What are Core Web Vitals?

Jackie L.

In June 2021, Google released Web Core Vitals.  These are new guidelines that help rank websites.  Only 21% of websites passed all three web core vital analytics.  That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date when Google releases new guidelines so that you can make the appropriate changes.  Many people who own business websites are most likely wondering what these vitals are that are important to their rank.

What is Web Core Vitals?

These are a set of metrics that Google has created that focus on the user experience.  While there are other vitals that Google measures, there are three they set as the core of those vitals: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Let’s look at these one by one.

Largest Contentful Paint

This is vital for measuring loading time, but not for the whole webpage.  It’s measuring the leading time of the biggest piece of content on your website.  This is also checking to see how long it takes for the website to be largely usable for the user.  That means, if they click on a link, how long is it taking for the website to be interactive.  The goal is to have each page load within 2.5 seconds.  If it’s longer than that, you will need to go in and make some changes, which may be in the form of removing or optimizing images.

First Input Display

This vital is measuring how long it takes for someone to interact with your website.  Not all websites will be affected by this metric.  If you have a blog website or something where people only scroll through without much interaction, your website won’t be affected by this.  If you have a website with forms, surveys, or is an ecommerce website, this measure will greatly affect your score.  If you do find your website is scoring low on this metric, you can remedy this by decreasing your use of Javascript or taking out third party resources, like ads.

Cumulative Layout Shift

If your website’s content and layout shifts when loading, you are going to have quite a low score with CLS.  There’s nothing more frustrating to users than to want to click on the button or link to only have it moving down the page.  Don’t worry!  There’s an easy remedy for this.  You can set image attributes so browsers know exactly the size of images and, if you have ads, you can set a specific section for those so they aren’t shifting the layout during loading.

While these sound like confusing things, they are relatively simple metrics that Google uses to make sure your website is user friendly.  There are also loads of easy fixes if you do find yourself scoring low on any of these.

Are you looking for a local Austin Texas web consulting?  Send us a message today to see how we can help you!

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