What is Core Web Vitals? Why It is Important for SEO?Orhun Karadag
Core Web Vitals are a set of important page speed and user interaction measurements. Core Web Vitals are made up of three factors: largest contentful paint(LCP), first input delay(FID), and cumulative layout shift(CLS).
With these metrics, Google measures the smooth and comfortable use of a website for users with real data it receives from users.
With Core Web Vitals, site owners are informed about the important problems the websites have for users. Loading time, reaction time and visual compatibility information are presented to the site owners with Core Web Vitals, thus revealing what improvements are needed.
Core Web Vitals refers to “important metrics for a healthy website”. Let’s examine these metrics that focus on different aspects of user experience, one by one.
Each of the Core Web Vitals Explained
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Contentful Paint is a metric that measures the loading performance of a page. Rich content paint should be loaded within 2.5 seconds to ensure that users navigate the pages with a good experience. For this reason, it is very important to optimise to keep the loading time low.
Vital factors that affect LCP values and need to be optimised are as follows; Slow server response times, JS and CSS blocking the rendering of the page, client side rendering.
First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay is a metric that refers to the time from the first time users interact with a site until the browser is able to fully respond to that interaction. To provide a good user experience, pages on the site must have an initial input lag value of less than 100 milliseconds.
Optimising for FID metric; reduce JS execution time, compress JS files, dispose unused JS are important.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift is a metric, also called visual stabilisation, that expresses unexpected layout changes in pages. With this metric, Google measures how much visible content has changed in the viewport and the distance affected items are scrolled. The CLS value should be less than 0.1 to have a good user experience. Google: “One second delay in mobile page loading can affect the conversion rate by 20%.
Why Should You Care About Core Web Vitals?
User experience has become more essential in SEO in the last few years. Now it will officially be an SEO factor with Core Web Vitals as of May 2021. With the page experience metrics integrated with the name of Core Web Vitals, Google will now also evaluate the data obtained from real users and will consider the user experience while creating the rankings.
In an article, Google said, “A good page experience does not invalidate having quality and relevant content. However, when there are multiple pages with similar content, the page experience becomes much more important for visibility in search results. ” This explains a lot. Accordingly, it is possible to say that sites that offer a good user experience will be one step ahead in SEO competition.
Google: “If a slow mobile experience is driving your customers away from your brand, speeding up the pages can bring them back.”
Core Web Vitals, which will be a ranking factor by May 2021, also encourages website owners to create pages that offer users a more comfortable and easy navigation opportunity. After Google’s announcement in May that Core Web Vitals will be a ranking factor, it has been observed that many websites have optimised for the user experience.
How to measure Core Web Vitals?
You can use different tools to measure your performance across all Core Web Vitals metrics. You can measure your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) values for free with the tools listed below:
- Search Console
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome UX Report
- Chrome DevTools
- Google Lighthouse
We see that speed and user experience is gaining more and more importance for a website’s success. We see that the logic behind the Google algorithm changes such as “mobile-first” or “core web vitals” is achieving a more user friendly internet experience.
For this reason, brands, digital marketing agencies and web developers should review their website strategies within the framework of user experience. It is plausible to conduct A/B tests, to analyze the data collected from users and to turn them into meaningful insights.