Core Web Vitals & SEO. Here’s what you need to know.

Surprise, surprise. Google is changing things again

Last year Google announced that they will change the way they rank your site for Google Search. These changes will come into effect in May this year. 

Google Laptop Screen

What does this mean? 

Google will now rank your site according to page experience signals. These new page experience signals will combine Core Web Vitals with Google’s existing search signals. 

These existing search signals are mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Essentially, Google will reward those with excellent page experience, or how a user might perceive the experience of a web page. This is determined by combining their existing search signals, with new signals from Core Web Vitals. The better your site performs across all 6 of these factors, the better chance you have at ranking high on the SERP.

“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”

Google, May 2020

So, what are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Google describes Core Web Vitals as ‘a set of real-world, user-centred metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger – how annoying!).’

The new Core Web Vitals are 

  • Loading – largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Essentially the time it takes for your page’s main content to load completely. Ideally, this should sit at 2.5 seconds or less.
  • Interactivity – First Input Delay (FID) – basically, how long it takes for your content to become interactive for the user. The benchmark for this is less than 100ms.
  • Visual Stability – Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. This should sit at less than 0.1.

What do these new Core Web Vitals mean for you? What do you need to change?

Quality content on your website should always be the main focus, 

Google revealed that whilst all page experience components are important ranking factors, they will still prioritise those pages that contain the most valuable information overall, even when some page experience factors might not be meeting the mark. So, good quality, relevant content will always prevail. 

Here’s what you can do to have your site ready for these changes.

  • Ensure you’ve got all the right tools in your corner. You should have Google Search Console set up and verified across your entire site. Google Search Console provides valuable insights into your organic ranking and has a report specifically on Core Web Vitals.
  • Run a report to benchmark your current organic rankings and site performance. Identify where you are performing well and what simple fixes you can make now to positively impact your performance.
  • Review your content. Starting with your most valuable pages, and most popular pages, review the page content and ensure it meets optimum criteria. Does it meet user intent and respond directly to your targeted keywords? 

Looking for a digital strategist to help increase site speed? Get in touch with our Support & Success team today.

These changes don’t come into effect until May, so there’s enough time to review your page content to meet these new standards. Remember, content is king. Create high quality, valuable content that is easy to digest, navigate and share.

Written.

by zyber2020
February 16, 2021

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