what you’ll do to minimise CLS:
- Use recommended dimensions for media
- Add new UI elements below the fold
In conclusion, Google is ensuring that the websites ranked at the top of SERPs (search results pages) are user-focused and providing a positive user experience. Website performance is therefore critical when it involves SEO.
At Online Projects, all our websites are developed with Core Web Vitals in focus. Our websites are hosted on the fastest server globally, powered by Amazon Web Services & Fastly AWS. This ensures that our websites are uptime all the time, and load incredibly quickly.
Our websites are meticulously tested to appear attractive on all devices and ensure all assets on the page are sized to be consistent with the best practices.
By choosing us, you have crossed the hurdle of uncertainty into safe hands! Leave it to us to build you a high-performance, fully managed website that has the simplest possible chances of ranking well in Google. Get in-tuned to debate your requirements with our team of experts.
To learn the latest trends in SEO, read our specialist team’s insights. And explore our full suite of web design or development, and content writing services to see how we grow brands from the ground up as Sydney’s leading digital marketing agency.