Core Web Vitals
Google’s recent 2021 update for Core Web Vitals is a major twist in SEO focused on the actual user experience. Not that Google has never indicated user experience is required, but the tangible SEO metrics were generally geared towards other factors like content, crawlability/indexability, backlinks and others.
Understanding Google's Core Web Vitals Update
That being said, Google has been pretty outspoken on the need to focus on users first and not search engines.
Core web vitals look at specific user experience signals, such as content load speeds and website interactions. The main Core Web Vitals include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
What are core web vitals?
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - Loading
The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the main factor in measuring load times. This has to do with how fast a website loads for a user. Despite this being a User Focused metric, these LCP load times don’t always correlate with the users load speed but rather the load speeds that Google identifies. When it comes to LCP though, the fundamental items still hold true – keep coding, imagery and more light.
First Input Delay (FID) - Interactivity
The First Input Delay (FID) is based on how quickly your website becomes interactive. FID looks at delivery of certain functionality, which is most often brought down by 3rd party integrations. 3rd party web integrations can range from a number of different setups and API’s, including popular items like Facebook and Youtube video players, Google Map integrations and more.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - Visual Stability
The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is based on items that move around your site. These are oftentimes unexpected popups, buttons moving or mishaps in responsiveness. These are very easily seen as negative items for a user experience because they often result in an unexpected outcome for a user (false clicks and more).
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How To Optimize For Google's Core Web Vitals
When looking at what Core Web Vitals are, it makes it a bit easier to understand what is needed to optimize your search strategy to capitalize on it. When considering optimizing for Core Web Vitals, remember to keep a user’s experience first and foremost.
Here are a few tips to remember
-One of the biggest tips is to keep your website FAST.
-Making sure your website is easy to interact with is another important measure.
-Make sure your website doesn't rely on too many 3rd parties.
Optimize Your Website For People
The main thing to concern yourself about here is optimizing your website for people to use it. There are still the behind-the-scenes items you’ll have to consider in other parts of your SEO strategy – content planning, backlinking, schema, meta and more!