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How To Improve Your Google Core Web Vitals Quickly

7 min read

Not long ago Google rolled out its new algorithm update which included Core Web Vitals. The most recent changes to the search ranking algorithms occurred in June and July of 2021. The updates to the search ranking algorithms are still being rolled out.

To expand on Core Web Vitals some more, Page Experience Update, is an algorithm that takes the user experience into account to determine how its search engine results will be ranked.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to improve your Google Core Web Vitals quickly!

Three key metrics are being used to measure the user experience to improve search rankings. These three metrics are collectively known as Core Web Vitals. Each of the 3 Core Web Vitals is known as:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – measures visual load time
  • First Input Delay (FID) – measures user interactivity time
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – measures visual stability

Other Factors of User Experience for Core Web Vitals

Besides the three Core Web Vitals, there are four other factors that affect the search rankings based on user experience.  These  four factors are:

  • Mobile Friendliness – how well it works with mobile devices.
  • Safe Browsing – how safe it is to use the site for the user.
  • HTTPS – how secure the connection is for use.
  • No Intrusive Interstitials – any elements interfering with reading content or using the site.

How Core Web Vitals Can Affect Your Search Rankings?

Every business or organization with a website needs to understand how the Core Web Vitals affects their ability to be found with a Google Search. A business can verify what their Core Web Vitals are by checking their own websites themselves.

It is important to note that businesses have observed a broad range of changes in site traffic since the new updates. Some business organizations have seen no changes in site traffic, while others have seen a noticeable dip or uptick in traffic. Fluctuations in site traffic also correlate with the progress of the rollout.

Things You Can Do Improve Your Google Core Web Vitals

Let’s discuss what you can do to improve your search rankings. The key is to optimize the website to improve user experience. When the user experience of a website improves, it automatically means that the website is quick and easy to navigate. This fact in itself leads to better search rankings.

We will consider all the factors that affect Page Experience in a way that everyone will be able to conceptualize how search rankings can be improved. Some other tools will be discussed too.

1) Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) This measures the time it takes for the largest image or text block to appear to the user’s eye without the need for the user to scroll through the screen. Usually, the LCP is the largest object on the screen. It is ideal if it takes less than 2.5 seconds for the image to appear to the user. If it takes up to 4.0 seconds for the image to appear then the LCP needs improvement. Any load time over 4.0 seconds means that the LCP loading time is taking so long that it is having a negative effect on the user experience.

Metric

Good

Improve

Poor

Largest Contentful

Paint (LCP)

Less than

2.5 seconds

Between

2.5-4.0 seconds

Over

4.0 seconds

Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) is a tool that can be used to measure the LCP of your website. There are other tools to measure LCP and other core web vitals.

Improving server response times, compressing text, reducing images and, using correct formatting for images are some but not the only solutions for optimizing LCP speeds.

2) First Input Delay (FID) – This measures the time from when the user first interacts with any page to when the browser responds to that first interaction. A time delay of fewer than 100 milliseconds is optimal FID timing. A time delay of up to 300 milliseconds means the FID timing needs improvement. Anything over 300 milliseconds means poor FID is compromising user experience. Normally the aggregate FID of a page should be less than 100 milliseconds at least 75% of the time.

Metric

Good

Improve

Poor

First Input

Delay  (FID)

Less than

100 milliseconds

Between

100-300

milliseconds

Over

300

milliseconds

Again Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) is a tool that can be used to measure the FID of a page on your site. One of the simplest ways of improving FID times is to reduce the usage of third-party elements of your page.

For example, advertisements and buttons, and links from other sites. All these elements slow down the loading of your website. Remove any files on the website that is never in use.

Compress and minify other files to help improve the speed with which the website loads. Improving FID speed will help you to enhance the user experience for those who visit your site. Other measures can be used to improve FID times as well.

3) Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This metric measures how often unexpected layout shifts occur on a page during the lifespan of a page. It affects how pleasing a page looks to the visitor or user. A score of up to 0.1 means that there are minimal visual disruptions on the page.

Therefore, there is a great user experience. The ideal score of zero is possible for static pages. A score of between 0.1 to 0.25 means that the visual stability of the page could use some improvement. A score of 0.25 or above means an excessive amount of unexpected layout shifts are driving visitors away. The page is too unpleasant to look at. The aggregate CLS of one page should be less than 0.1 at least 75% of the time to be considered visually stable.

Metric

Good

Improve

Poor

Cumulative

Layout Shift  (CLS)

Less than

0.1

Between

0.1-0.25

Over

0.25

Elements such as images and videos without specified dimensions contribute to visual instability. Advertisements without any space allocated or assigned for them majorly distort visual stability.

Always specify the size attributes such as height and width for images and videos. Reserve space for advertisements and dynamic content ahead of time. Again Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) is a tool that can be used to measure the CLS of a page on your site.

4) Mobile FriendlinessThe quality of user experience on a site using mobile devices is a measure that helps in determining search rankings. Websites that are not mobile-friendly will lose out in search rankings.

Check the mobile-friendliness of your site by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool can show how the pages on your site look in the mobile view. It will also give pointers on how to help optimize your site for mobile-friendliness.

Some tips for making your website more mobile-friendly are to optimize images, spacing out links to prevent cramping in the mobile version. Optimize button placements and use standard fonts. Using a tool such as the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)  will help decrease loading times for your mobile site.

When designing a desktop website, try to keep the design needs of a mobile site in mind. Try to make a desktop design that can easily be scaled down to an almost identical mobile design. Ensure that it is just as easy to navigate, read through and click buttons on a mobile site as it is on its desktop counterpart.

5) Safe BrowsingHere your website is checked for malware and any other malicious content. Visitors are protected from interacting with any harmful content on your site. Any malware on your site can also slow your site down. A slow site will push visitors away from your site and affect your search rankings. Safe browsing is a measure of user experience. A Security Issue Report can be run to determine how safe it is to interact with your website. 

6) HTTPS – This is a security measure that also affects user experience. HTTPS sites demonstrate a more safe and secure connection. Data encryption during the transmission of information makes visitors feel safer about interacting with your website. For example, when a visitor pays for something using their credit card, they want a safe and secure transaction. Therefore, a secure website will help to improve search rankings for your website.

7) No Intrusive InterstitialsPop-up advertisements that block or cover the main content on a page are labelled as intrusive interstitials. The pop-ups are a nuisance that ruin the user experience of anyone visiting the site. Needless to say if you have a prevalence of pop-ups on your site, search ranking  will not work in your favor.

8) Google Search ConsoleUse Google Search Console to measure core web vitals across all pages on your website. This tool can identify and bring all poorly performing core web vitals to your attention for improvement. The Google Search Console can help to analyze how a website is doing on the Google Search Engine.

9) PageSpeed Insights (PSI) – This tool helps to load and measure the running speed across both the desktop and mobile versions. There is no need to download this tool. Just plugging your website into this tool will be enough to generate reports. It can be used with other tools such as Lighthouse.

10) Lighthouse. Lighthouse is a tool that measures the Core Web Vitals and other user experience factors. This tool generates reports on Core Web Vitals as well as provides helpful suggestions for improvement.

11) Google AMP. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages is a handy tool. It incorporates into websites to speed up the loading of pages. This feature optimizes websites for mobile friendliness.

12) Chrome User Experience Report. The CrUX uses real-world data to measure various metrics besides the Core Web Vitals. CrUX is able to provide a summary of  one month’s worth of data to analyze and track over time. It can also break information down to basics. For example, CrUX can break down data right by the type of device used, country of location, etc. The depth and variety of the metrics

used can help you to make connections between some obvious and some not so obvious patterns.

Optimizing Design

The key to achieving a satisfactory user experience is to design every aspect of your website with optimization in mind. Whether it is an image, video, page, or the entire website, all these elements have attributes that can be structured to appeal to potential visitors. Combining optimal design with speed-enhancing tools such as Google AMP will definitely help you create or improve a website that will provide a great user experience. A great user experience will increase your chances of being placed higher in search rankings. Better search rankings will drive more traffic to your site and increase the visibility of your business.

Good Content Is Still King

The factors that contribute to a great user experience for visitors on a site are vital in helping businesses to improve their search rankings. However, it is prudent to note that good content will always rise above the fast-loading one in the battle for most favored content. Spend more time making quality content over content that loads faster or is visually more stable.

Summary

The Google Core Web Vitals can help businesses improve their search rankings on the Google search engine by measuring user experience. Improving the Core Web Vitals to enhance the user experience also helps optimize the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a website. Besides the three Core Web Vitals and the four factors that are used to improve user experience, tools such as Google AMP, Lighthouse, and Google Console are also handy in enhancing the user experience of site visitors. Good content combined with a good user experience will help you to improve the search ranking of your website.

Are you looking to improve your rankings with a result-driven content marketing strategy? If so, contact us and we’ll take good care of you!