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Core Web Vitals: What you need to know.
April 8, 2021

The new Google algorithm update is coming, and it’s going to affect your business. You might not have heard about Core Web Vitals before, but this is the new set of statistics that will determine how easy your site is for your visitors to use. This will in turn affect your ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). Your website needs to be secure, mobile friendly, and fast. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Tools like page speed insights and search console can help you determine where you stand today based on these 3 core web vitals metrics:

Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint is the amount of time it takes to display the main content of a page before it’s ready to be interacted with. It could be the image in your header, the content, or even a form.

The speed at which these items display are affected by a number of things including a slow server, slow resource load, and render-blocking JavaScript and/or CSS. These are common reasons why sites load slow in general and should be addressed when you are building it.

A great example of this is when you go to a website and the image in the header takes a long time to load. You might scroll right by it, or you might feel like you have to wait for it to load before you can actually do anything on the site. That’s something we want to prevent.

First Input Delay

First Input Delay represents the time from when a user first clicks to get to your page to the time when they are able to interact with it. How long does it take someone to click on something on your page? Are they watching a video? Clicking a button? You want your visitors to interact with your website.

Delaying a user’s experience on your page is not something you want to do, which is why it should be as short and simple as possible. The more time someone spends in their delay, the less likely they are to interact with what you’re looking for them to click or watch before leaving your site.

Cumulative Layout Shift

When you’re designing a website, it’s important to avoid layout shifts. That means that when the user is interacting with your page and all of sudden things start moving around on their own – this can be very frustrating! If there are any big changes in content or placement from what was expected, CLS will measure how much shifting has happened by scoring each individual shift as zero through one hundred points for severity. This way we know if our design workflows need adjustments so users can have an immersive experience while navigating your site without interruptions every few seconds.

Need an example? Have you ever been on a site and you were just about to click on something and then — BAM — the button moves and you end up clicking something you didn’t mean to? If you haven’t had this experience, you are lucky. This can cause serious issues for visitors to your site and it all has to do with how your resources on the page are loading.

How do I know if my site passes these Core Web Vitals?

While some of these metrics seem complicated, they don’t have to be. There are tools out there to help you assess where your site stands when it comes to Core Web Vitals. Pagespeed insights, for example is a really neat tool that will let you know how fast your site loads on mobile devices and desktop computers alike – this matters because users can get frustrated if they’ve been waiting too long! Google Search Console is another great resource!

If you’d like help determining how your website stacks up, and what to do about it if it doesn’t, give us a call! My team is up to speed on Core Web Vitals and will help you audit and then, if necessary, get your score into the range Google wants to see.

The new Google algorithm updates will be rolling out in the next few weeks, and we want to make sure you’re prepared for it! You can contact us at [email protected] or by phone (952) 213-3300 to get started.

About the Author
<a href="https://cromiecreativeconsultants.com/author/alisonalisoncromie-com/" target="_self">Alison Cromie</a>

Alison Cromie

Alison is the owner of Cromie Creative Consultants and loves to help educate business owners on websites, search engine optimization, and creative storytelling.

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