Keeping Your Website Healthy with Core Web Vitals

July 14, 2023

If you have had an SEO Site Audit for your website or work in the SEO industry you have heard of Core Web Vitals – but what are they? According to Google’s official support website, Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for the page’s loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability. With Google now considering user experience when ranking a website, ensuring your site scores well on all three Core Web Vitals is essential.

Studies have shown that over 25% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load. So, it’s important to make sure your site is fast. Core Web Vitals can help you measure how fast pages load, and how quickly and easily users can interact with content.

 Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience and reflects the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome. 

  • “Loading” – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading. 
  • “Interactivity” – First Input Delay (FID): measures how a user interacts with your page, such as using the navigation, filling out a form, etc. To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of 100 milliseconds or less. 
  • “Visual Stability” – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures how stable a page is, for example, if text or image elements move on your page when a user scrolls. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less 

You can test your website’s Core Web Vitals by using Google PageSpeed Insights. You can also monitor your website performance of Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console.


Core Web Vitals Raise a Red Flag

When Web Vitals first appeared in Google Search Console, we discovered a poor report during a quarterly analytics review for one of our clients. There were specific criteria for each URL in this report – Poor, Needs Improvement, and Good. The report is broken into Desktop and Mobile experiences to help you get a better understanding of how each user experience ranks for specific devices. Almost all of our client’s URLs were Poor or Failing.


Applying Best Practices to Improve Core Web Vitals

There are multiple ways to improve each part of the Core Web Vitals. To improve LCP, we started by reducing page elements like large images or video files. We also removed unnecessary third-party scripts and set up lazy loading (deferring the loading of certain website assets until they are needed). But what made the biggest difference was upgrading our client’s web hosting. After migrating the website to a more sophisticated hosting platform the website’s speed increased drastically.

We also saw issues with the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) for many URLs. We did a few simple things to mitigate issues by using set size attribute dimensions for media like videos, images, GIFs, etc. We also made sure any interactive elements such as buttons, and moveable sections of the website, were below the fold so they didn’t push content down that a user would expect to stay where it is. 



As a result of these optimizations, our client’s URLs now pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment on both Desktop and, more importantly, Mobile. Ultimately their sites saw a 22% increase in overall Organic Search sessions, Organic impressions increased from 3.05M to 4.96M, total organic clicks increased from 67.7k to 80.7k and average position increased from 19.1 to 12.9. Addressing Core Web Vitals was an important part of our overall optimization effort.

Do you need help with your website’s Core Web Vitals? Reach out to us and our team would be happy to answer any questions you have! Contact Us for more information

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