Understanding Core Web Vitals

October 29, 2021 in SEO, WEB DESIGN| 7 min

Core Web Vitals Play an Important Role in Google's Search Engine Ranking Algorithm

There are some questions that every business owner that owns a website should ask. When a visitor visits your website how do you measure what their behavior is like? Is your website efficiently converting visitors into customers? What kind of tools must be used to measure the speed of your website and how your visitors navigate through your website? What are the percentage of visitors that are converting to make your business sales? These are some of the questions that website owners must ask themselves to gain a better insight of their website and its efficiency. A website that is fully functional and health does wonders for user experience that fuels to sales and client communication but it also provides a better search engine ranking in search engines. 

There are main tools that offer insights and key findings for your website such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. However to find more detailed information about your core web vitals, you must be looking at the detailed information that Google PageSpeed Insights. Google PageSpeed insights take various data such as Field and Lab Data into consideration and provides you with information about how your website operates in the real life. Moreover, it also offers advice on how to improve your existing fields and which data and elements to work on. Using PageSpeed Insights will help you gain a better understanding and clarity about your core web vitals data so you can improve your website’s user experience, speed and optimization for better efficiency for your users and search engines.

The data of Core Web Vitals is an optimization process that Google put in place for both website owners and web designers and play a critical role in page experience. Page experience is a fairly new update by Google, placing a huge importance of how your visitors experience your web pages and what their behaviors are like. In this report, we will be looking at what Core Web Vitals are and how you can improve them to leverage your website to provide a better user experience and how it can positively effect all areas that you expect from a website.

core web vitals diagram

Core Web Vitals - What are They?

In simple terms, Core Web Vitals are basically a measurement of data of how your visitors experience one of your web pages. Core Web Vitals measure the data of how quickly and efficiently your visitors find the information they need on your page and if they have the right information they were initially looking for.

It is a hinder and a cause of frustration for many web users when they cannot find the information they are looking for. For instance, you are looking for a specific information and you type the keyword phrase of that information into the Google to search for it. You then meet with pages that claim that they have the information you need and you click on one of them. What starts to happen in that moment is that Core Web Vitals come into play and they start measuring your behavior and page’s optimization such as speed and loading times to provide data so that web page’s owner can effectively check this data and do the work to improve that specific page to provide better user experience. 

If the page you clicked on has a slow loading time or if the page offers a completely non-relevant information than what you were originally looking for or even worse, if the page that clicked on is redirecting you to some other page, it’s only natural that as a user you feel the frustration and leave the page quickly. 

Google does not like things like this and they place a huge emphasis on user experience. They actually announced that they will be tracking down how well websites are performing and their user experience data metrics in PageSpeed Insights. This means that Google and its search algorithm places a huge importance on-page experience for users and their ranking metrics will be affected accordingly. Luckily for both website owners and website designers, Google created a data metrics that measure your website’s health and optimization, so you can see your website’s page experience metrics and optimization to work on them to provide a better user and on-page experience for your visitors.

Core Web Vitals focuses on four main topics which are based on how fast your website loads up and how the page experience is like once it finishes loading. Understanding these concepts is crucial to improve your website’s user experience and to improve your search engine rankings. Four core web vitals are called;

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

1. First Contentful Paint

First Contentful Paint (FCP) is a user-focused measurement metric that measures the loading speed for your website’s users. It should not be confused with website’s speed, FCP measures the amount of time for the first content to be visible for the user. FCP pretty much measures the time data of how long a user have to wait before they see signs of web page’s content. Instead of a general website speed test, FCP provides better insight in regards to website’s performance. If the FCP data metrics are positive, the users are more likely to have faster access to the web page and more likely to click on other pages due to pleasant user experience.

To learn more about FCP and how to optimize it, head over to First Contentful Paint page.

2. First Input Delay

First Input Delay (FID) measures the interactivity of your web pages. FID tracks how fast your web page becomes interactive so that your users might click on design elements such as call-to-action buttons or scroll down the page to read more on the information that it offers. A fast interactivity means that your users may feel that the web page loaded up fully and they can use and navigate through it efficiently. A slow interactivity on the other hand indicates that your users are waiting on the page to load and they are yet to use your web page and its elements. 

Ideally, you don’t want your users to wait on a slow loading times for your web page so that they have to wait to interact with your page elements and its information. In such cases, you risk on creating frustration among your visitors and cause them to leave your page and go to your competitor’s website. Instead, you want your web page to load up fast enough so that your users can get interactive with your page as quickly as possible. This interactivity sends signals to Google and they measure this interactivity data.

Learn more about First Input Delay and how to optimize it.

3. Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is measurement metric that provides the overall loading speed and performance of your website to the users. This data metric tells us the time it takes for the largest block of content to appear on the screen. This content can be a text or an image. Additionally, LCP indicates the content that appears before scrolling the web page, meaning that the first content to appear to the users when they visit your website. Basically, the first content to appear in the first frame of rendering.

Learn more about Largest Contentful Paint and how to optimize it.

4. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures both the interativity and stability of your website. It is a very important metric that measures user experience instead of website speed and performance. You probably realized that when you browse through a web page and interacting with its content an animation, content or a media file pops up due to slow loading out of nowhere and cause a page shift. This movement of a web page is what CLS measures and it offers insight for better user experience. This type of page movement and shift usually creates frustration among your users and cause them to leave your website.

Learn more about Cumulative Layout Shift and how to improve it.

Tracking down the data that Core Web Vitals is crucial for success of your website. By improving aforementioned four aspects, you can make sure of a better user experience and higher rankings on search engines. You can start improving your website metrics by using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights. Additionally, a professional web developer can help you improve these metrics to provide a better user experience. If you want to improve your Core Web Vitals and need help in doing so, you can contact us to discuss your project anytime.