Core Web Vitals

What are they? Why are they so important? And how to improve them.

Advancements in technology happen at a pretty incredible pace these days. I mean, we’ve got the entirety of human knowledge in the palm of our hand. For businesses, keeping up with these advancements is absolutely crucial to stay ahead of the game, and ahead of the competition. Good products and good customer service will always generate a customer base—in the online world though, it takes a little more than that to dominate a particular market.

When Google speaks, we should always listen. Like it or not, Google are essentially the masters of the online universe, and businesses need to appease our overlords if they’re to get ahead. No one but Google themselves knows every single detail of the algorithms they use to rank content, however they do give some fairly blatant hints from time to time. No press release or information is released by Google by accident.

In June of 2021, Google brought in some interesting new concepts to search engine metrics. According to a video (show video) released by the tech giant, User Experience (often referred to as UX) will be front and centre.

Put the user first

I mean, this sounds kind of straightforward—but believe it or not, many businesses will be wholly unprepared for the changes. The Google algorithm has changed often, and dramatically over the years. Frankly though, we see this latest change as a positive. Many businesses have put metrics before user experience in the past, and some have succeeded. This is likely to end. Google is now putting a major emphasis on delivering a solid user experience, by making changings to the Core Web Vitals portion of their algorithm. If businesses don’t adapt, they’ll quickly see their websites tumble down the ranks.

How core web vitals can help provide great UX

Great UX will result in increased traffic, sales, and happy clients. That’s no secret. But how do we measure UX? Well, Google believes it begins with Core Web Vitals. There are three facets of Core Web Vitals we are going to break down here

  1. LCP (LARGEST CONTENTFUL PAINT)

LCP is the loading time of your website. Anything under 2.4 seconds is considered great. Anything over 4 seconds is considered poor. It’s easy to see why this would be the first step in providing  an excellent user experience—because it’s the very first thing your user will…well, experience. We’ve all felt the frustration of trying to load a page only to have it take forever. After a few seconds, we’re hitting refresh, clicking away, or shutting down the browser window entirely. It’s human nature. In today’s world of fast info, we want our info fast. If a website can’t provide that for us, we’ll gladly take our business elsewhere.

  1. FID (FIRST INPUT DELAY)

Now that the user has loaded the website, First Input Delay measures how long it takes the user to click, scroll, or otherwise use the actual page. It’s important to remember that all 3 Core Vitals are AS IMPORTANT as the other. No matter how fast your website loads, if the user can’t do anything when it does, it’s useless. Once again, they’ll click away so fast it’ll make your head spin. Google sees anything between 0 and 300 milliseconds as fair FID, however under 100 milliseconds is optimal.

  1. CLS (CUMULATIVE LAYOUT SHIFT)

This is where the rubber meets the road. Once your user has loaded the page, interacted with it—they want to be able to find out what you’re all about in the first few seconds, and they don’t want any layout or formatting surprises as they navigate.

Websites that are predictable to the user rank higher on Google searches than those that break the user’s concentration by changing in appearance page over page.

The Breakdown

Each of these categories is also broken down into 4 additional subcategories. They are Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices. and SEO. How to maximize each one of these could be an entire textbook all unto themselves. Luckily for you, Gherkin Media are specialists in increasing all 4 of these crucial Core Vital metrics. Our care plans include these services, so we encourage you to have a look! We begin by auditing your website, and giving each metric a score out of 100. Before our clients come to us, it’s quite rare that any of these metrics will score near 100. Our job is to get you as close to that 100 score as possible, giving you the best chance to dominate the rankings.

Let’s Talk SEO

SEO, by definition, is Search Engine Optimization. It is the content and construction of the website itself that the user will read in order to determine if they like your business or don’t. For that reason, SEO is now, and always has been a crucial factor in determining your Google rankings. Historically though, it may have been a little easier for a business to game the algorithm, making Google THINK their content was appropriate for that particular search, when in fact it wasn’t. SEO content has not, by any means, lost its dominance in determining a website’s ranking.

Now though, with the introduction of the Core Web Vitals criteria, a business who has solid SEO can launch themselves even HIGHER in rankings, potentially leapfrogging their main competitors or even industry titans.

Core Vitals Care Plan

Gherkin Media is about to make your life a whole lot easier. By now, you understand the basics of how Core Vitals are measured, but if you’re not a professional, you’re likely a little confused as to how to optimize those core vitals to make your SEO as awesome as it can be. And as we’ve mentioned, SEO is VITAL for a website’s success.

Every single one of our care plans include SEO and Core Vitals help—allowing our clients to top search engine rankings and draw more business.

These latest developments from Google are an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of algorithmic changes. Businesses that don’t take heed will fall, and savvy entrepreneurs that implement changes that satisfy these changes, will flourish.

As always, stay pickled!

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