Have you heard of Core Web Vitals? 👩💻
It can be pretty technical for most people to understand, so I'm going to break it down for you in the simplest way possible
In the last few years, Google has been focusing on the importance of good user experience, and this update was just another piece of the puzzle 🧩
What is Core Web Vitals?
In 2020, Google announced a new ranking factor called Core Web Vitals which focuses on user experience 📲
Core Web Vitals are three specific ranking factors that, combined with other web vitals (mobile-friendly, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials (e.g. no pop-ups), will impact well your website ranks 🏅
1️⃣ Largest contentful paint
Largest contentful paint or LCP focuses on how long it takes your webpage to load, with the recommendation being 2.5 seconds or faster than ⏰
Now I don't know about you, but I hate a slow loading website and will hit the back button faster than you can imagine
How can you negatively impact your LCP?
➡️ Using a cheap hosting company that slows does your website response time
➡️ Having a website that uses a lot of coding language that blocks rendering (the process that Google uses to access your content)
➡️ Slow loading resources like images and videos that have not been optimised for your website
Want to know how to improve your LCP score?
✨ Upgrade your hosting to a reliable one that offers fast server response
✨ Use a cleanly coded website template that is easy for Google to access
✨ Use lazy loading for your images
✨ Using Google Tag Manager to make sure you don't have a lot of unnecessary code slowing down your website
2️⃣ First input delay
First input delay (or FID) is all about interactivity on your website and how long it takes for someone to be able to interact with your website
According to Google, it should be less than 100 ms
So what counts as an interaction?
➡️ Selecting an option from your navigation bar/sidebar
➡️ Typing information into a form
➡️ Clicking on a jump link
FID isn't essential on every single page, just the ones that you expect people to interact with – so FID is important on your landing page but not necessarily important for your thank you page
Want to improve your LCP?
✨ Remove anything that is taking too long to load
✨ Remove any third-party scripts that you are not using
✨ Use browser caching
3️⃣ Cumulative layout shift
Cumulative layout shift or CLS is the visual stability of your webpage when it loads
You may have seen it yourself when a website is loading and the visual start to bounce around while it's loading
A good CLS score for your website should be under 0.1
What impacts a CLS score?
➡️ Ads, including banners
➡️ Cookie banners and notices
➡️ Content such as images and videos that do not have specific dimensions
➡️ Embedded content such as iframes
CLS is one of the trickiest factors in this new update, and I recommend working with a technically savvy web developer to help you with this
How to audit your website
So now you've understood what Core Web Vitals is, I'd recommend using these two free tools to see how well your website is performing
➡️ Google's PageSpeed Insights
Each tool will give you insights into what changes you need to make, so you know what to focus on