Ranking higher on Google may feel like a never-ending battle most days, and that’s not surprising given the countless factors Google considers when ranking a site on its search engine. Keeping track of dozens upon dozens of factors to rank your site can easily make your head spin, especially since the algorithm Google uses is always being updated and improved. While these changes certainly help consumers find better sites, it keeps you, site developer, website owner, or marketer, constantly on your toes. Core web vitals is a recent update to Google’s ranking process, so here’s everything you need to know about core web vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals?
In short, web core vitals are the things that directly affect the user experience. There are 6 core vitals that you should concern yourself with when wanting to boost your ranking on Google: Loading, Interactivity, Visual Stability, Mobile Experience, HTTPS, and no Intrusive Interstitials. If these core vitals are completely new to you, don’t worry! They’re much easier to understand than you might think.
Web Core Vital 1: Loading
It’s no secret that a lengthy loading time loses leads faster than anything else; the loading time of your website is crucial to a positive user experience. The Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP, is one of the most integral metrics used when evaluating your website’s loading times. This metric applies a timer to your website to determine how quickly the largest element on your site, such as an image or graphic, takes to load on the page. For best results, your LCP should remain under 2.5 seconds according to Google.
Web Core Vital 2: Interactivity
In our fast-paced world, we’ve come to expect instant results and immediate reactions while browsing the web; anything that takes longer than a second to respond is outright infuriating. The First Input Delay, or FID, is an important measure of your site’s interactivity – another key component to a positive user experience. The FID of your website is the time delay between a user interaction on a page and the response by the browser. While “instant” is nice, anything under 100 ms should be your goal.
Web Core Vital 3: Visual Stability
Have you ever been scrolling a page for information when suddenly, there’s an image blocking what you were about to click on? This occurrence can be detrimental to a positive user experience, especially if the user happens to click on the wrong thing in the process. The Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS, is a key web vital that works to measure how much, and to what degree, elements of a page jump from one position to another. With this core web vital, a low score is ideal: anything under 0.1 is considered optimal.
Web Core Vital 4: Mobile Experience
While Google certainly doesn’t expect a complete mobile focus, your website should be equally optimized for mobile browsing as it is for desktop browsing. A poorly designed mobile experience will damage your website’s overall ranking even if your desktop experience is top-notch.
Web Core Vital 5: HTTPS
Every single day internet users face new online threats in regards to their personal information, privacy, and transactions in particular. It is important that your website is deemed trustworthy by Google and by your users, so HTTPS security should be a top priority when analyzing your overall web experience.
Web Core Vital 6: No Intrusive Interstitials
If you’ve never heard of Intrusive Interstitials, you’re not alone, but it’s only a fancy term for pop-ups. Intrusive interstitials are harmful to the user experience when they block visuals or delay access to your site. Google will punish your site if it requires the user to dismiss a pop-up before being able to access or view the main content of the page. While it may not seem like a big deal on your end, it is an unnecessary irritation for the user and is discouraged by Google.
Why Core Web Vitals Matter
Great, now you know what the core web vitals for your website are. Now why the heck did you need to know them in the first place? Each of the above web core vitals are crucial elements of not only your user experience, but your page performance. Did you know that your site’s bounce rate will increase by 106% if your page takes 1-6 seconds to load? Each web core vital has similar effects on your bounce rate and loss of leads, making them more crucial than you probably realized, especially when considering them as a unit rather than individual statistics in a spreadsheet. Understanding what the numbers mean and how they impact the user experience of your website is critical to your success and growth.
Using Core Web Vitals to Rank Your Website
And that’s where we come in. Optimizing these web core vitals is not a piece of cake, but we’re hungry enough to devour the entire pie. Unfortunately for most website owners, gathering the statistics is the easiest part of the journey. Understanding what the numbers are telling you about your user experience is challenging, but knowing what steps to take to fix the issues and achieve a more positive user experience and improved page performance is the most daunting task of all. Since you have more than enough to worry about already, you can use our services to become fully compliant with each of the core web vitals and drastically improve your ranking in Google. This web core vitals update is intended to separate the positive experience pages from the poor experience pages, and we’ll make sure you fall on the right side of that line.