In a direct parallel with healthcare and monitoring a patient’s vital signs, website owners need to hook their sites up to technical monitoring systems or risk losing out on the financial bottom line.
What are web core vitals, and why you should get them checked
Google launched what they call Web Vitals to improve the general user online experience. It’s a set of metrics that measure specified quality signals of a website. Once you can measure then you can improve and re-test. It’s the basic central logic of any continuous service improvement (CSI) process.
Core Web Vitals are the most important three of these metrics that measure:
- Speed of loading (aka Largest Contentful Paint)
- Responsiveness and interactive speed (aka First Input Delay)
- Unexpected page movement (aka Visual Stability)
CHECK YOUR SITE HERE : Page Speed Insights
Why you need to pay careful attention to your Core Web Vitals
In its never-ending pursuit of a great user experience, Google has long prioritised fast loading speed, for example. That is common sense and most web masters understand that a slow site is not well regarded by the search engine giant.
Google does not like your site then you fall down the rankings. Lower rankings mean less traffic and a drop in revenue. That is stating the obvious, but let’s not forget the objective: Money.
From July, Google has made it clear that its algorithms will pay special attention to your Core Web Vitals when determining page rankings in its SERPs. Forewarned is forearmed, we say, and now is the time to measure them, apply a programme of improvements and constantly monitor them going forward.
Vitals metric #1: Loading speed delivers Largest Contentful Paint
It’s never straightforward to truly measure meaningful page load times. Of course you can measure how long it takes to load every single element from start to end, but that ignores the fact that the user can view and interact with at least some part of the content well before the end of loading.
The new Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric measures the time it takes for the largest block of text or largest image to be made visible in the immediate viewport. It assumes that the page becomes usable, or at least readable, at that point.
You want to aim for a score of 2.5 seconds or less, ideally around the 1 second mark.
Vitals metric #2: Responsiveness measured by First Input Delay
Fast loading is one thing but you want your site to respond quickly after a user has clicked on something – especially a Buy Now button!
This is what FID measures – the delay from when your visitor first taps on a button (interacts with your page) to the point at which the browser reacts by starting to process that request.
You want to aim for 100 milliseconds or less.
Vitals metric #3: Visual Stability and Cumulative Layout Shift
No doubt you have sometimes intended to click on a button or link but found that the page suddenly jumped and instead you accidentally clicked on something else. It is a most annoying occurrence and a bad user experience and it’s called Layout Shift. There are several potential causes, all of them technical, and in the domain of experienced web developers to resolve.
These jerky page movements usually come in rapid bursts at split-second intervals in what’s called a session window, which is basically a page’s lifespan. The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metric reports on this visual stability and you want to aim for a CLS rating of 0.1 or less.
Where to start monitoring and improving your Core Web Vitals
No doubt you may find free online tools to measure these critical metrics, and that is not a bad place to start.
Bearing in mind that
- The metrics are highly technical and specialised
- The cost of failure in purely monetary terms (lost sales) may hurt
- It will take time and effort over a prolonged period for proper monitoring and remedial action
.. we strongly suggest bringing in proper expertise to ensure you get it right and secure your Google rankings now and in the future. Fill in the form below to find out how we can help you.