Is your website running seamlessly? How are your Core Web Vitals?
The Google algorithm is an ever-changing goal post that SEO providers and digital marketers must consistently remain abreast of. These modifications to the algorithm are constant, however, Google implemented a major, much more significant algorithm update in June 2021. As such, Core Web Vitals have become even more important as ranking factors that impact your SEO strategy.
What does this mean? And how can you succeed online in light of these changes?
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are user-centric ranking factors that Google considers to be intrinsic to the user experience a web page delivers. They translate to the overall page experience score that Google assigns to your website, and are comprised of three specific measurements of page speed and user interaction:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- Largest Contentful Paint reflects the loading speed of your web page; this is timed from the moment the user clicks on an on-page link until the page loading completely on their screen.
- First Input Delivery reflects the interactivity of your web page. It considers how long it takes the user to interact with your web page, including navigating the site, clicking on main menu links, opening accordion text on mobile devices, and filling out online forms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift reflects the visual stability of your web page. Do all the elements of your page load simultaneously? Do any elements lag?
Other web vitals that you need to be aware of include:
- Browsing safety – the absence of malware or viruses on your site.
- Mobile-friendliness – how well your site adapts for mobile use.
- HTTPS page security – the presence of SSL/TLS protocols.
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines for pop-up ads to prevent them from blocking or covering the content on your site.
The experience a user has on your website, as determined by Google’s algorithm, will affect your website’s ranking in search engine results pages. This, in turn, will enhance or compromise your online visibility and presentation to your target audience.
The speed of your web page, for example, can be impacted by various factors:
- Website performance
- Server performance
- Videos and animations
- User ISP
- Connection type (3G delivers slow loading times)
- Active background apps
Why Do Core Web Vitals and Page Speed Matter?
Page speed, interactivity, and stability directly impact your search engine optimisation and ranks.
Did you know that half of all online users will leave a website if the page has not loaded within 2 seconds? They are also unlikely to return, as there are so many other options just the swipe of a screen or the click of a mouse away.
A website that fails to load seamlessly will be flagged by Google as delivering a poor user experience – and your search engine ranking results will suffer.
How To Check Your Score:
Use the Google Search Console tool. Go to the “Enhancements” tab to access a report on the performance of your website in terms of Core Web Vitals elements. It will identify the affected URLs on your site and describe the elements that require improvement.
Page Speed Insights is the next tool to use, to check impacted pages for bot mobile and desktop insights. This is based on real-life data provided by human browsers on Google Chrome.
Quick Tips to Improve your Core Web Vitals
- Use a local, dedicated server
- Structure HTML and CSS logically.
- Minify code and compress files where appropriate.
- Images should be compressed and optimised
- Defer images to load as users scroll down the page.
- Adopt an effective policy for caching.
- Limit plugins on your site as much as possible.
To succeed in terms of your online presence and user experience and overcome the challenges the Google algorithm throws your way, hire an expert for affordable SEO and website design. They have the experience, industry insight, and expertise to help you build an SEO-friendly website that runs smoothly and seamlessly and reflects well on your business.
Alana Wills is Co-Owner and Head Writer on Staff at www.seocycle.com.au. SEOcycle is a Sydney-based SEO and web design company offering comprehensive online services including affordable SEO, website design and development, and related web marketing services that include high-quality copywriting and content writing, blogging, and social media management for SEO.