Google looking at your Core Web Vitals from February 2022

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But what do LCP, FID and CLS stand for?

 

From February 2022 Google will start looking at the overall experience that a webpage provides on desktop, as part of how it determines how good it thinks a website is and therefore how it favourably it lists it in the Search Results Pages.

This is in line with the strategy introduced by Google for search on mobile devices during 2021 but up until now it has not really played a part in search results on desktop devices.

The Search giant recognises that user experience is crucial to keeping visitors happy and delivering great result.

So, there are 2 important reasons to pay attention to this strategic change from Google and apply it to your website.

  1. Applying these principles to your own website will help achieve better listings on Google (on mobile and desktop).
  2. It will provide a better experience on your website which will deliver better results in terms of traffic, visitors, engagement, and enquiries.

Google wants website owners to pay attention to the following three Website Metrics.

LCP, FID, and CLS. What exactly are these?

These are 3 key elements of a website that Google refers to as Core Web Vitals and they combine to determine how good the overall experience on your website is likely to be for the visitor.

 

LCP  – Largest Contentful Paint  

Here Google is looking at the loading performance of a website. It specifies that for a good user experience the overall time for the LCP should be no more than 2.5 seconds. So this isn’t long.

We all know that loading time is important, and we all hate it when we try and visit a website and get left hanging while the page loads.

There are several things to pay attention to.

Overall page size, image size, video and generally the amount of code that is clogging up the page and slowing down the load time.

Clean, pure code is paramount in ensuring a fast site and this is something you often do not get if using a template or WordPress theme.

CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift

CLS measures visual stability of a web page. Layout shifts can be very annoying when looking at web page. You are just trying to read some content and it suddenly jumps position. Or you are just about to click a button (like Read More) and another button jumps under your cursor (Buy Now). Ouch. Very annoying and a bad experience. The page needs to remain stable and as consistent as possible.

To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.


FID – First Input Delay

FID measures interactivity on the web page. It measures the experience the visitors feels when they try to interact with a page. It’s a kind of ‘first impression’ and creating a bad first impression results in users leaving.

To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.

Optimising the quality of experience that visitors receive on your site is key to its long-term success.

Web Vitals by Google help quantify the experience of your website and identify opportunities to improve. It is an initiative from Google to simplify the understanding of the experience that visitors get.

 

So how can I improve my Core Web Vitals?

Here are 5 key areas you can focus on to make sure your Core Web Vitals measure up.

  1. Reduce Javascript
  2. Implement lazy loading
  3. Optimise and compress images
  4. Provide proper dimensions for images
  5. Use hosting with a server response time

 

  1. Reduce Javascript Execution

If your website has a poor FID score, it means your page takes over 300 milliseconds for users to interact. The best way to improve this is reducing JavaScript execution on the page.

Ok, so this is a techie thing, but it is basically ensuring the Javascript code is clean and efficient.

This will improve your website performance and reduce bandwidth and therefore improve your SEO.

  1. Implement lazy loading
    If you have a lot of images on a page, (such as a catalogue or gallery), many browsers wait until all images are download before showing the page and this can cause a delay.

A much better more modern approach is to simply make images load in chunks as the user scrolls down the page.

  1. Optimise images
    This has been a basic requirement for a long time. Many images these days are high resolution and therefore large files. On the website, they do not need to be. Compress images to reduce their file size.Look at an image at 100% on the screen. If it is way too big and doesn’t even fit on the screen, it can be significantly reduced.
  2. Provide proper dimensions for images and embeds

Making a image the right size on the page by changing the dimensions just squashed a big image into a smaller space.

This can make the image look bad because the browser squashes the same number of pixels into a smaller space. And the file size is still massive. This can result in things jumping around the page.

Make the dimensions the actual size of the image.

  1. Use hosting with a good server response time

The longer it takes for information to be sent from the web server to the browser, the longer it will take for content to be shown on a screen.

Faster times improve page load time and the LCP score and ultimately SEO.

 

Overall

Core Web Vitals are one of the more most important features to help with SEO. They provide your website with more recognition on how to keep it well-structured and organised.

Paying some attention to these figures can help improve your website’s visibility in the Search Engine Results as well as give your visitors a great experience while browsing your website.

 

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