Google discovered that people like and are more likely to convert to websites that deliver an excellent user experience, based on multiple internal and external studies. With that, Google announced the June 2021 release of a Core Algorithm that will prioritize Page Experience metrics, through what will be called Google’s Core Web Vitals, in search ranking criteria.
The Foundation of Google’s Core Web Vitals
Just last May, Google’s algorithm revolutionized the way it regarded on-page performance in terms of ranking. Three things form the basis of Google Core Web Vitals, including:
- Loading Experience
- Visual Stability of Page Content
In particular, Google’s Core Web Vitals gets designed to focus on the user experience whenever a user clicks or interacts on a web page from Google SERPs. This option encompasses whether or not a page loads promptly or is stable, which means that it does not need to pack twice, thrice, or more times before being clickable and accessible.
Businesses should examine their typical engagement metrics, such as bounce rate, duration on site, and pages per session, among other things, given the deeper focus on these areas. Moreover, these measures indicate whether users have top-notch user experience on their website when they arrive there via organic search results. You can assess these measures within your Google Analytics account.
The Implications of Google’s Core Web Vitals
Notably, Google’s Core Web Vitals upgrade is more of a technical update than a content-focused update. Since Google announced this upgrade in November 2020, web admins and website owners have been taking steps and focusing on optimizing their websites as quickly as possible to meet Google’s Core Web Vitals standards.
Even though it is now the month of its introduction, it is still not too late for companies to begin optimizing their websites in the hopes of improving their search rankings.
What can Businesses do now to Maintain a Good Ranking on SERPs with this Update?
Google’s Core Web Vitals Metrics
The following four metrics, which assess elements of online usability such as load time, interaction, and the stability of material as it loads – the core of Google Core Web Vitals, as described above — are crucial for website administrators to monitor actively.
First Contentful Paint
The First Contentful Paint metric counts the time it takes for any element of the page’s content to be rendered on the screen after it has started loading.
Largest Contentful Paint
The Largest Contentful Paint is a metric used by Google to determine how fast the largest element on a page renders. It indicates when the page’s primary content has most likely loaded in the page load timeline.
First Input Delay
The First Input Delay is a metric that assesses the responsiveness of a page and quantifies the experience people have while trying to interact with it for the first time.
Cumulative Layout Shift
The Cumulative Layout Shift metric measures how many times the information on a page has altered without warning, causing users to lose their place. It measures the amount of visible page content that shifts unexpectedly in layout.
Google Developer Tools
Google has made developer tools available that can measure and report on those critical indicators in real-time. This option is merely another way to look at Google’s Core Web Vitals, albeit more laborious. The following parameters get measured by this tool:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- First Contentful Paint (FCP)
- Time To First Byte (TTFB)
Additionally, you can use traditional technologies such as Lighthouse, Page Speed Insights, Chrome DevTools, and others to assess a website’s compliance with Google’s Core Web Vitals requirements.
Remember that in SEO, a website’s goal should not be the greatest or fastest on the entire web; alternatively, it should outperform its competitors. As a result, if you have not already started optimizing your website for Google’s Core Web Vitals, now is the time to do so.
Those who do nothing to improve the user experience are likely to notice a drop in ranks, a shift in rank allocation, and a drop in engagement metrics, such as a greater bounce rate, less time on site, and fewer pages per session. These metrics are all relative, but, as proven by studies, people will seek out, convert, and purchase from sites that can provide them with the finest experience.