Core Web Vitals
What are Core Web Vitals?
Google's User Experience (UX) scoring system, which is used to rate the user-friendliness of a website, will go live soon. It rates the user experience across different factors called Web Vitals, which have their own respective scoring criteria. Among these factors, Core Web Vitals is a subset that comprises of 3 metrics which measure page speed and user interactions.
- Largest Contentful Page (LCP) – The page speed metric, that measures time from when the user clicked on the link to when the contents of the web page have loaded completely and are visible to the user.
- First Input Delay (FID) – It can be considered both a page speed and interaction metric. This measures the time it takes for the page to respond to the first user interaction. It is dependent on the time duration needed for loading elements which allow the user to make an input such as clicking on a link or entering login details.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – It is an interaction metric that measures the web page's visual stability during loading. In other words, this measures how much elements move around unexpectedly during the loading process. A high CLS makes it harder for the user to learn the location of the webpage's elements and leads to a frustrating experience where clicks are made by mistake.
Why are they important?
Recently, Google has announced that integrating the User Experience scores into their web page ranking factors will go live soon. This means that a good User Experience score would translate into a higher rank in web search results and potentially higher web traffic.
The Core Web Vitals are a significant contributor in a good User Experience score. Therefore, the Core Web Vitals would be highly important for improving web search rank and achieving better results for the website.
Why should you care about Google's newest update, the Core Web Vitals?
At its core, Google's priority is always users' experience while browsing; its primary goal with any feature is to provide relevant information in a convenient way. Google provides guidelines and frameworks, but each company should focus on human interactions and experience when it comes to business goals. Core Web Vitals are features and a set of guidelines to improve the overall user experience on your website.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should care about Core Web Vitals:
- People love fast, relevant websites that offer a solution for their problem promptly. When your website provides a smooth experience for its visitors, you will see a higher conversion rate on the long term, which means lower cost per conversion and better monthly revenue.
- Keeping your website up to date with the new Google guidelines will also mean that you don't lose your ranking, as Core Web Vitals will be an essential part of the main ranking factors.
- Implementing the new rules and staying in line with the Core Web Vitals, will create a much better user experience. This means that your visitors will stay on your website and will not revert back to their original search. This will decrease your bounce rate and boost your website's overall visibility.
What to do if you have bad Core Web Vitals scores?
If the website finds itself in the unfortunate predicament of having bad Core Web Vitals scores, then a UI/UX audit can help sort out the situation. Generally, UX audit is a part of the UX development process where different website elements such as text, links etc., are assessed in terms of their ease of use. Future iterations of UX audit can be done to sort out any issues with the website over the course of its lifespan.
The process of UX audit involves performing various tests which generally focus on the usability of the website. These tests use typically the experience of real users to gain insights and identify the weak areas of the website. The resulting audit report comprises of factors such as initial impression, user flow and component prioritization.
The insights gained from the UX audit report can be utilized to address the problem of low Core Web Vitals scores. Since these insights are gained from real-world scenarios, rectifying the issues can boost the Core Web Vitals scores and positively affect the overall user experience.
Understanding your users and website visitors is essential. Having a bad or old website is just like having no website, or worse. If a user reaches your site and cannot find the product he is looking for, then your company is losing money.
The UX audit will focus on finding the key features and helping you really understand the visitors' actions, what they are looking for and where they face challenges due to technical or design problems. Based on a well-done UX audit, your company will be able to optimize the flow and review each step and technical features, then improve on each individual's experience, increasing conversion and revenue along the way.