Boost Your SEO with Core Web Vitals: The 2021 Guide
- On 24 Feb 2021
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With each new project, SEO professionals spend a lot of time on keyword research, content optimization, backlink generation, and mobile experience. However, in 2021 things seem to have changed. The on-page experience is at the forefront of Google’s priorities. They recently launched a core web vitals update which will be effective from May this year.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss these core web vitals in detail and how they can affect your website’s ranking.
Without much ado, let’s get started!
What are Core Web Vitals and Why They’re Important?
Google comes up with new updates now and then. While some of these updates are taken seriously, others are simply overlooked by experts. In the case of Core Web Vitals, things are serious.
Even Neil Patel, one of the world’s most successful digital marketing entrepreneurs thinks these Core Web Vitals will have a major role to play in the future.
Now, just because we asked you to take things seriously, doesn’t mean you start getting all nervous about it. This update wouldn’t make much of a difference if you’re already focused on providing a rich on-page experience to your visitors.
These vitals are a form of experience metric that helps determine the type of experience website visitors get when they land a certain page. For instance, Google will measure your page loading speed, and if it’s not fast enough, you may face a ranking penalty and get replaced by one of our competitors.
According to Google, the quality of your website’s “page experience” depends on these factors:
- Secure Browsing: The page does not have inaccurate, harmful, or fraudulent content.
- HTTPS and SSL: All the webpages of the website have an HTTPS URL.
- Mobile Responsive: The website and its pages are mobile-friendly.
- Core Web Vitals: The website pages are quick to load, visually appealing, and interactive.
- Non-invasive: The primary content of the web page is not covered with unnecessary elements.
If your website already centers around these factors, you do not have to worry.
Core Web Vitals – Key Metrics to Know
Whether you’re a web developer or a website owner, you know what it takes to successfully put together a website. And if you are working on a website currently, you may want to keep the following metrics in mind.
1. Loading – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP or Largest Contentful Paint focuses on the loading performance of a webpage. Simply put, it emphasizes the time your website takes to display the main elements that the user is looking for.
Let’s understand this with an example.
We come across various websites with large banners and videos on the header. Such sites consume a lot of space and affect the loading speed of the website. While loading, a huge blank space appears on the top of the screen leaving the users annoyed.
What’s the use of a website that takes up to 6 seconds to load its banners and headers only to display irrelevant information? The user anyhow has to scroll down to find what they’re looking for, then why annoy them with those blank spaces?
Such practices increase the bounce rates and Google is paying special attention to these.
They’ve set a parameter of 2.5 seconds and your website should display everything in that time frame itself. By everything, they actually mean EVERYTHING – no exceptions there.
The slower the LCP, the lower will be the website ranking. Similarly, faster LCP will help you attain higher rankings.
2. Interactivity – First Input Delay (FID)
FID or First Input Delay is related to webpage responsiveness. It measures the time taken by the user to interact with the website.
This metric is a tad bit complicated compared to LCP. Let’s assume, you are on an e-commerce website and wish to inquire about a product. To place an inquiry, you fill out a form and press the Submit button. Does the website process your request immediately? Or does it take time? FID measures exactly that!
It takes into account the clicks, keypresses, and taps by the visitor along with the time taken by the website to respond to these actions.
Many websites take forever to accept a query and make us press the Submit button multiple times in a single minute. Business websites that rely on leads and inquiries have to be extra careful with this metric.
3. Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift focuses on the rate of layout changes that a web page displays.
Let’s say you’re scrolling through a website and saw something interesting. Just when you were about to click on it, a new button comes up and you end up clicking on that instead.
A lot of us go back to check what happened and foolishly make the same mistake again. It’s only the third time we realize that we clicked on the wrong button.
Here’s another example for your understanding.
You’re on your phone, reading an important paragraph. While reading, the webpage keeps loading images, videos, or ads that push you down the page. You lose what you were reading and have to go through the entire page once to get to that paragraph again.
We’re so used to websites like these that these things don’t annoy us anymore. But Google being Google has noticed it too. They consider these as signs of bad on-page experience. For that, UX matters the most and their only focus is to deliver the best experience to users.
A great way to avoid this problem is by setting size attribute dimensions for any media on your webpage. This way, the website user’s browser will know how much space these elements will take and won’t change the page layout.
Your SEO strategy is highly dependent on these Core Web Vitals. If you haven’t been focusing on these metrics till now, it’s time you do.
Having a beautiful web design used to be enough back in the day. In 2021, experience matters. Pull up your socks and track your website’s Core Web Vitals today!
In case you require any more information regarding the same, don’t hesitate to reach out to Digital Hub Solution. We’d be happy to help you. Call us at (+1) 877-488-2441 or fill our contact form and we’d get back to you.