Learn what Google Core Web Vitals are and how they can help your website rank better.
If you haven’t added user experience to your secret sauce, it’s about time that you do. One indicator of a very successful website is being optimized for user experience. You may have noticed in recent years that Google has been vocal about the importance of user experience. In fact, Google has provided signals to help website owners identify aspects of user experience and evaluate the degree of experience the page provides.
In the first quarter of 2020, Google announced Core Web Vitals, a quantitative set of metrics that can measure user-friendly and page experience levels. By 2021, Google is rolling out page experience as part of the Google ranking factors. You still have a few months left to fix your webpages for this future ranking factor, so by the time page experience is set, your website would be ready for the changes.
This article is a primer on Core Web Vitals. As you read further this article, you’d discover the specific metrics Google uses to measure user experience. You would also learn how to tap these metrics for your website to increase or optimize your viewer’s reading experience.
What is User Experience
Without getting too technical, user experience is the person’s response to the use of a system or product such as your website. It is entirely related to the technical aspect of your website and how your visitors perceive your site as they are navigating it.
For every industry, there are different proponents to user experience; however, if you delve into Peter Boersma’s T Model, you’d realize that there are eight proponents that define the user experience for websites:
- Interaction design
- Information architecture
- Marketing & communications
- Usability engineering
- Visual design
- Information design
- Computer science
But the bottom line is, why should you be bothered by all of these? The answer is straightforward: when visitors check out your website and find that they can quickly get information there, they are more likely satisfied with what you have.
Contrastingly, when the design is poorly done, and they didn’t get what they had been looking for, they’d leave unsatisfied. Visiting your website is just a waste of time. These points of view define what user experience is all about.
What You Can Get from a Great User Experience
For every visitor you have, you also have the chance to convert them to customers- and one way to hook them is to have an intuitive web design that makes them come back for more.
Better navigation and experience from your site means greater chances of turning that customer into leads. Otherwise, instead of having customers, you are turning those visitors away.
Higher Conversion Rates
Expect to have better conversion rates when your website is already optimized. It’s a domino effect that, when your customers are happy and satisfied, you get high-quality leads.
Better productivity is the result of an improved user interface. The smoother the customers can navigate your website, the higher productivity levels as your visitors would appreciate it even more that they can do more with less time.
If you offer solutions to your customers’ woes in a fast and secure manner, they are more like to remain loyal to your brand.
Page Experience Signals
Over the years, Google has identified metrics that help website owners improve user experience. These include:
- Safe browsing
- No intrusive interstitials
These are metrics to measure the level of experience the website visitor has when interacting with a webpage. Optimizing these factors means providing a better page experience to customers and visitors as the webpages evolve to shift towards mobile use.
These tools and metrics aim to simplify everything so that website owners can focus more on the Core Web Vitals, which will be rolled out by 2021. Like many Google metrics, these Core Web Vitals are not set in stone. These may change yearly, depending on the preferences of visitors have for excellent user experience.
What Are Core Web Vitals
Aside from the items on the list above, there is a subset of Web Vitals which all website owners should also focus on. There are three aspects to the Core Web Vitals, and each of these aspects is entirely measurable and can be applied across all Google tools. These Web Vitals mirror how your visitors respond to your website’s performance as Google hopes website owners build pages that visitors love checking out.
Why Should You Bother with Core Web Vitals?
When you and your competitors have equally great content, whose website would stand out? Enter the Core Web Vitals. This factor is your trump card. Having higher page experience scores indicate your visitors prefer your site more than your competitors. Take note, Core Web Vitals should not be prioritized over search intent and quality content.
That being said, if your content isn’t as great as your competitors, your Core Vital Scores can’t help you to push ahead in the rankings game.
These Core Web Vitals will be used as part of the content ranking criteria for Top Stories you see on mobile. Another part of the good news is, Google has informed us ahead of time so you can prepare for this new roll out in 2021.
Standard Tools to Use to Measure Core Web Vitals
Most of these tools are used for measuring all the Core Web Vitals, but there are also tools specific to a particular web factor, as you might notice in the list for each core web vital below. Also, note that some of these tools may not use actual field data from users; rather, some use lab data results.
- Chrome DevTools
- Chrome UX Report
- PageSpeed Insights
- Search Console
- Web Vitals Chrome Extension
You can use Google Search Console to check the bird’s eye view of your pages.
Chrome DevTools and Lighthouse can be used to optimize your pages. If you need quick page appraisals, use the Web Vitals Chrome Extension and PageSpeed Insights.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- It refers to the loading performance.
- It measures how fast the loading performance is at the initial loading.
- Subsequent loading would not generate a new LCP for the same page.
- The size of the element matters. Usually, the size of the element that’s only visible to the reader or user gets measured
- When the image element is resized, the measurement