Understanding Core Web Vitals | How to Improve it?

Understanding Google's Core Web Vitals

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core web vitals are a set of metrics that are considered while assessing a website’s user experience. Google is improving its core algorithm almost every year to provide more specific and top-quality content to users. Core web vitals are now an important part of the new updated algorithm that marketers should care about. They help to analyze the minute details of a content. In short, Google determines the UX (user experience) of your website by analyzing your core web vital score. However, according to Google, an excellent UX score won’t shoot your website to the top. Rather, it is a part of the 200 Google algorithm ranking factors

Why Are Core Web Vitals Important?

In June 2021, Google announced page experience as a vital parameter of Google’s official ranking parameter. Earlier, to have a good user experience, a few website essentials were:
  • HTTPS URL
  • Minimal ad pop-ups/Non-Intrusive Interstitials
  • Safe browsing
  • Mobile friendliness
However, now, according to Google, to deliver a positive overall page experience, a website should have:
  • Uninterrupted interaction
  • Visual Stability
  • Quick loading time
So, improving the core web vitals score of your website will help you to improve user experience and search engine ranking.

What is Included in Core Web Vitals?

Core web vitals contain three elemts, that are:
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Now that you know about core vitals and why they are important, let’s have a look at the tips for improving core web vitals. Though, the amount of control you have over your core web vitals is also dependent on the type of CMS/platform you are using for your website, such as WordPress, Shopify, etc., apart from the web hosting company you are using.  
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

     

    Largest Contentful Paint threshold recommendations

The time taken for a website to load from a user’s point of view is known as Largest Contentful Paint. In short, it is the time taken by your website to display the major on-screen content after a user has clicked on the respective link.

What is LCP ?

What can be worse than having no website at all? A slow website. Trust me on this. If your page’s loading speed is slow, it is utterly frustrating for users. They would avoid visiting your page and land up on the competitor’s page instead. However, optimizing site speed for improving on-page experience is somewhat technical, but it is completely worth it. LCP is different from the other pagespeed measurements, that are TTFB and First Contextual Paint. TTFB and First Contextual Paint don’t measure the experience from a real user’s point of view. On the other hand, Largest Contentful Paint focuses on what a real user will experience when they click on a link. LCP focuses on the content that matters the most. The elements that are considered for the Largest Contentful Paint are:
  • <video> elements
  • <img> elements
  • <image> within <svg> element
  • Block-level elements
  • Background image element
To improve your page experience, you need to regularly check your LCP score and optimize your page accordingly. According to Google, sites should have a LCP score of less than 2.5 seconds.

How to check LCP Score?

You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s LCP score. You can also check your LCP data on your Google Search Console. The data stored in the GSC is extracted from the Chrome User Experience Report. In Google PageSpeed Insights, you can view the report of a single page whereas, in GSC, you can view LCP data of your entire site. So, instead of checking manually, you will get a holistic report for your overall site with a list of URLs that are good, bad, and ugly. Though that’s how we name it. Google segregates the LCP score into three sections, that are: Good, Needs Improvement, and Poor. To get a good LCP score, make sure all the pages of your site maintain an LCP score of not more than 2.5 seconds.

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