In early June, Google announced that they will be evaluating user experience as a search ranking factor. User experience (UX) takes into account many technical factors when a user visits your website site. Google uses various metrics to determine your UX, such as content layout, mobile friendliness, accessibility, and site speed.
With this recent change in UX as a ranking factor, Google has rolled out a Core Web Vitals Report to replace the old speed report. To be able to claim a good UX, Google has stated a site must meet requirements for loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – This measures the load time for the largest or main content on the page. It tells the user that the page is loading. An ideal speed is 2.5 seconds or faster.
- First Input Delay (FID) – FID measures the time from when a user interacts with your website to the response of the browser. Essentially, it measures the responsiveness of your website. An ideal time is less than 100 seconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This metric looks at the amount of page layout shifts when the page is loading. CLS measures visual stability, and the lower the number the better.
Understanding the Core Web Vitals Report
The report will show the performance of the URL grouped by status, metric type, and URL group. You can toggle between the “Poor,” “Needs Improvement,” and “Good” tabs to view how your URL is performing. Click “Open Report” to view performance numbers on either mobile or desktop.
Key areas to look at include:
- Overview page – This page on the Core Web Vitals report breaks down information based on the device used to view the URL. It is grouped by status.
- Summary pages for mobile and desktop – The status and all the issues for all URLs on the site will be shown here. You can click on a row in the table to learn more specifics about the issue and status.
How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals
Here are some tips for improving your Core Web Vitals!
- Upgrade your web host, since a better host means faster load times
- Remove large page elements – PageSpeed Insights will tell you what is slowing down your LCP
- Remove unnecessary third-party scripts
- Incorporate lazy loading, since lazy loading makes images only load when you scroll down to them
- Use browser cache, as it helps load content quicker
- Set size dimensions for any multimedia additions
- Ensure ad elements have a reserved space
- Add UI elements below the fold