Google announced in 2020 that ‘Core Web Vitals’ will become a bigger part of their user experience algorithm which helps to rank websites in their search engine. It intended to implement this from May 2021, but has now pushed it back to start from June, with updates continuing until August 2021. What is ‘Core Web Vitals’, how can you check your Local Business Website, and what do you need to do?
What are 'Core Web Vitals'?
Essentially, Core Web Vitals are a collection of data that helps to measure the performance of user experience on a website. Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s overall evaluation of ‘Page Experience’. Data collected currently includes such things as how fast a page loads on a user’s screen and how quickly a user can interact with it. Websites with a poor score will fail the test and may slip down the search engine rankings.
Getting your Core Web Vitals right is not just for organic search engine rankings. It can also improve the efficiency of Pay Per Click Google Ads by raising your Landing Page performance score.
Core Web Vitals is constantly being revised. The current measurements being used are;
- LOADING – Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- INTERACTIVITY – First Input Delay (FID)
- VISUAL STABILITY – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Don’t worry too much about exactly what these terms mean, as we have easy ways for you to measure them yourself!
Other Web Vitals
Other web vitals that form part of Google’s current Page Experience score include;
- Mobile Friendliness – your website needs to perform well on mobile devices. Check yours here using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Safe Browsing – your website needs to be free of malware which could compromise users
- HTTPS – Your website must have an SSL Certificate (the URL should start with ‘https://’).
- No Intrusive Interstitials – Pop-ups which prevent users being able to view or access the site, with the exception of cookies pop-ups or legal requirements such as age-verification.
How to measure a website's 'Core Web Vitals'
If you have access to your website’s Google Search Console (GSC), you’ll find the ‘Core Web Vitals’ report under the ‘Enhancements’ section.
If not, just go to Google’s free tool, Pagespeed Insights, and enter your website’s address. You can even punch in some competitor websites to compare your website to theirs.
Pagespeed Insights will give 2 scores. One is for Mobile performance, one is for Desktop performance. Both are scored out of 100. Ideally, your site should be 80+ for each.
Mobile Pagespeed Insights score on cgain.co.uk – 22/02/2021
Desktop Pagespeed Insights score on cgain.co.uk – 22/02/2021
What determines a Website’s speed?
There are several factors, including the following…
The quality of hosting can have a dramatic effect on a website’s speed. Many Local Business Websites are set up on a budget and on cheap shared hosting (where hundreds of websites live on the same server). Virtually all of the ‘build-you-own’ website services do this, including WIX, GoDaddy, Fasthosts, IONOS and others – although all do usually offer a paid upgrade to something better.
The majority of our client websites are on fast dedicated servers. This costs a little more but is well worth it.
Many websites can be over-stuffed with unnecessary code and plugins. Most WordPress websites have this issue! Whilst that shiny new theme might look pretty, it has probably not been designed with Core Web Vitals in mind!
Adding a new feature or plugin can also have an adverse effect. Beware, for example, of adding ecommerce to a website hosted on a cheap shared server as it will probably struggle with limited processing power and slow the whole site down.
Many web designers (and business owners, especially) add lots of images to a website. There’s nothing wrong with this, except when thay are straight off a modern mobile phone and up to 10mb or more in size!
Huge images on a webpage take time to render and display. All images should be optimised (resized) before uploading.
How to Improve Core Web Vitals
Use the Measurement Tools
Use the Measurement Tools we recommend above and test your own website. If you pass, then no problem!
If not, each tool will suggest fixes if you feel technical enough to sort these yourself.
Obtain Professional Advice
Here at CGain we can analyse your website’s Core Web Vitals (amongst other factors) and come up with a solution at a competitive cost. Solutions can be on a fixed monthly rate to include hosting, backups, updates and basic (or advanced) SEO.