The purpose of SEO has always been to augment the rankings of a website. This means the website must offer valuable insights which are user-centric.
SEO Core vitals are an important push in that direction.
For some time, these core vitals have been a hot topic of conversation in the SEO community. And for good reason. Working on them can deliver a better user experience. Also, they are now a ranking factor for Google search as page experience signs.
To get a pass in these SEO core vitals evaluations, one needs to score well for the core vitals.
In this blog, we shall have a look at these vitals and how can you excel in them.
But before that, let’s understand SEO Core Vitals in detail.
What are SEO Core Vitals?
In simple words, SEO Core Vitals refer to a set of quantitative performance metrics developed to evaluate the user experience on a web page. These metrics mainly measure loading experience, visual ability and interactivity of a web page.
It’s Google’s way of sizing up your page’s overall UX.
These web vitals were fully rolled out in August 2021 as a part of the page experience update. Still, Google has indicated that page experience signals will be updated every year. Hence, one must expect them to evolve with time.
Why are SEO Core Vitals so important?
One key reason behind the significance of these SEO core vitals is that they help websites to offer great user-experience. This, in turn, leave audience more satisfied. They are likely to return to your website and even recommend it to others.
Likewise, if the web page is slow, clustered with pop-ups, and is unstable, then you shall wish your users goodbye forever!
This is equally bad for Google as well. Imagine you keep clicking on poor websites. Not only you will be frustrated with those sites, but even the Google as well. This may prompt you to move to alternative search engines, thus, a loss for Google.
That’s why Google principally focus on delivering awesome user-experience, and expects the same from the websites on it.
SEO Core Vitals are quantifiable metrics. Hence, they provide you with specific and measurable data points to enhance the overall user-experience and value of your company.
In addition to better user experience, SEO Core Vitals also help to keep your visitors engaged, which then translates to higher conversion rates and other several benefits.
Hence, judging by the name itself, there’s no doubt that that SEO Core Vitals will make the biggest chunk of your page experience score.
3 components of SEO Core Vitals
In this section, we shall break down all three SEO Core Vitals and help you understand how you can improve them.
- First Input Delay (FID): It is an SEO Core Vital metric that is utilized to measure the time taken by a user to interact with your webpage. It actually measures the time between the first user input (such as clicking, tapping, etc.) and the response made by the webpage.
Interactivity can be think of as responsiveness. If the delay is longer, then the visitor may become frustrated quickly.
In this regard, interactivity can be identified as a page speed score. However, it goes a step further and measures the time taken by your visitors to do something on your webpage.
For log in or other page types, where users are required to click on something, FID is a really big deal.
What is a good FID score?
Google states that anything of 100 milliseconds or less is to be good.
How to improve your FID score?
- Get rid of irrelevant third-party apps that need to load before your user can interact with your site.
- Follow Google’s advice for your URL.
- Activate browser caching as it stores specific elements in a user’s browser to avoid reloading them every time.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): It measures the stability of a page as it loads. For instance, if elements on your page move as your webpage loads, then you have a high CLS. It is bad.
It looks at the proportion of the screen that swings, and how far elements move.
Such unexpected shifts can be problematic especially in real-world occurrences, such as accidentally ordering a product, or clicking on a link that directs you to another website.
It is crucial to calculate your CLS depending on real user interactions, and not just on lab data.
One can calculate CLS by multiplying the impact fraction by the distance fraction. A burst occurs in layout shifts when several shifts hastily occur over 5 seconds or less, with less than 1 second between two consecutive shifts.
CLS calculates the largest burst of layout shifts that happens over a page’s lifetime.
Google states that a CLS score of 0.1 or less to be good.
How to improve your CLS score?
- Eliminate pop-ups or banners that prompt the screen layout to shift when the website initially loads.
- Follow Google’s advice for your particular URL.
- Place all ads in reserved places to prevent them from appearing suddenly, prompting the layout to shift.
- Utilize set size attribute dimensions for any media as it helps the browser to decide how much space they will cover and won’t change the dimensions.
- Largest Content Paint (LCP): Simply put, it measures the loading time. It measures the time taken to render the largest content element within the presentable area of a user’s screen.
It is different from other page speed calculations. Other page speed metrics don’t essentially signify what’s it like for an individual to open a page.
Whereas, LCP focuses on what is relevant when it comes to page speed, being able to view and interact with your page effectively.
Moreover, unlike PageSpeed Insights metrics, you can view LCP data on your overall website. Hence, instead of examining pages one by one, you receive a list of URLs that are good, bad or in-between.
To score a good LCP score, you need to hit your website loading speed within 2.5 seconds.
How to improve your LCP score?
- Upgrade to a fast web host
- Install a CDN
- Take out any insignificant third-party apps
- Improve lazy loading of images
- Follow Google’s advice for your particular URLs
- Cache assets
- Lessen your CSS
The SEO Core Vitals effect will be severe for those sites having poor user experience. Hence, you must focus on creating high-quality content that lines up with search intent and describes your web page effectively.
And once you have done that, start working on the 3 components of SEO Core Vitals mentioned above to experience even a greater boost.