In June of 2021, Core Web Vitals will become an official Google Ranking Factor.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a specific set of factors that are important for overall user experience. These metrics describe how quickly your site loads, how long it takes for your site to become functional, and how effortless it is for your customer to navigate your website. Websites that are fast and easy to use often have higher Core Web Vital scores. Google’s studies show that for pages that meet the thresholds of Core Web Vitals, visitors are 24% less likely to abandon the sites.
Core Web Vitals are segmented into six major sections:
- First Contentful Paint: length of time it takes for the first bit of content to load
- Speed Index: how quickly content is displayed during page load
- Largest Contentful Paint: length of time it takes for a page to load from the view of an actual user
- Time to Interactive: the time it takes for a user to actually interact with your page
- Total Blocking Time: time between the page loading and before the page becomes functional
- Cumulative Layout Shift: stability of a page, aka how much the elements on your page move during loading
If you’re a business owner you may be wondering, “What does this really mean for my website?”
Why Should I Care about my Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a health indicator of your website’s user experience, which translates to happy customers and happy Google. Google considers these factors when choosing which sites to rank first on the search results. Simply put, the better your Core Web Vitals, the higher your site will appear on search results when a potential customer is looking for you.
These metrics also impact how user-friendly your site is. Customers are impatient online; 49% of consumers will exit your website if it takes longer than 2.5 seconds to load. Core Web Vitals are a way to quantify how enjoyable your website is for customers to use, and helps to identify how you can improve. The goal here is conversions or sales; Core Web Vitals identify the roadblocks that prevent your customer from reaching the checkout page.
Core Web Vitals aren’t just important for website usability, they also help new customers find you online and help you rank ahead of your competitor on Google Search. Google recently announced that Core Web Vitals will become an official Google ranking factor. If you aren’t familiar with how ranking works on Google Search, basically Google is looking at a myriad of factors to decide which websites to show when someone makes a search. You’re more likely to be chosen by this complex algorithm if Google thinks people will enjoy using your website. In late 2021, Core Web Vitals are becoming an even bigger part of that decision, so it’s important to resolve these issues in the next few months.
So Fixing My Core Web Vitals will Solve all my Problems, Right?
Well, yes and no, depending on what your problems are. If you have a great site with relevant content, but your competitor somehow always seems to knock you off page one of Google, a great page experience score will likely bump you to the top. Google recently pointed out that,
“A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.” But in cases where multiple websites have similar content, “page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.” – Google
A lot of business owners think that having a beautiful website is enough. And maybe it used to be, but not anymore with these new changes to Google’s ranking factor.
At KMA, we’re known for our beautiful website design, but design isn’t everything. You can have the most breathtaking website ever to grace the internet, but if your customers can’t find it, or become too frustrated trying to use it, they’re going to click away. The secret sauce is great design, plus optimized Core Web Vitals. It’s like having that freshly painted vintage car in your garage without an engine. You can go and enjoy looking at it all you want, but you’re not going to be driving anywhere.
The great news is, it’s not a matter of choice between beautiful design and a high-performing website. We create sites every week that do both! (See how we grew The Spine Center’s website traffic 142%). Improving your Core Web Vitals will elevate your website from being a hidden gem to a sales machine. The first step is finding out how your current website is performing.
How can I find out my Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are surprisingly easy to check! Visit web.dev to quickly see how your website stacks up. Here are the benchmarks you should strive for:
|First Contentful Paint||< 1.5 sec|
|Speed Index||< 2.5 sec|
|Largest Contentful Paint||< 2.5 sec|
|Time to Interactive||< 100 ms|
|Total Blocking Time||< 300 ms|
|Cumulative Layout Shift||< 0.1|
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