On November 10, 2020, Google announced that it would update its search algorithm and consider core web vitals a ranking factor from May 2021. They also mentioned that it would also include user experience related to ranking factors. This created a lot of confusion amongst SEOs and web administrators.
They did not know what core web vitals is and what to expect from the update?. How will it impact their website’s search engine rankings in 2021 and beyond? If you are one of them and thinking about how you can prepare your website for the update, you are in the right place.
In this article, Branex will clear all your confusion regarding Google’s core web vitals and answer all the questions. Continue reading to find out more.
What is Core Web Vitals?
Core web vitals is a combination of three key page speed, visual stability, and user interactivity metrics that Google considers important for enhancing a website’s user experience. These three metrics are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Contentful Paint refers to the time your website takes to load its main content. Search engines like Google consider websites with the largest contentful paint of 2.5 seconds or less as ideal, so if your website wants to rank higher, it should have a lower largest contentful paint.
First Input Delay (FID)
First Input Delay represents the time your webpage takes to become interactive for users. Websites with a first input delay of 100 milliseconds or lower are considered user-friendly and are more likely to rank higher on search engines.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CIS)
Cumulative Layout Shift depicts the unexpected layout shift of visual elements on the web page. For a website to deliver a great user experience, a cumulative layout shift should not be more than0.1.
What Can You Do To Prepare Your Website For Google Core Web Vitals?
Here are seven things you can do to prepare your website for Google’s core web vital update.
1. Preload Important Web Elements
Page loading time is one of the most important ranking factors as far as user experience is concerned. To reduce the time your web page takes to load, you can use preloading. With preloading, you can tell your web browser to fetch particular resources on a higher priority basis. As a result, the web browser loads key web elements first before loading the rest of the web page, which goes a long way in reducing the largest contentful paint.
2. Allocate Space For Images and Embeds
Have you ever visited a website where web page elements continue to shift while the page is loading? It not only negatively impact the user experience but can put them off too. That is what Google is trying to address with its cumulative layout shift metric in core web vital update.
One of the main reasons behind the high cumulative layout shift of websites is leaving blank spaces for different loading web elements. Instead, you are better off reserving spaces for images and embedded resources. This can give users an idea about where the web elements will load into.
3. Tweak Your Thread Activity
4. Use Mobile Responsive Page Templates
With more people accessing websites through their mobile devices instead of desktop or laptop computers, having a responsive website template is no longer an option. Google released a separate index for mobile devices and started penalizing non-mobile-friendly websites by pushing them down its search rankings.
To evaluate the usability of your website on mobile devices, you can go to the mobile usability report in the Google search console and it will tell you about all the mobile usability issues your website has. You can also check the mobile-friendliness of your website by passing it through Google’s mobile-friendly test.
5. Identify and Iron Out Security Issues
Search engines like Google are focusing on ensuring that the websites they feature on their index are secure for users to browse, so they don’t have to worry about security issues. This means that if your website has security loopholes, it is less likely to make it to the top 10 results.
Run a security audit on your website to identify the security issues and fix them as soon as possible. Whether it is malware, spyware, phishing, deceptive content or unwanted software, you need to get rid of it. Webmasters can go to the Google search console and check out the security issues report for more details.
6. Use HTTPS for Forms and Embeds
Since we are on the topic of security, let’s talk about HTTPS. If your website contains elements that ask for user input, such as form, then you should make sure that this interaction takes place over a secure HTTPS connection. This gives users the peace of mind that their personal and financial data is protected and not vulnerable to spoofing.
Additionally, your website should also have an updated SSL certificate. Not only can it build trust, secure your data and help you comply with PCI-DSS standards, but it can also give you a ranking boost.
7. Prevent Ads From Blocking Key Content
If your website is using too many ads, especially ones that are obstructing your content or an important part of the content, you should think about removing them. Why? Because it is disrupting your website’s user experience and Google does not want to promote websites that do that.
This means that it will push your website down its search rankings. Even if you want to use ads on your website, it should be smaller and should not block the content view. You can easily do that by redesigning ads and pop-ups for your website to give users an uninterrupted user experience.
How will Google’s core web vitals update affect rankings, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below.