While we keep stressing more on keyword optimization, mobile engagement, and backlink building for search rankings, Google is now focusing more on the on-page experience. This is why the search engine giant has sent out a new protocol that focuses on Core Web Vitals just changing the way search also works.
With this, you can expect the new update in May to pay more attention to how your page receives the users. The ‘page experience’ signals will take into account page loading speed, visual steadiness, and web responsiveness at large.
So, what is it actually?
Some new search gimmick to get people to work on something trivial. Or something to stir some action in the ‘business of search’? Or just another way to put people in a panic mode and get them to do random acts of improving their presence in the fear of losing ranks?
Not anything like this for sure!
So, What Core Web Vitals are and How These Can Impact The SERP Ranks?
Well, as per experts in the field, these signals are more of a real and practical measure of web reception and engagement quality.
This is a freshly arrived attempt by Google to ensure an extended value for its searchers by getting them a quality landing page experience with a smooth interface and apt communication and all things relevant and responsive about the search.
In the simplest words, it is a set of web experience metrics that are going to change how you rank on searches based on the landing page value and quality score of your website.
Based on the factors like the loading speed, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, non-intrusive content, smooth site mapping and navigation, and the UX coalignment with the communication interface.
Well, a part of it has always been there, as you may have come across the on-page and technical SEO criteria of page loading speed and structures. But this is now going to get broadly aligned with more user engagement points and experience factors in entirety.
Like many websites, if you are aware of the quality web practices and roles, you don’t have to worry about it. But this is certainly going to affect your website rankings and search results if you have paid the least attention to the onboarding and engagement experience of your users.
Core Web Vitals Metrics You Should Know
When building a website, you consider a host of factors to get it to effectively serve your idea and the purpose of a web. Moving forward, as you want to take a note of Core Web Vitals and put it along with your web development plan, these are the metrics to aim and achieve:
Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The largest Contentful Paint or LCP is simply the loading speed of the web page about showing what is more important to the user above the fold. Quite till now, most websites use images and videos on the top of the page which kills the loading speed and shows whitespace in the initial few seconds to disregard the content’s fluidity of interaction with the user.
For the fastest website, this could go till a display time of 6 seconds, which is now being changed with LCP taking the charge. Now, websites will follow Google’s benchmark of 2.5 seconds in which they will have to display everything in the first visible frame within that time limit. So, the banners would use more static events and typographic elements to substitute heavy graphics and web resources to avoid Lower Rankings and Penalties.
Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay or FID is the measure of the responsiveness of your page. This can be associated with the latency or response time of the webpage and is measured based on the metric of the time taken by the browser to support the interaction between the page and the user by tracking the trigger, action, and response events by time.
Let’s understand this by taking an example. So, you fill a web form and click on the submit button. The time that it takes to revert you with an acknowledgment or with any apt response is your First Input Delay. If this time gets expanded or delayed it builds up to the user frustration and ruins their experience with the web event and this is what Google wants to eliminate with this move.
So, considering that from now FID is going to be one of the important factors to get you a higher score on the search listings.
Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Many of us at some point in time have experienced Cumulative Layout Shift while browsing through some websites.
Cumulative Layout Shift can be explained as an unexpected change in the web layout due to the interim loading instances and sporadic transitions happening on the page.
You may have been through a situation where you are scrolling through a web page and suddenly you see a graphical element or an image appearing and the content spreading, dispersing across the page to lose its entity. This interrupts the whole sequence of web interfacing and the part of the page you were interacting with sudden shifts from that position to get lost from your sight.
This is a really big letting-down experience for any user on the page.
This may happen in various forms and different ways. A button might add up to a paragraph or a third-party sourced video suddenly pops up somewhere on the page when you were about to take your action. This may also include different web scripts and integrated tools that may bump in between to change the entire flow and structure of the page.
These all are uninviting and improbable page experiences and this adds to the agony of users. Google wants to end this and this is being made sure by including CLS in the Core Web Vital strategy and enforcing it in ranking algorithms.
The Effect of Core Web Vitals on your web content and layout plan
Now, as we know what Core Web Vitals are about, we should find out the impact these have on web content and layout plan and how you can improve it for your benefit.
As you now go to your Google Search Console, you’ll see ‘Core Web Vitals’ instead of what was previously marked as ‘Speed Test’.
As you click this, you will get an option to see the report for mobile and desktop.
As you select your option to see the Core Web Vitals for your web, you will get a report with a list of poor-performing URLs and suggestions for improvements. These results are thrown based on the quality mapping criteria and vitality compliance established by the new ‘web landing page experience’ protocols.
Remember, the new ranking algorithm is based on the protocols that emphasize three key metrics of quality and performance – Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.
Mostly, when a URL needs improvement, it will have a combination of these factors. A good URL with all these criteria served well clears out clean.
These checkpoints will keep you on track with how you should be getting your web experience aligned with Core Web Vitals. However, at your end, you need to take care of all those factors while you plan your content for the web and get on with development.
How to Improve Core Web Vitals?
Some various practices and techniques need to be applied in a coordinated combination to get the best results with improving Core Web Vitals for your website.
It starts with creating content based on the structure and format that is more dependent on bringing in textual and fast-streaming communication on board. The key sections and important parts of the communication should be stacked up and with the least trappings and frills on it.
The navigation and transitions should be worked out smoothly. It should have quick and unified reception and should encourage predictively smart communication. The content should blend with the functionality and actionable events well, with no juggling and jerking taking place in between. All this would help get you good results with LCP.
To be able to limit or terminate the instances of CLS, you should restrict video elements and media resources to a limit and keep a check on transform animation. As these are the major factors that trigger Cumulative Layout Shift. And everything around bulk and volume and sourced real-time integrations should be worked out with professional help from technical SEO services experts.
As you follow these practices, you are going to achieve better results by establishing compliance with the Core Web Vitals.
Here, you should make it a routine exercise to check with the Google reports to track performance and see if any problem exists and seek apt solutions to resolve it.
Once you are through with this process of checking and fixing the updates, you can get it submitted for verification with Google.
Moving forward, if you want to please Google consider your website for better rank slots, you need to delight your users with a smooth and pleasing landing page experience. This is going to be an inseparable part of the game ahead of here. No matter how good are your plans with SEO or how sound you are strategical with claiming high search authority, you are only going to get help when you improve your on-page experience. This is when you properly address Core Web Vitals and get the content and structure of your website served with the right plan of user reception and engagement based on the criteria of loading, interactivity, and visual stability.