This month’s guest blogs comes to us courtesy of Melissa How, Marketing Consultant.  Scroll to the bottom of this blog to learn more about Melissa including the fun fact that she also owns an online cocktail shop!

It’s here at last – the ‘Dummies Guide’ to understanding Core Vitals, and how they impact your website’s Google rankings! If your eyes have already glazed over, you have our sympathy – but if you’re the owner of a small business or have found yourself responsible for any website, don’t go anywhere. It’s time to wrap your head around these important metrics, for once and for all…

Google’s Core Vitals for SEO involves a range of user-facing functions on a website that are used as metrics to analyze a website’s “health”. One such metric is the Page Speed. It’s crucial to know how to improve page speed and thereby improve SEO of a website. This is typically achieved by compressing pictures, increasing browser cache, minifying HTML, and applying APP.

In this post, we are going to briefly discuss what Google’s Core Web Vitals are and how to improve them to give your website a better chance of ranking for desirable keywords.

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Core Vitals are page-level indications that relate to the user experience. These signals are used by Google to assess and examine the quality of the user experience on a website. In essence, these signals inform Google about the extent of a user’s contact with a website and the manner in which the website would react to this interaction.

This covers things like the time it takes to click, navigate, and refresh. The Core Web Vitals can be improved by enhancing the overall user experience.

There are three such Core Web Vitals:

  1. First Input Delay (FID)
  2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) 
  3. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a straightforward indicator of how quickly a website’s major content holders load. These consist of embeds for stuff like photos, animated gifs, audio, video, interactive elements, etc. But the issue goes beyond just your website loading. It is a gauge for how long it will take for anything to be perceived and displayed on the screen.

Google has established a standard for it – a website’s loading time should be less than 2.5 seconds for the optimal user experience. Anything above this will have a negative impact on your LCP score and lower your overall ranking.

core web vitals

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) 

This metric assesses the predictability of the webpage. Here, predictability refers to the absence of abrupt or perplexing webpage movements. These actions can make it impossible for people to access or engage with the website’s content.

The main focus of CLS is visual steadiness. Have you ever noticed that dodgy websites load slowly? First, a heading appears, and when you click on it, it scrolls down and a new one emerges, until the website is completely loaded.

The user can avoid clicking links by accident if the website is optimized for visual stability. This also plays a crucial role in improving a website’s SEO. 

First Input Delay (FID) 

First Input Delay is the period of time that passes after a user interacts with a webpage for the first time. This rating also takes into account how quickly a website generally replies to user requests.

Make sure the interactivity delay is 100ms for a high score – Google has confirmed this in the past, so it’s a reliable measure. Your SEO ranking will noticeably take a hit if your FID is longer than 300 ms.

Minify and compress the CSS files and divide time-consuming javascript operations into smaller ones to address this problem. For content that doesn’t need to appear right away, lazy loading can be used. Remove any unneeded third-party code tags if you find any.

core web vitals

Why are these Core Web Vitals so important?

Developers can make use of Core Web Vitals to give users a better web browsing experience and improve SEO. Users are more likely to enjoy their browsing experience when the Core Web Vitals are properly tuned. This improves the likelihood that they will refer the website to others. When a website is unsteady, jumping around, constantly changing, and overflowing with clickbait, the reverse occurs.

The SEO performance metrics are driven by Google Core Web Vitals. They inform Google of the impressions users have of the website. They serve as ranking indicators for a certain group of user experiences. All of this data is used by Google to determine the webpage’s search ranking.

Therefore, Core Web Vitals end up giving you the ability to rank organically without the need for any particular SEO techniques. This results in an expansion of the value of your brand as a whole.

Are Google’s Core Web Vitals more important than content?

Certainly not. As the saying goes – Content is Queen. It mattered in the past and it will continue to matter in the future. It’s important to note that Core Web Vitals are only one of the ranking signals for Google and when determining which website should rank first, Google considers many other factors.

For this reason, engaging the help of an SEO professional is important if you’re serious about giving brand the competitive edge. 

As a highly regarded mentor, Melissa enjoys empowering others. Knowledge builds confidence and bringing expertise to the team improves marketing competencies and accelerates results. She is also Founder and Director of eCommerce business, The Cocktail Shop.


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