Using Google's New Core Web Vitals to Improve SEO


Core Web Vitals blog graphic by Sales & Marketing Technologies

April 20, 2021

 
Google is all about helping users find the most relevant and quality websites, which is why in 2020 it announced new ranking signals for Google Search — ‘page experience.’ The page experience ranking signals will be gradually rolled out starting in mid-June 2021 (originally set for May 2021), but Google says there’s no immediate need to take action.
 
Now is a great time to prepare and learn more about Google Search Console’s new Core Web Vitals report. By understanding the report’s page experience metrics, you’ll be able to make appropriate website changes and improve search engine optimization (SEO). Here’s what you need to know about Core Web Vitals and page experience for SEO.
Google Core Web Vitals Search Page Experience Graphic

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a subset of three factors in Web Vitals that Google considers important in a page’s user experience (UX). These factors focus on three aspects of UX — loading, interactivity, and visual stability. The Core Web Vitals report will display scores for each metric to assess the page’s overall UX.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The amount of time to render the largest piece of content (e.g. image, video) from when the user requests the URL. A slow load speed hurts UX and increases the bounce rate.

First Input Delay (FID)

The amount of time from when a user first interacts with your page (e.g. clicked a link or button) to the time when the browser responds to that interaction. A slow response is a bad UX, which again increases the bounce rate.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The sum total of all unexpected layout shifts that occur during the entire lifespan of the page. Having page elements shift while a user is trying to interact with the page is a poor UX.

The Importance of Page Experience

A good page experience makes it easier for people to find information and engage content. That’s why Google has added page experience ranking signals to help people access the information and web pages they're looking for, and updated tools to support site owners in providing an enjoyable experience.

Mobile Page Performance Stats

According to Think with Google, longer page load times negatively affect bounce rates. The mobile page speed study found that page load times that increase from:
  • 1 to 3 seconds increases the probability of bounce by 32%
  • 1 to 5 seconds increases the probability of bounce by 90%
  • 1 to 6 seconds increases the probability of bounce by 106%
  • 1 to 10 seconds increases the probability of bounce by 106%
By making your website faster, you’ll be more likely to keep users on your page which shows Google that you provide a positive experience and your content is relevant. In turn, you’ll be rewarded with higher rankings in search results.

Page Experience is Key For SEO

The new page experience ranking signals show that UX has become even more crucial for an effective SEO strategy. Although Google says that there’s no immediate need to take action, improving your website’s loading, interactivity, and visual stability now will give you a headstart on competitors. Not only will UX improvements help your website have higher rankings, but they’ll also improve customer engagement.
 
Call 407.682.2222 or go online to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session to explore UX opportunities for improving SEO!

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