In November 2020, the e-commerce market was electrified by the news that Google was planning to introduce a new ranking factor called Core Web Vitals. What is it and why is it important from the point of view of website owners? In our article, you will find 8 ways to improve your domain for CWV!
Core Web Vitals – what is it and why is it important?
Originally, changes to the consideration of page quality in Google were announced for May 2021, but in April there was information about postponing this date to June.
Thanks to CWV, websites that meet the standards for websites according to Google will be awarded – they are attractive to users. This action will force the implementation of improvements in the indicated areas for all domains – otherwise, updating the algorithm may cause domains with insufficient CWV parameters to be less visible in the network.
What are Core Web Vitals metrics about?
Core Web Vitals Indicators, as we mentioned earlier, are a continuation of customizing pages to the convenience of using them for users. Google announced that from the introduction of the update in June 2021, they will evolve – gradually implemented changes will concern the reduction of page speed. It is worth remembering that they apply to both the desktop versions of the website and the mobile versions.
Reports will indicate recommended actions:
– high result – actions are not required, it is worth watching the indicator;
– improvement required – the indicator should be analyzed and monitored, and solutions should be implemented that will affect the improvement;
– low score – poor quality side, the indicator may have a negative impact on the bounce rate.
LCP – Largest Contentful Paint
A fast-loading website is user-friendly – the LCP indicator relates to the rendering time of the largest fragment of content on the page. To qualify as good, the result must be less than 2.5 seconds. Score up to 4 seconds requires improvement, above – makes the website classified as poor quality websites. The LCP element can be text, video, or photo – if this metric needs improvement, it is important to adapt the solution to the content type.
FID – First Input Delay
The impression of the quick operation of the page is based on the FID value, i.e. from the user’s perspective, the page load time and its interactivity. The loading time of the first value on the page, which is defined by this index as a good quality page, cannot exceed 100 ms. A result in the range of 100-300 ms requires improvement, and a result above 300 ms may already have an impact on the quality indicator.
CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift
The stability of elements on the page is related to the CLS index, which refers to the sum of visible movements during page loading. From the user’s point of view, it is a shift of elements, e.g. photos, which take longer to load than moving to the next field. Example? The desire to expand the menu or click on the details causes clicking on the ad, which was shifted due to the long loading time of the graphics at the top of the page.
The basic internet indicators discussed above are so important that they can determine the position in search results. It is worth following them and, if necessary, correcting them so that they are of good quality.
Is it worth worrying about the introduction of Core Web Vitals?
And what do users think about CWV: website owners, developers, marketers, e-commerce employees? Some time ago, we decided to ask them about it using a survey on LinkedIn. Voices are divided – some are concerned about the introduction of Google updates, some work, some remain passive. A fairly large percentage of Core Web Vitals indicators have not heard of.
Should you be concerned about the June update? According to our specialists, not if we had already paid attention to the elements influencing the loading time of individual elements on the website when implementing improvements or creating a website, and we made sure that the technical side of the actions were performed well, taking into account the page experience and user experience.
Test Core Web Vitals – tools
How to verify that Core Web Vitals indicators are at the appropriate level? You can use free and generally available tools for this, incl. such as:
– PageSpeed Insights – the report shows data on the current availability of the site (section: laboratory data). This means that when the text was launched, the algorithms evaluated the page being tested and generated results. However, for popular sites, there is still a report that the Google Chrome browser took from users visiting this site in the last 4 weeks. The tool also shows the elements that may adversely affect the results. Each of them is worth verifying and planning improvement.
– GTmetrix – like PSI, it provides information on how the website is rated from the user’s point of view. The report is generated in real time and includes an analysis of the elements included in the CWV as well as suggestions for improving the elements rated low.
– Google Search Console – unlike the above-mentioned tools, GSC can only be used by a verified owner of a given domain. It will be perfect for indicating subpages that need improvement. The reports also include historical data.
How to improve Core Web Vitals metrics? Practical advice
There is no one-size-fits-all way to improve Core Web Vitals. It is worth taking care of the website’s usability and checking whether the LCP, FID and CLS indicators are of good quality. However, if the test shows that something is wrong in the field of Core Web Vitals, it is worth verifying the operation of elements such as: server, CMS, technologies in which the website is written, or the number of extensions (plugins).
The long loading time of the page and its elements has a negative impact not only on the indicators defined by Google as basic Internet indicators, but also on the user’s perceptions. The less friendly a domain, the more shifts within it during use or the longer the loading time of elements, the more the bounce rate increases. Potential errors, and thus the solutions that will affect the analyzed indicators, may be different for each website, so it is worth verifying the operation of these elements within the Core Web Vitals. This is a relatively new concept, so we recommend asking your website developers if they include core web metrics in their solutions.