What are Google Core Web Vitals?

What are Google Core Web Vitals & Why They’re Important for your Business

Google's Core Web Vitals were established in 2020, and essentially, they are a set of metrics that measure the user experience of a web page. These metrics include loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. 

Since 2021, core web vitals are a ranking factor for search results. Meaning, websites that meet these metrics are more likely to appear higher in search engine results, which can drive more traffic to your website and ultimately, more revenue for your business.  

Meeting these metrics can also lead to an overall better user experience for your website. This can help increase engagement times with your website and conversion rates. 

What are the three Core Web Vitals?

There are three Core Web Vitals that Google uses to assess a website’s user experience score. Let’s examine what each of these means: 

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The LCP is the time it takes for the largest piece of content on a page to load. A good LCP score is less than 2.5 seconds.

  2. First Input Delay (FID): The FID is the time it takes from when a user first interacts with a page, (such as clicking a link or button) to the time when the browser is able to respond to the interaction. A good FID score is less than 100 milliseconds. 

  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The CLS is the amount that the layout of a page changes after it has loaded. To provide a good user experience, a website should have a CLS score of 0.1 or less.

These metrics are important because they can affect how users interact with and perceive a website.

For example, a slow LCP can cause frustrations for the end user, the longer they wait for content to load, the more likely they are to leave the website.

A high FID can also cause frustrations for the end user, making it difficult to interact with a page. 

A high CLS score indicates a poor user experience as it can make it difficult for users to predict where the content on a page will be. An unexpected layout shift also frustrates users as they can accidentally click something they had not intended to and lose their place. They are also likely to leave the website. 

Google's Core Web Vitals
Google's Core Web Vitals
Google's Core Web Vitals - Page Speed
Google's Core Web Vitals - Page Speed

How to improve your website’s Core Web Vitals

Here are a few effective ways you can improve your Core Web Vital scores: 

  • Using a content delivery network (CDN): A CDN enhances a website performance by improving site speed. Using a CDN can specifically improve your LCP score, as static content and images are cached on servers that are closer to users. The content has less distance to travel and therefore helps the page load quicker. 
  • Optimising images: Images are one of the largest influences on page speed and Core Web Vitals. Optimising images to reduce their file size, can help to improve LCP and CLS.  
  • Using a web font optimisation service: Much like images, web fonts take time to download when opening a web page. A web font optimisation service can help to reduce the download time of fonts, which can help to improve LCP.  
  • Avoiding interstitials: Interstitials are pop-up windows that can appear when a user visits a website. They can slow down the loading of a page and frustrate users. They also affect the CLS score as the page will suddenly shift when the pop-up has loaded. 
  • Testing your website: There are many tools available that can help website owners test their Core Web Vital’s scores. These tools can help to identify areas where improvements can be made.  

How improving Core Web Vitals can improve the user experience of a website

Improved loading time
A faster loading website means that users can start interacting with the content sooner. This can help to improve the overall user experience. 

Reduced frustration
A website that is responsive and does not have any unexpected shifts in layout can help to reduce frustration for users. This can make them more likely to continue engaging with the website and less likely to exit. 

Increased engagement  
A website that is easy to use and has a good user experience can help to increase engagement from users. This can lead to them spending more time on the website and even returning to it in the future. 

Increased conversion rates
A website that has a good user experience and is easy to use can help to increase conversion rates. This is because users are more likely to trust and engage with a website that they have a good experience with. 

Google's Core Web Vitals
Google's Core Web Vitals

Proven Results

Studies have proven the impact improving Core Web Vitals has on how users interact with and perceive a website. Leading to increased engagement and conversion rates. A study by Google found that websites with good Core Web Vitals had a 24% lower bounce rate than websites with poor Core Web Vitals, whereas Microsoft conducted a study and found that websites with good Core Web Vitals had a 7% higher conversion rate than websites with poor Core Web Vitals. Optimizely's data reveals that websites with good Core Web Vitals also had a 12% higher click-through rate than websites with poor Core Web Vitals.

Improving Core Web Vitals can bring numerous benefits to your website and ultimately your business, such as providing a better user experience, increasing engagement, and boosting conversion rates. By prioritising these improvements, you can also enhance your site's search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online. Therefore, it's essential to focus on optimising your website's Core Web Vitals in order to improve the overall user experience and drive more revenue for your business.