When you break it down, the internet is all about presenting information to people, and SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is about making the information that you are presenting as attractive as possible to the search engines that potential customers are using, so that you have the best chance to capture their attention.
Google understands that it is vital to ensure that its users have a good experience when searching for and finding information. Over the years, they have introduced guidelines for best practices in how websites can stand a better chance at ranking on the search engine results page from a technical standpoint. For example, Google requires that websites use an SSL certificate to allow for a secure connection between the client’s browser and their website.
Now, Google is adding more metrics to track whether or not websites are providing an exceptional experience to its users, and this time they have to do with the site’s speed. Known as Core Web Vitals, these metrics can tell you whether or not your site is optimally performing as it should, and identify weak points that could be harming your ranking.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
The Core Web Vitals include three metrics that contribute to the experience a user has on your website:
- First Input Delay (FID) – When your browser requests a web page, there is a brief moment between that request reaching the server that hosts the website, and the server sending the data back to your browser. This brief moment is known as the FID, and Google considers an FID time of under 100 milliseconds to be good, while anything over 300 milliseconds is poor.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – When you navigate to a website in your browser, the browser scrambles to take that data and interpret it visually based on the underlying code that structures it into a web page. The time that it takes for it to “paint” the largest section of the page is known as the LCP, and by Google’s standards, an LCP time under 2.5 seconds is good, while over 4 seconds is regarded poorly.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Have you ever opened a web page and began scrolling through it, but the content starts moving around, getting shifted down or up as the content tries to load? This annoying feature of websites is known as Cumulative Layout Shift and is one of the most frustrating problems that can ruin an otherwise great user experience. Because of this, Google is adding it as a ranking factor. Like FID, a load time of under 100 milliseconds is acceptable, but anything over 250 milliseconds is considered poor.
How Do Core Web Vitals Impact Your Ranking?
Core Web Vitals are expected to be launched as Google ranking metrics in early 2021, which gives business and digital marketers a chance to begin preparing their websites before facing negative impacts. You can already view the Core Web Vitals for your website by checking its Pagespeed insights, or in Google Search Console.
Fortunately, those who are already following best practices for building and maintaining their website will already be familiar with many of the strategies to improve their Core Web Vitals, because site speed has been an important user experience consideration for many years. By introducing these new guidelines, Google is raising the baseline standard to clearly communicate whether or not your website will be up to par in 2021.
Improve Your Site’s Core Web Vitals
At SocialSEO, we are leading experts in Search Engine Optimization, which includes reviewing your site’s Core Web Vitals for areas of opportunity. As google implements the changes to First Input Delay, Largest Contentful Paint, and Cumulative Layout Shift Social SEO will guide our clients through the changes their sites will need to stay competitive. The internet is about transmitting and presenting information, and we specialize in presenting your information to search engines in a way that moves your site higher up the rankings and widens your audience. Contact us today to set up a site audit and discuss the future of your website’s ranking.