Discover why Google measures website page performance and find out how to rank higher
The world of technical SEO can be a confusing place but thankfully website agencies like our good selves are here to help explain things that little bit better.
In this article dedicated to the topic of Google Core Web Vitals, we discuss what Core Web Vitals are, why they are important, and what part they play in your website’s SEO strategy. Read on to find out more…
Understanding Core Web Vitals
You may not have heard of them before, but Core Web Vitals are intrinsic to the user experience on your website – so they are pretty important. These metrics were developed by Google and measure a website’s user experience in real time to help mark its success.
Monitoring the likes of page loading performance, interactive elements, and overall stability of the website among others, these metrics come together to help Google form a core ranking system. This score is then aligned with search results with the aim to reward websites that are performing well. We explain more about Google’s page experience score system, below.
How does Google measure page experience?
So, to follow on from explaining what Core Web Vitals are, it makes sense for us to highlight how Google measures page experience. You may not have realised, but every page of your website is assessed by Google on its ‘worthiness’ to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) based on Page Experience per URL.
It’s all about giving your website visitors the best online experience possible – this goes far beyond what’s written on each page or the images that accompany them. This is where Google’s Core Web Vitals comes into play, as the metrics they are based on directly influence the Page Experience results. These series of tests include (but aren’t limited to):
- Page load speed
- Responsiveness of individualised elements
- Stability of each page
- Loading experience performance
These individual elements combined are assessed in order to give your website an overall Page Experience score using the Core Web Vitals system.
What are the Core Web Vitals metrics?
Now, to give you a bit more insight into the metrics that make up the Core Web Vitals on Google; the structure is broken down into three key categories which are as follows:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The ultimate goal of LCP is to measure loading performance per page. Based on the Core Web Vitals metric, a website page should load within 2.5 seconds in order to have a good LCP score. Pages that load quickly will rank higher on Google – fact!
First Input Delay (FID)
Here the main goal of FID is to measure interactivity across pages. Based on the Core Web Vitals metric, a website should have an FID of 100 milliseconds or less to be scored well. Most websites nowadays use widgets to display content to users and FID monitors the time it takes for these to load – as we know, users do not like waiting around!
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The goal of CLS is to measure the visual stability of a website page by page. Within the parameters of Core Web Vitals metrics, it should have a CLS score of 0.1 or less. If your website is difficult to use and elements such as CTAs (calls to action) get in the way of page content visibility, then Google will penalise it and the site may not rank as well as it should.
When the metrics are broken down in this way, it is much easier to appreciate the integral part Core Web Vitals play when it comes to Google search results. For visual learners, our infographic summarises the Core Web Vitals metrics in one useful image:
So why do these metrics matter and how does it affect you as a website owner? Well, the Core Web Vitals goals listed above correlate directly with the performance of your website – good or bad. Data shows websites that perform within the Core Web Vitals thresholds had less of a bounce rate than those that didn’t, meaning that 24% of users were less likely to abandon the page as load speed times met their expectations.
Why are Core Web Vitals important?
Ultimately, Core Web Vitals are important because Google considers them to be so – and as lame as it sounds – where a website is concerned, we need to keep Google happy because it is a powerful tool.
But, aside from Google’s almighty influence on us mere humans, it is in fact the overall user experience of a website that makes Core Web Vitals an important factor. Based on personal experience, we can all appreciate how frustrating it is to use a website that is slow to load, clunky to respond, and isn’t stable in its appearance.
In essence, Google is simply ‘sizing up’ your website to see just how worthy it is to appear in what order on its search engine, and user experience (what Google dubs ‘UX’) is key to this.
How does Core Web Vitals affect SEO?
What does any website owner want to do? Rank! And to do that we must conform to what Google wants to see, which is a good user experience. As we’ve explained in this article, Core Web Vitals is how Google measures that experience to determine whether or not the website will appear in SERPs as a priority site, or be hidden in the depths of pages 10 or beyond – and no one wants that!
How to optimise your Core Web Vitals
The good news is that it is possible to improve your website’s Core Web Vitals thanks to good old search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics, which tend to fall within the more technical parameters of SEO. And that’s why website agencies like ourselves have experts on board to help make this happen. In the meantime, here are a few of our top tips to build into your digital marketing strategy:
Optimisation of images and videos
One of the easiest ways to improve your website’s performance is to identify any images and videos embedded within pages that can be optimised. You can do this by reducing the size of the files, which will then help to improve the loading speed of that page and contribute positively to the overall performance of the website.
Responsive design across all devices
If you’ve got a 67 Degrees website, then it will already be responsive, but if you haven’t, then make sure you speak to your web designer about ensuring it’s responsive on all devices. This means that all elements of the website should be clearly visible no matter whether it is viewed on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
Be cautious of third-party cookies and plugins
If your website allows the use of third-party cookies and external plugins (such as adverts), then be aware that they will likely slow your site down considerably. Third-party cookies will be banned by Google Chrome from mid-2024, so why not get ahead of the game and speak to your website provider about blocking these sooner? In the meantime, you can prepare for 2024 cookie changes by reading our blog on the subject.
Improve your website’s Core Web Vitals with a clear SEO strategy
So how can we help influence the Core Webs Vitals of your website? Bring in the SEO experts! Here at 67 Degrees, we offer a range of marketing services to businesses working exclusively within the automotive industry.
Just like a vehicle requires an MOT, we can give your website an SEO health check to see how it’s performing. If your website is a few years old, there’s a chance it could do with a bit of TLC from our team to improve Page Experience and overall Core Web Vitals.
Whether or not you’re an existing client, we’re always happy to have a chat about your website and advise on how we can improve its performance. Get in touch and let’s have a more detailed discussion.