What is Googles Core Web Vitals update?

Web Design Advice

What are Core Web Vitals?

You may have heard recently about an update that google have made to how their ranking signals work. This update is related to what google call the Core Web Vitals.

These are metrics by which google measure things like:

  • How fast your web page loads?
  • How quickly can a visitor interact with it?
  • How quick does it become stable?

The idea is that it looks at what the experience is like when a visitor is using your web page on a desktop or mobile device.

These updates are being added to a group of already existing metrics which rate things like

  • How Mobile friendly your site is
  • How Safe (https) users are when they visit your site
  • If your site has lots of pop-ups that come and go
  • How accessible your site is to all types of user
  • How well the site is built
  • The quality of the SEO

What is key with this update is that Google have adopted a mobile first approach to rating sites, as speed and user friendliness is especially important on mobile and never more so when the signal is poor or the speed isn’t high.

How will this effect how my site ranks on Google?

No one can answer that as we just don’t know, however these Core Web Vitals are what’s called Ranking signals.

Ranking signals are very simply how a page ranks on googles search engine in relation to the quality of the website that is delivered. 

These Ranking signals are all part of googles algorithm that they use to decide what order pages of a website come-up on google.

There are actually 100’s of ranking signals however if your site is particularly poor at some of these metrics it is very likely to make a difference in how google treat your site in relation to a competitor who has a better score on their page experience measurement. This could be crucial if you are in a particularly competitive market.

Does this mean I need a new website?

Maybe, maybe not.

Some easy to create web builders that are used to produce websites like Wix, Divi and Elementor etc load lots of plugins and elements this makes it easy for anyone to build a web page. The draw back of this is that in the wrong hands these pages can become bloated with lots of code that will slow down your site and loose the interest of your clients.

Below is an example of a small local website built with Wix and another one that was built using Divi none have huge image, videos or embedded content.

As a comparison you can see the report for this site which was built in Webflow and was prior to any page speed optimisation being done for the core web vitals update.

Wix built website
Divi built website

This website built in webflow

Whether you need a new website will depend on the type of technology that was used to build your website and how well it was put together in the first place. It may just be more cost effective to start with a newly built site. It might just be a case of removing some old elements and optimising the site fully.

Look at it this way, Your website is your most important marketing asset and as a business you want your customers to find the information they need on your websites as quick as possible. Having a slow website with a poor user experience could be losing your business leads and sales. 

Visitors to pages that meet or are close to the thresholds advised by Google Core Web Vitals are 25% less likely to be abandoned during loading. This is like getting a quarter more traffic to your site.

Google may also start to add labels in its search results to indicate which pages offer a good page experience and which do not. This could again be the difference between a potential customer choosing you over another business.

This all sounds very technical what can I do?

First of all it would be advisable to do a site audit to check your web site for any issues that could be easily solved without great cost. 

Below we are offering a FREE Audit of any website which will include the Core Web Vitals, Recommendations to resolve any issues and a brief overview of your SEO rankings on Google.

If however you would like to check for yourself you can do so by going using Googles handy Lighthouse Tool, (which can be added to a Chrome Browser) pagespeed insights or GT Metrix

This will allow you to do a very quick check on your measurements and see scores relating to the quality of your site. Google will also give you some ideas as to what is causing any issues and how to repair them. 

Im going to be honest some of the recommendations are pretty complex to understand and you may need a web developer who can address these problems if you’re not very technical, but you will at least have an idea if your site starts to drop down the rankings or calls and visits to your site start to dry up.

The 3 Core Web Vital Scores that are measured are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: This is the the time it takes for a pages main content to load up. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster. Google looks at the biggest image, video or text in the viewport and measures how long it takes to load. It’s important to understand that this can be influenced by your Server time, CSS, Javascript or Client Side Rendering.
  • First Input delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An Ideal measurement is less than 100ms. This looks at how quickly the page becomes useable. How quickly does the browser start to process something once you click a link. It’s not good to click on a link and for it to be slow to respond so this measures this experience for your visitor
  • Cumulative layout shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1. Sometimes elements on a page can move around due to animation or because the user experience is poor. This Measures how long it takes for the page to settle down.

The idea behind these measurements is to create a higher quality experience of using the internet with the focus on ensuring that there is greater consideration when creating mobile content. The main part of this that google are looking to ensure a real world user experience and will penalise sites that score low on these vital measurements. 

How can this be fixed?

We are offering a FREE Audit of any website which will include the Core Web Vitals, Recommendations to resolve any issues and a brief overview of your SEO rankings on Google. We will do a set of Videos going through your scores and any recommendations we have for you. To organise a free Audit click here or use our contact form below.

What makes you the best?

At Tomato Creative we design and build custom websites using the latest systems and processes. We don't build websites the same way as other 'graphic design' or 'web companies'.

All our websites are built to help you generate revenue for your business.

We are not just designers

Our websites are built to be easy-to-update and convert like crazy all using our SEO first custom strategies to ensure you:-

Get more traffic, Get more leads, Get more sales.

Written By:
James Pravato

I have worked across a wide range of business sectors in design, marketing and sales for over 20 years. I started in as a digital designer with Design Bridge and have worked on projects with clients such as Unilever, PWC, DaimlerChrysler, The FA, UEFA, IAAF and Mercedes-Benz along with developing web design solutions for early versions of well know property sales and estate agency websites.

My current focus is on Local and SME businesses helping them to get more traffic, leads and sales through an SEO first approach to web design ensuring that the have the best chance possible to get a return on their investments.

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Source Credits:
searchenginejournal.com + moz.com

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