We’ve been keen on creating content that’s original, unique, and can hold the audience. We have been focusing on keyword optimization, link building, mobile-friendliness (device friendliness), and other significant factors for quite some time.
In the competition to create strong content, online businesses often end up ignoring the on-page user experience. But Google always keeps a tab on on-page experience. It is why it decided to roll out a new set of ranking signals called Core Web Vitals. All set to roll out in May 2021, the update shall be a part of on-page user-experience signals. Google suggests website owners improve their core web vitals because they will be affecting search results post the rollout.
Core Web Vitals: Yet Another Google Ranking Factor
Core Web Vitals play a crucial role in determining your rankings on the search engine result pages. They take into account three factors:
- Page Loading SpeedInteractivity/responsiveness of the webpage
- Visual Stability of the Webpage
For the fact, Google considers over 200 factors before ranking/indexing the websites/webpages on the search results. The most prominent ones include strong content, optimized pages, user-friendliness (easy navigation), backlinks, and technical SEO.
For all good reasons, the on-page user-experience is all set to become yet another important Google ranking factor in the coming years. The experience users have on your webpage is what Core Web Vitals are.
Giving time to the webmasters to improve their core web vitals, Google decides to roll out this new set of ranking signals in May 2021.
What are Core Web Vitals?
As stated above, Core Web Vitals refer to the set of specifics that play a crucial role in determining the overall on-page user experience. Google takes into account these page metrics while indexing your website on the SERPs. In the simplest terms, Core Web Vitals are the subsets that are responsible for the page-experience score of your website/webpage.
Once the Google Core Web Vitals rollout completes, the digital world will realize what hit them. The webmasters suggest that Core Web Vitals will affect your rankings in 2021 and the years ahead. One must thus work on improving their Core Web Vitals to get enjoy the best rankings on the SERP in 2021.
Besides Core Web Vitals, there are a few more on-page experience signals. We shall discuss them in the later parts of the piece. For now, let’s take a look at the three significant factors it is made of.
Factors Determining On-Page UX
- Largest Contentful Paint (Page Speed)
Largest Contentful Paint, often abbreviated as LCP refers to the time taken by your webpage to load on the user’s device. While improving the core web vitals for your website, ask yourself:
How long does it take for a page to load/display itself before the user?
A webpage with a slow loading speed often experiences higher bouncing rates. The user doesn’t want to stay on a page that is too slow to display its elements.
The ideal LCP benchmark is 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay (Responsiveness)
FID, otherwise known as First Input Delay, explains how responsive the webpages are. FID is the time difference between input by the user and the browser’s response to the same.
When you fill out your credentials (usually an online form) on a website for more information or subscription or navigate the website for whatsoever purpose, how long does the website take to process the same? It is what FID is. It is the difference/delay between the user’s action and the website’s response.
The ideal First Input Delay is somewhere below 100miliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (Visual Stability)
CLS aka, Cumulative Layout Shift is the metric measuring the visual stability of the webpage. It refers to the number of times the page layout changes while loading. The higher the CLS, the worse it is for your webpage.
Think of times when you open a webpage and saw something interesting. Just as you were about to click on the same, the layout shifts, and you end up clicking something.
How annoying that get?
Does it not?
Yes, it does. That is why managing Cumulative Layout Shift is essential. The ideal CLS score is below 0.1.
Other Page Experience Signals
Besides the core web vitals, other essential on-page experience signals are:
- Interstitial Pop-ups
The mentioned afore contribute to determining the quality of page-experience user has on your webpage.
How Do Core Web Vitals Effect Rankings on the Search Results?
As mentioned above, Core Web Vitals are responsible for determining the overall user-experience. A website with bad Core Web Vitals is bound to have high bounce rates. It eventually reduces the organic traffic.
While ranking your website and webpage for relevant searches and queries, Google considers both strong content and Core Web Vitals. So a website with Core Web Vitals below the standard benchmark is vulnerable to lose its rankings on the search results in the coming year.
Now is the right time to track your website’s Core Web Vitals and improve the same. Tracking your Core Web Vitals is just a matter of few clicks on the search console before you access the detailed Core Web Vitals for your website.
How to Improve Core Web Vitals?
If you are a website owner with standard Core Web Vital Metrics, there is nothing to worry about. But if not, you’ve got time until May 2021. Work on creating not just strong content but also a strong on-page user experience. Look up to your Google Search Console to know where your Core Web Vitals stand. See the metrics for mobile devices as well as desktop devices.
Once you are thorough with the reports, start working on the improvements needed. Here’s a brief guide on how you can improve your Core Web Vitals.
- Largest Contentful Paint
- Remove unwanted third-party scripts
- Upgrade web host
- Lazy Loading
- Remove large page elements
- Minimize/reduce CSS
- First Input Delay
- Low request counts
- Remove third-party script that is unwanted
- Browser cache
- Cumulative Layout Shift
- Reserved place for ad pop-ups
- Add UI elements below the fold
Keep a tab of attribute dimensions of media elements