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Google Core Web Vitals

Google has announced a new ranking factor: Core Web Vitals that will officially be used for ranking pages in June 2021 and beyond. 


This Google-announced algorithm change comes with some details you definitely should know. 


In this post, we will answer some of the most common questions regarding Core Web Vitals. 


What are Core Web Vitals?


Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers essential in a webpage’s overall user experience. 


Did you know making your website fast will help make your website successful? 


Estimates are that for every additional second your website takes to load, 20% of your visitors will leave. The worst part is you won’t even know that they left since your analytics program wouldn’t have kicked in yet. Site speed is a silent traffic killer. But beyond keeping people on your website, site speed is an integral part of ranking well.


What are the advantages of Core Web Vitals? 


We now have an obvious set of metrics to optimize their sites against. Google considers these metrics to be a part of their page experience score. There Core Web Vitals is basically how Google interprets how usable your website is.


What are the three Core Web Vitals?


Core Web Vitals consist of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements:

1. LCP (Largest Contentful Paint)

2. FID (First Input Delay)

3. Cumulative Layout Shift.

What is Largest Content Paint?

Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP, measures the loading performance of the page. LCP metric reports the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport relative to when the page first started loading.

What is First Input Delay?

First Input Delay, or FID, measures how long it takes for the site to react to the first interaction (looks at how long it takes for the server to respond to a request). A good grade here gives the user a sense that a site is quick to react to input and, therefore, responsive.

What is Cumulative Layout Shift?


Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS metric looks at the amount of shifting on-screen as the page loads. In other words, does stuff move around on the screen while it is loading and how often it happens. 


When Google measures these metrics, they look at what’s called the 75th percentile of page load. This means those huge outliers, both positive and negative, are tossed out to normalize the data a little bit.


For Largest Contentful Paint, LCP, Good is before 2.5 seconds. Needs Improvement is between 2.5 seconds and four seconds. And Poor is anything above four seconds. LCP is looking at how long it takes you to click a link to load the page. And how long it takes before they see the majority of the content in their browser. It isn’t looking at total page load speed. That’s a common misconception. 


If you find that you have a poor LCP, Google’s page speed tool will give you some tips. Commonly it’s JavaScript, including third-party scripts like your chat widget that are loading early when they don’t need to be, slowing down the whole operation. You may also find problems if you’re loading in all the images at once when you should be using lazy load to bring in images later on. Especially for those images, the user wouldn’t even see until they scroll much further down the page. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you have some basic page speed hygiene in place, such as minifying your CSS and JavaScript. And make sure you’re only loading what you need to load on every page. 

For FID, Good is less than 100 milliseconds. Needs improvement is between 100 milliseconds and 300 milliseconds. And Poor is anything above 300 milliseconds. FID is all about making it faster for a visitor to interact with your site. And a lot of what you can help you with LCP will also help you improve when it comes to FID. Here’s a tip,  take a look at your web host and see if there are big delays in responses when you request pages from the server. Maybe you need to switch through a faster web host. A  client was moved from a slow web host to a faster one. Can you believe their conversion rate went up 20%? That’s right! This is all because people could fill out forms without waiting for the form to load.

CLS, Cumulative Layout Shift. Good is less than 0.1. Needs improvement is between 0.1 and 0.25. And Poor is more than 0.25. CLS is typically something you can see. This metric tries to determine how ‘stable’ stuff loads onto your screen. It looks at how often stuff jumps around while loading and by how much. You don’t want things to shift around as the page loads. Since that can be really frustrating for your visitors, who thought they were clicking on one thing but it turns out there was something else as a result of  everything shifting as the page loaded.


To fix CLS, make sure you aren’t resizing images using CSS. But instead you’re serving the correctly sized image right away. This will also help with your LCP score. If you’re serving ads on your site, make sure you’re saving space for them or else they’ll push elements around as they load in. And generally, you want to try to load in the CSS quickly. So, the different elements in your page are mostly set as images and other elements load in as if they’re filling in later on. 


Remember, anything you do to help these scores will also make your visitors happy, which overall will make your website more successful.


If you have any questions about these changes,  don’t hesitate to contact us here at OrbiWeb. 


Contact us @ 1 (800) 430-6414