Advanced Core Web Vitals: A Technical SEO Guide

Advanced Core Web Vitals: A Technical SEO Guide
15Jul, 2021

Advanced Core Web Vitals: A Technical SEO Guide

Presently, Google measures users’ experience on grounds of whether a site is mobile-friendly, offers safe browsing, offers HTTPS and free of intrusive interstitials.

Interestingly, Google is seeking to incorporate a fifth factor for measuring users’ experience which is core web vitals.

The addition of core web vitals to the existing four factors used to measure users experience is now used in the grading of a page experience.

The inclusion of core web vitals is a result of the poor users’ experience most people encounter when using a particular website.

Therefore, Google is incorporating 3 core web vitals to help quantify the experience of people interacting with a page.

Mainly, these core web vitals are; Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

When the assessment of a users’ experience is carried out by Google, and its results are all ” Good “, then we can say that they pass the Core Web Vitals assessment.

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Coming Mid-June 2021, Google seeks to start using Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal. However, that would not be the end of it, merely the beginning. Core Web Vitals will become more significant from here on out.

This article, therefore, is an eye-opener to the ways on how you can measure, interpret and improve your Core Web Vitals to deliver a better user experience.

Remember that when a user’s experience is good, naturally, they are compelled to see more on what things that you offer, eventually you are left to make more money!

And as I have stated in this article, for your website to pass the core web vitals assessment, it needs to score “good” for all three core web vitals; LCP, FID and CLS, based on field data, not lab data

What then is the difference between field data and lab data?

Field data is collected from real users through the Chrome User Experience Report (“CrUX”) while lab data is collected within a controlled background without any involvement from actual users.

It Is crucial to note that core web vitals, field data and lab data metrics will be major determining factors for Google’s assessment.

They’re the proxy for measuring user experience, and because the web and its users are constantly developing, it’s only natural for core web vitals to evolve too.

So in this article, you’d be exposed forehand what the core web vitals are all about.

You don’t want to be left behind in the fast-moving train of the web right? Let’s move on.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of user-facing metrics associated with quickness, responsiveness and pictorial stability, to help webmasters gauge user experience on the net.

Core Web Vitals are a trendy subject in the SEO community presently, and I know you would love to keep abreast of its operations.

Core Web Vitals are a set of distinct aspects that Google considers significant in a webpage’s across-the-board user experience. 

Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.

To locate your site’s Core Web Vitals data, you go to the “enhancements” section of your Google Search Console account.

So, what makes core web vitals that important.

In Google’s recent announcement, they plan to make page experience an official ranking factor, therefore the need for core web vitals.

Judging by the announcement and the name itself, it’s reasonable to say that core web vitals will make up the largest piece of your page experience record.

Moreover, the web vitals metrics are split into both Core Web Vitals and non-Core Web Vitals.

The Core Web Vitals are:

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

And the non-Core Web Vitals are:

  • Total Blocking Time (TBT)
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • Speed Index (SI)
  • Time to Interactive (TTI)

However, for this article, we will be considering the core web vitals. Continue reading to see what the core web vitals are all about.

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Types Of Core Web Vitals

Mainly three kinds of core web vitals would be used by Google to determine the user experience and they are discussed in this section and how you can improve on them.

So, without any further ado, let’s see what they are all about.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The largest contentful paint deals with the quickness and how long it takes for a page to load from the point of view of an actual user.

It shows how fast it is from clicking on a link to seeing the majority of the content on-screen.

Countering popular thought, the largest contentful paint differs from other types of page speed quantities. 

Many other page speed metrics such as TTFB and First Contextual Paint do not necessarily exemplify what it is like for a user to open up a webpage.

While LCP concentrates on the essentials when it comes to page speed, being able to see and interact with your page.

More so, as a webmaster, if you seek to know your LCP rating, you can check your score using Google PageSpeed Insights.

Now, to improve your site’s LCP, remove any unnecessarily third-party scripts, upgrade your web host, set up lazy loading, remove large page elements and minify your CSS.

First Input Delay (FID)

Google’s 2nd core web vital is the first input delay (FDI).

At the FDI stage, your page has attained FCP, excellent!

Yet the big challenge is that can users interact with your page effectively?

Sufficiently, the FID measures that.

It measures the time it takes for a user to interact with your page.

Google thinks of FID as important because it takes into report how real-life users interact with websites.

For a page that consists of 100% content, like a blog post or news articles, FID probably isn’t a big deal. 

The only real interaction deals with scrolling down the page, pinching to zoom in and out.

Besides, you can minimize JavaScript, remove any non-critical third-party scripts, or use a browser cache to improve your site’s FDI.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The CLS deals with how stable a page is as it loads, which is visual stability.

More so, if elements on your page move around as the page loads, then you have got a high CLS, which is terrible!

Instead, your page components are to be fairly stable as it loads up. 

With that, users do not have to re-learn where links, images and fields are located when the page is fully loaded, or click on something by mistake.

To minimize CLS on your site, you can use set size attribute dimensions for any media like video, images, GIFs and infographics.

Also, make sure that Ads elements have a reserved space.

And you should add new UI elements below the fold. That way, they don’t shove content down that the user wants to stay up.

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