Google’s Core Web Vitals algorithm update, scheduled for May this year, will focus on the performance of your website particularly looking at how fast it loads.
Google wants to provide its users with a great User Experience (UX) and we all know how frustrating it can be having to wait too long for a website to load. We get frustrated and this can lead to website visitors bailing out and visiting another website.
1 in 4 visitors would leave a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load!
So how fast does your website load? You might think it loads fairly quickly, but if you are visiting your website for the second time from the same device it’s most likely that you won’t notice a slow loading website because the page has been cached to help it load faster the next time you visit it.
Google currently considers website speed in its ranking of websites, the upcoming Google Core Web Vitals will only see this becoming more of a factor in deciding where a website ranks on Google moving forward.
The team at Purplex have been preparing for the upcoming changes using Google tools such as Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights to evaluate page experience scores. These are free tools available to anyone, so you can check out the performance of your website or contact us to discuss a free website audit and we’ll provide you with a report and recommendations on how you can prepare for the algorithm update.
Detailed below are the key measurements that Googles Core Web Vitals 2021 will be looking at.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP measures how long it takes for the main content of your website to download and be ready to interact with within the user viewport (what the user can see currently on their screen). LCP is a key measurement for Google because it defines how long it takes before the web page can be interacted with and used.
There can be some really quick fixes to improve LCP scores. For example, when publishing images to a website it’s a common mistake to simply upload a standard image and not optimise it for the web by resizing it and reducing the file size.
First Input Delay (FID)
FID measures the time it takes from when a user first interacts with your website to when a web browser is then able to react to that interaction. For example, a person visits your website and then clicks a link to another page or a call to action button.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
You may have noticed when first opening a website and starting to read the content that you lose your scroll position. When a website loads different elements of the page will load at different times and the browser, be it Google Chrome or Safari will have to recalculate the position of the content of the website on the page. This can cause content shifting and a poor User Experience (UX). CLS measures the number of unexpected layout shifts of visual content on a page.
What does good look like?
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): How long it takes for the main content of the website to load. Aim for 2.5 seconds or faster.
First Input Delay (FID): The time to interactivity of a web page, when users can click links and calls to action. Aim for 100 ms.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures unexpected layout content shifts of a page Aim for less than 0.1.
Request a free website audit
Your website is your shop window and businesses need to be continually reviewing the performance of their websites to ensure they are working effectively for them and delivering the best ROI.
Modern web technologies are constantly evolving and it’s important to benchmark the performance of your website against search engine metrics and the latest algorithm updates. Google’s Web core vitals update is set to be a game-changer. You can find out more via this Google Search Central blog post and if you’d like a free website audit from our in-house team of experts please get in touch today.