Recently Google announced a new Page Experience update that will integrate Core Web Vitals into its overall page ranking signal. What this means is an improved ranking of a page’s overall experience in the eyes of a user. That said, you might be wondering exactly what Core Web Vitals are and how you can improve them on your site.
What are Core Web Vitals?
In short, Core Web Vitals are a list of criteria that Google uses to rank each website based on the overall experience of viewing a page. These criteria are Largest Content Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). But what do these fancy abbreviations really mean?
LCP measures how long it takes a webpage to load the largest block of content. That largest block could be a long paragraph, or it could be an image or video. But the time it takes to load this content is an indicator of overall page loading speed.
FID measures how quickly a page responds to user input. For instance, it looks at how long it takes for a page to recognize and respond to a user that has clicked on a menu item or entered text into a field. This is a good signifier or overall page responsiveness.
CLS is how often content moves around on the page while content is loading. We have all experienced the frustration of trying to click on a link when suddenly a slow-to-load ad pops up and causes you to click the wrong thing.
Together, these items give a good picture of the user experience on a page. The better the ranking in these three categories, the better the overall experience. With Google’s new Page Experience update, high ranking Core Web Vitals will boost your page’s overall ranking.
How Do I Improve Core Web Vitals?
Now that you know what Core Web Vitals are, you can begin to optimize them in order to boost your site ranking. Here are some tips to improve scores in these three categories.
- Upgrade your web host. Better hosting means faster load times overall.
- Optimize images and compress text files.
- When possible, remove large page elements and third-party scripts.
- Use a browser cache
- Remove third-party scripts
- Specify the width and height of images and videos. If you leave these details undefined and allow the browser to determine image width and height, it will cause loading to be delayed.
- The text will load before the images. Then as the images load, it will adjust and move the text around it, slowing overall CLS.
- This can be one of the most frustrating parts of a page experience for users.
- Reserve space for ad elements. This gives a clear definition of where ads will appear and prevent them from popping up and pushing other content down the page.
There are several things you can do to improve your page’s overall user page experience and achieve a higher ranking through Google’s new inclusion of Core Web Vitals. These details give a better picture of your page’s speed and performance as well as user satisfaction with the page.