Earlier last year, Google announced a major change in their ranking factors — the Core Web Vitals. Before, the search engine prioritized and evaluated websites based on their content. With the new ranking factors, Google will now begin championing websites that provide excellent page experience for their users.
Your customer’s user experience on your website page can now make or break your business. Not only does it determine your search rankings, but it can affect your visitors’ impression as well. Having a good page experience will make it easier for your website visitors to navigate your site. On the other hand, a bad page experience will frustrate visitors, making them leave and never visit your website again.
This new update in Google’s ranking factors aims to help users have a seamless website experience. They also want to encourage website owners to provide an excellent page experience for their visitors. This new user-centric metric will not only optimize page experience but improve business growth as well.
The Three Components of the Core Web Vitals
In this blog, we wish to help small business owners understand why the Core Web Vitals matter. We also like to help them realize what this major update will mean for their website. To start, let’s first dig into its details.
The new Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google will use to evaluate a website and measure page experience. It has three components, namely the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These three will help Google ensure a good user experience as it assesses the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of a website page.
Loading Speed: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP will measure the loading time of the largest piece of content to appear on your website’s screen. This could be an image, video, or blocks of text content. The loading speed of a website is a huge element when it comes to page experience. Since we live in a present world where people prefer things to be instant, most of us don’t like waiting for too long. This is why optimizing the loading speed of your site is essential.
Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
Have you ever experienced visiting a website then clicking on a link that takes forever to work? This type of page experience will now be included in Google’s ranking factors. FID will measure how long it takes for the web page to process, register, and respond to a user’s first interaction. The interaction could be anything from tapping a button, clicking an image, or clicking a link. A slower web page interactivity will prevent or affect the user from performing actions, such as signing in and purchasing.
Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
You have probably experienced trying to click on a button only for it to suddenly shift as the page loads. As a result, you’ll end up clicking on the wrong button instead. If this happens on your website, you will wind up frustrating your visitors. CLS is a ranking factor that will measure how words or other aspects in the web page move around or suddenly shift on the screen while the page loads. Simply put, it will evaluate the visual stability of a website page.
Other factors that the new ranking algorithm will consider
Aside from the three major components, the new ranking mechanism will also evaluate the following:
- Browsing Safety
To guarantee every user’s safety, Google will also assess and determine website malware, phishing, and hacking, among others.
The new website ranking mechanism will also take into account the site’s associations and evaluate whether or not it is secured.
- Mobile Adaptability
Since most users access websites through mobile phones, the Google ranking factors will now consider how optimized a website is for mobile devices. This will include evaluating the site to see if it’s adaptable to a mobile layout.
How will the Core Web Vitals affect small businesses’ websites?
A quality page experience is equally important for the long-term success of a small business. This new update in the search algorithms is an opportunity for small business owners to not only improve customer experience but climb up the search rankings as well.
Moreover, Google also stated that they also aim to release visual indicators to identify website pages that meet all of the new search ranking factors. The said visual indicators will likely have a big impact on click-through rates. The flow of website traffic will be greatly influenced, as well as the user’s perception when visiting a web page. Website owners, especially small businesses, should make sure to meet the new standard in the ranking factors if they wish to stay relevant in the search results.
Why is the Core Web Vitals important?
There are only a few times that we visit the second or third page on a Google search result. Thus, successful website owners always work hard to have their site stay on top of the search results. However, with the yearly updates on search rankings, this can be quite difficult.
The new ranking factors can be both an opportunity and a threat to site owners. For example, if your website is currently at the top of search rankings but is not yet optimized to the new Core Web Vitals, then you may find your competitors filling in that spot later on.
As website owners, you should revamp your website every now and then to suit consumer preferences and align it with the latest changes in SEO. That way, you will not be worrying too much about losing your spot in the search rankings.
How the Core Web Vitals can affect your business revenue?
According to a 2018 Google study, 90% of mobile device users are more likely to leave a website if it takes more than five seconds to load. So, if your site’s Core Web Vitals scores are not good enough, then the slow loading speed and unresponsiveness of your web pages can cost your business revenue.
The visitors who got discouraged with their page experience on your site could have been potential customers who are just a few clicks away from making a purchase or booking an appointment. If you don’t want your business to lose profit, it’s in your best interest to start aligning your website to the new search ranking factors. This will not only boost your sales but your search ranking in the algorithms as well.
Begin evaluating any possible issues that could be slowing your web pages. Assess your website from the ground up. Check for poorly optimized images, videos, or codes and evaluate your server response time. A comprehensive audit of your website can reveal a lot of information that you can leverage to improve the user browsing experience. If you rely a lot on your website to gain customers, you owe it to both yourself and your business to make your site as responsive as possible.
Core Web Vitals FAQs
It is understandable that you may have a ton of questions to ask about the Core Web Vitals. Especially since it contains a lot of technicalities that those who are new to SEO might have difficulties understanding. So below, we have answered frequently asked questions about the Core Web Vitals for your guidance.
Will there be a difference between mobile and desktop?
Currently, Google is only using the page experience as a ranking factor for mobile. This is due to the fact that poor user and page experience is commonly encountered by mobile users compared to those who browse through a desktop.
Which is more important, the page experience or content?
While the website visitors’ user experience is important, we advise website owners to not neglect the relevance of their content as well. A web page with a great user experience. But poor content will never rank higher than a web page that has subpar page experience but great content.
How do I know if my website meets the ranking factors?
To determine whether or not your web page can pass the new search ranking factors with flying colors, we recommend you use any of the following tools:
- PageSpeed Insights –
Just simply paste your website URL, and you’ll receive quick and easy results in no time.
- WebPage Test –
This tool not only provides metrics about the Core Web Vitals but also general information regarding your website’s page experience.
- Google Search Console (GSC) –
You will first need to have your website verified within GSC to use this tool. After that, you will then be able to view and download your site’s Core Web Vitals report.
How to Pass the New Search Ranking Factors
It can be quite difficult for website owners, especially small businesses, to step up their page experience from scratch. We understand that some may have a hard time figuring out where to start. Thus, we have compiled some tips to help you get started with your website and search engine optimization.
Among the largest influencing factors in the Core Web Vitals are images. Since it is among the main sources of delay in almost all websites, putting them among your top things to optimize will be a great start.
Videos are increasingly popular in website design nowadays. However, since they are extremely large files, we advise you to optimize them as much as possible.
Font and icon
Although it seems like they are minuscule details to work on, fonts and icons can also contribute heavily to a website’s loading speed.
None of the aforementioned optimizations will matter if your server itself is slow. It will be worth your while to upgrade or change hosting to a faster infrastructure.
Minimize third-party scripts
Third-party comment systems, social sharing buttons, and media embeds can slow down your website. Minimize the use of these plugins or use its fastest versions.
Avoid pre-load filler
If you use spinners, loading icons, or animations, among others, to indicate that the web page is loading, then we advise you to just work on speeding up your site’s load time rather than using these.
The Key Takeaways
The Core Web Vitals can be pretty technical, especially to website owners who are still new in the digital marketing landscape. Nonetheless, the key point and main purpose of these recent changes in the search algorithms is to improve user experience. As business owners, the convenience of our customers and clients will always come first. Therefore, while making relevant changes to your website, just focus on giving your site visitors the best experience possible.
Moreover, aside from the Core Web Vitals, a lot of changes will still be coming in the future. Although, this will depend on recent trends and consumer behavior. We advise business owners to always stay on alert for big changes not only in search algorithms but in digital marketing as a whole. That way, your website will be up-to-date, and your business can grow further.
Enlist the help of expert developers and SEO specialists!
Rather than doing all these by yourself and risking possible setbacks, it’s still best to hire an expert who can offer genuine advice and help to better your search rankings. If you are a small business owner and still new to the digital landscape, our website developers and SEO specialists can lend you a hand in your digital ventures.
Proweaver is a leading custom website design company that has helped thousands of companies. Reach out to us at +1 (800) 988-3769. We are looking forward to helping you grow your business in the digital landscape!