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Core Web Vitals 101

By Marcus Sandford   |   June 17, 2021

Did you know there’s a new way to improve your user experience using Google? It’s called Core Web Vitals, and it’s pretty “vital” you know how to make sure you have strong scores!

One of our recent posts talked about how Google measures Core Web Vitals, a series of metrics that measure various facets of the user experience. While aspects of your website, such as design or navigation, play an invaluable role in a good UX, the Core Web Vitals surface across Google tools and will evaluate your website from all angles.

Wondering how this impacts your website? Your Core Web Vitals score will be a factor when Google is ranking search engine results. If your score is strong, you’re going to rank higher in search engine results, your website will get more traffic, and it’s almost a sure bet your metrics will improve.

So let’s break down the current Core Web Vitals. We will start with the nitty-gritty details of what is being measured, and then we will talk about what you can do to bump up your scores. As we go through these metrics, know that you can view the data on your web site in the Google Search Console account enhancements section.

Core Web Vitals is a new set of performance metrics that measure how long certain elements of each website page take to become interactive, along with how usable they are. While this is an evolving set of criteria, three aspects of the user experience are currently being evaluated: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

It’s important to note that the items above are not strictly related to the time your entire page needs to load, but are more focused on user experience and perception of loading performance. In other words, elements of your page can continue loading over a longer period of time, but the page needs to appear visually for the user in addition to becoming usable as quickly as possible.

Our recent blog post explained that these three values are being expanded upon as Google continues to add page experience signals to provide a holistic picture of page experience and increase the UX aspects that can be measured.

Additional signals that will be measured include:

Source: Wordstream.com

So what can you do to make sure your website is ready for prime time with Google’s page experience?

Here is a quick checklist that will get you well on your way to higher search engine rankings:

  • Check the load speed of your site with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. More than 40% of website visitors will leave your site if it doesn’t load within a few seconds, so the faster the better—and that goes for both the desktop and mobile views.

  • Take a look at your ads and images and make sure they aren’t blocking content users will want to access. In most cases, pop-up ads are a bad idea, so keep them to a minimum or don’t use them.

  • We all know how much time we spend on our phones. Part of the new page experience criteria addresses how well optimized your website is for mobile devices; you can test your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

  • Do you know what EAT and YMYL mean? These are content guidelines you’ll want to meet! Make sure your website is full of relevant information and that your links work.

  • Accessibility is a crucial part of your UX; after all, you want all users to be able to access the content on your site. One bit of advice we offer our clients is to use Siteimprove’s Accessibility Checker. The tool will continually scan your site to check for accessibility issues and clearly explain any problems.

This goes without saying, but keep an eye on your competition. Check out what you like about those sites and get some ideas for your own. Continually try to improve all of the items on our checklist so you’re the one at the top of the Google search engine heap.

When you zoom out, the point of your website is communication with your audiences. A good user experience means you are communicating clearly and without impediments, which underscores any successful website. At Astriata, we are always focused on the UX. Whether you need help getting your Core Web Vitals in tiptop shape or you are looking for a serious UX upgrade, feel free to reach out to our experts.


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