How Core Web Vitals Affect Your SEO

By Danielle Duff | Monday, April 26, 2021

Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will become a ranking factor in May 2021

Your website’s Core Web Vitals are officially going to affect your Google ranking. But what are Core Web Vitals and how do they impact SEO?

Core Web Vitals are metrics used to measure page experience on your website. These are also referred to as “website performance indicators”. These indicators revolve around the loading page speed, interactivity, and the layout consistency of your website. While user experience (UX) has always been an influencing factor for Google rankings, the introduction of these metrics signifies that these are going to be a large contributor affecting SEO. There are three major Core Web Vitals that will affect Google rankings from May 2021: LCP, FID, and CML.

Core Web Vitals Explained

LCP: Largest Contentful Paint

This metric measures how long it takes the largest content element on your website to load. For many websites, this might be the header image, a video, or your text. Essentially this evaluates the loading speed of your website.

As an example, say a potential customer has found your website page about sports shoes. They click on the page and the page loads quickly, however, the main sport shoe image takes a long time to load, so the user sees a blank background. The user might feel like they have clicked on the wrong page or get frustrated and exit, losing you a potential customer. 

FID: First Input Delay

First Input Delay is how long your website takes to respond when a user interacts with the website. How quickly your website becomes interactive is important to providing a seamless user experience. If your website requires a login or you have pages which require interaction, such as a newsletter sign-up (or even scrolling!), this metric is very important.

An example of this might be your website page which requires a login. Once the page has loaded, your customer clicks to enter their login details… and nothing happens (or it happens very slowly). Even a slightly delayed response to interaction can leave your customers feeling irritated and make your website appear sluggish.

CML: Cumulative Layout Shift

The stability of your website layout is an important element of user experience. If your website layout is constantly shifting while loading, this will negatively impact your UX.

Imagine you are trying to buy something online but just as you press the checkout button, a piece of content loads on the page that shifts the layout, and you end up deleting the items from your cart instead! CML is very important for UX as an unstable layout can be frustrating and cause your customers to abandon your website.

User Experience (UX) Explained

User experience (UX) has always been an influencing factor for Google rankings, and you need to ensure your website also incorporates the below basic UX principles:

Most people who visit your website will be on their phones. Making sure that your website is mobile-friendly is essential to good user experience. If the layout of your website doesn’t work well on mobile or the website is slow, it’s time for a necessary update.

The layout of your website and your calls-to-action should be clear and precise. Overloading the user with too many headings, pages, graphics or directions is going to be confusing and frustrating. Stick to the essentials.

A clickable logo ensures that your user can easily return to the homepage. It can be frustrating if the only way to get back to a website’s homepage is to click back on your browser several times or re-enter the URL. Having this shortcut will greatly improve your user experience.

An SSL certificate is a must for user experience and Google rankings. You need to show your website is safe and secure with the presence of an SSL certificate which will display a HTTPS URL.  If your website is currently only showing HTTP at the beginning of your URL, or you see a “Not Secure” notice, it should be top priority to acquire an SSL certificate.

If you are unsure how your website is performing, Google Search Console or Google Pagespeed Insights are great places to check. Whether you want to maintain your Google ranking or get ahead of the competition, it is essential that you prioritise user experience and check your Core Web Vitals for your SEO.

Get in touch with Dubzz today if you have any questions about how your website is performing.

Author: Danielle Duff

When not at work or studying, Danielle can be found reading a book, spending time with her friends, or travelling.

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