Understanding Core Web Vitals To Improve Your Visibility

SEO strategy

There are over a billion websites online these days, and it’s almost unimaginable to be without the likes of Google these days. Google, as we all know, is an all-powerful being that most businesses strive to be at the very top when it comes to its search result pages. But it isn’t easy, and the practice of SEO and optimising your site will undoubtedly require professional help if you want to achieve success online.

The introduction of Core Web Vitals recently has been a game changer many would say, putting user experience at the heart of Google’s rankings. This introduction has put three metrics at the center of what makes Google tick, these being load time, interactivity and visual stability.

For the most part, website building platforms will take this into account, with many packages factoring them in. For example, Duda, one of the world’s most popular website building platforms, has its Core Web Vitals resource center, which allows users to really focus on the important aspects of their site. But for those people who are only at the very beginning of building a site, they of course need to understand exactly what Core Web Vitals are.

Core Web Vitals explained

As mentioned, there are three key elements to Core Web Vitals, and while we have simplified them above, they are slightly more techy:

Large Contentful Paint (LCP):

This element, often referred to as LCP, looks at how long the largest element above the fold on a website takes to load. Load time and page speed are an important part of Google’s ranking factors and this is a major player in how the search engine recognises that.

Typically, Google recommends keeping this load time for the LCP under two and a half seconds and you’d be surprised by how many sites don’t actually fall into this bracket. It’s believed that around 60% of mobile sites load over this speed, while just under 50% on desktop.

First Input Delay (FID):

FID measures the length of time it takes for a user to make their first interaction with a website. This could be clicking a link or button or navigating through the site. Again, Google has recommendations for this, and it’s expected to rank well the first input delay should be under 100ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):

When loading a webpage, both on mobile and desktop you’ll often find that a page will load partially and then shift when it’s fully loading. It can be a huge irritant, especially if you’re trying to read part of the page. This is known as the CLS and is the time it takes for all of the page’s elements to stop jumping around and load fully.

The Problem With Core Web Vitals

While the Core Web Vitals and adhering to them will undoubtedly improve usability on a page, it can cause problems, particularly when it comes to including more interactive features on your site. Video and images can increase load time significantly if not integrated into your site efficiently, but at the same time they will increase engagement on your site.

Thankfully, there are solutions…

Solution To Adhering To Core Web Vitals And User Engagement

  • Compress your images so they are smaller in file size but don’t suffer quality wise.
  • Convert images into lighter weight formats such as JPEG 2000, WebP, AVIF or HEVC.
  • Produce responsive images.
  • Deliver content through CDNs.

These are relatively quick fixes that will ensure your site is still engaging but won’t be let down by load times and the Core Web Vitals that Google is looking for.