Core Web Vitals for Site Speed





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Core Web Vitals for Site Speed

Unleash the Power of Core Web Vitals

“I feel the need… the need for speed!” Admit it, you just recited that iconic Top Gun quote in your head, didn’t you? Well, as an SEO professional, I can totally relate. Site speed has been a hot topic for ages, and now, Google has taken it to the next level with the introduction of Core Web Vitals.

But Core Web Vitals are about more than just speed, my friends. They’re a set of user-facing metrics that measure the overall user experience on your website. Think of it as Google’s way of saying, “Hey, we’re not just looking at how fast your site loads, but how it actually feels to use.”

And let me tell you, mastering these Core Web Vitals can do wonders for your SEO performance. In fact, I recently helped a client double their revenue just by focusing on improving their Core Web Vitals. It’s like having a cheat code for the Google algorithm!

As the folks at Conductor put it, “Core Web Vitals are a way to measure the user experience of a page.” And as of mid-June 2021, Google has started using them as a ranking signal. But trust me, this is just the beginning. Core Web Vitals are only going to become more important from here on out.

Decoding the Core Web Vitals

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of these Core Web Vitals, shall we? There are three main metrics that make up the Core Web Vitals:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures the time it takes for the largest text block or image element to load on your page. The lower the LCP, the better.

  2. First Input Delay (FID): This measures the time between when a user first interacts with your site (like clicking a link or tapping a button) and when the browser is able to respond to that interaction. Again, the lower the FID, the better.

  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This measures the sum of all unexpected layout shifts that occur during the page’s entire lifecycle. Basically, it’s all about visual stability. The lower the CLS, the better.

Now, let’s talk about the difference between field data and lab data. Field data is the real-world data collected from actual users visiting your site, while lab data is the data collected in a simulated environment. As the Conductor team explains, it’s essential to compare apples to apples when it comes to Core Web Vitals.

You see, you might be getting great scores in Lighthouse (lab data) and high-fiving yourself, while your actual users are having a poor experience (field data). Or, you could have the same in reverse – great scores based on field data and poor lab data scores. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on both.

Optimizing for Core Web Vitals: The Challenges and Victories

Now, improving your Core Web Vitals isn’t exactly a walk in the park. There are a lot of factors that can affect them, like slow server response times, render-blocking JavaScript and CSS, and having your largest content resources be too heavy. But trust me, the payoff is worth it.

One of my clients, a million-dollar revenue webshop, put A/B testing after their stylesheet and doubled their First Contentful Paint. Just by moving a single stylesheet! It’s the edge cases like this that make the pagespeed niche so interesting.

Another client of mine saw a 50% improvement in their Largest Contentful Paint just by enlarging their hero image. As the folks at PageSpeed Insights explain, the browser will stop reporting new LCP candidates as soon as the user interacts with the page. So, optimizing that all-important first impression is key.

And when it comes to Cumulative Layout Shift, I always recommend examining the Performance recording in Chrome DevTools. Those red blocks are a dead giveaway of where the unexpected layout shifts are happening. The Conductor team has a great article that goes into more detail on how to identify and fix CLS issues.

The Future of Core Web Vitals: What Lies Ahead?

So, what does the future hold for Core Web Vitals? Well, Google has made it clear that they’re only going to become more important. As the Conductor team predicts, we’re likely to see a lot of changes over the next few years, as Google continues to tweak and refine these metrics.

One thing’s for sure, though – improving your Core Web Vitals is going to be crucial for your SEO performance. And let’s not forget the impact on user experience. After all, who doesn’t love a website that’s fast, responsive, and visually stable?

So, if you’re ready to take your site speed to the next level and give your users a top-notch experience, it’s time to dive into the world of Core Web Vitals. Trust me, your SEO results (and your bank account) will thank you.

And remember, the team at MCR SEO is always here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimization. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get that site speed soaring!

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