Get ready for Core Web Vitals

Introducing Core Web Vitals, Google’s new ranking factors

This spring, Google is rolling out Core Web Vitals, a new set of ranking factors which evaluate the type of experience people have when they visit your website. This is because Google wants to provide users with websites that are quick, easy and enjoyable to use. If your web pages are slow to load or are frustrating to navigate, your ranking in Google searches will drop.

So, let’s look at the three Core Web Vitals metrics you need to know about. They measure the speed, stability and responsiveness of your web pages.

1. Largest contentful paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how quickly your web page displays the largest element on a page, whether that’s an image, text or video. In other words, how long does it take from the moment you click on a link to seeing the majority of the content on screen? Google consider a good LCP score to be 2.5 seconds or less. Slower will rank lower, and four seconds or more is considered to be poor.

Do all the pages on your site load within 2.5 seconds?

2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) refers to how much your page jumps around. For instance, have you ever clicked on a button and at the last second it moves and you end up hitting another link instead? Or, perhaps you’re reading something, and other content like ads or videos keep loading and push the text further down the page. Frustrating, isn’t it? This shifting layout is another example of poor user experience that Google wants to address.

Are your website pages stable and free from movements that could stop users from accessing the content they want?

3. First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) measures how responsive your page is. For instance, how quickly do you get a response when you first click a button or link? Even the slightest delay can cause a visitor to leave the site out of frustration. Google reckon a good FID is under 100 milliseconds. Anything over 300 milliseconds needs to be fixed. Yes, milliseconds feel like minutes in the digital world!

Do all your web pages respond instantly to requests?

Improve your Core Web Vital scores

Core Web Vitals is all about improving the way users interact with your web pages. Happy visitors are more likely to stick around and come back again. Of course, your website will still need to have great content as Google will continue to prioritise pages with the best information.

So, now’s the time to find out how your website is performing and make any necessary improvements. If you need help to measure, identify problems, and fix things, do get in touch.