The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are real-world core web metrics that measure user experience on the web. The three metrics that make it up are Largest Content Draw (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Transformation (CLS).
In May 2020, Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will be part of the Page Experience Refresh, and thus will become a ranking factor. Mobile experience signals have been used in the ranking since May 2021, while the desktop version became part of it in February 2022.
Although there are differing opinions about the actual impact of Core Web Vitals on ratings, these metrics provide a quantitative measure. A way to evaluate user experience that goes beyond ranking in search. Ensuring that your pages deliver a great experience is key to meeting your users’ needs After reaching your page and completing your business goals.
This article explains what each Core Web Vitals metric measures, how to analyze your score, and what to do to improve it.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals measure specific aspects of user experience:
- “Largest Content Content” measures loading performance – LCP marks the point during page loading when the main content is most likely to have been loaded.
- First Input Delay measures engagement – the FID evaluates how long users have to wait before they can interact with the page.
- Cumulative layout change measures visual stability – CLS catches unexpected shifts in the layout of visual page content.
For each of these metrics, Google has defined appropriate thresholds that correspond to different scores:
- needs improvement,
To have a greater chance of reaching the target set for the majority of users, you must Aim for at least 75% of your pageviews to be “good” for each of the three metrics. This measurement was chosen to ensure that pages provide a good experience for the majority of users, regardless of the device used and network conditions.
It should also be noted that CWV metrics are per page unless there is sufficient data collected for it. If this is the case, The result can be inferred from the entire website or some of its sections.
Ahrefs conducted a research study on Core Web Vitals Scores are analyzed for a large number of websites. Show that in 2022, ca. 33% of websites pass CWV’s metrics, a score 10 points higher than the previous year.
Working to improve your CWV metrics is definitely an aspect of SEO that should not be neglected. Let’s go over each metric, its characteristics, and ways to improve it.
LCP (Largest Content Graphic) is a metric that focuses on how long a homepage’s content takes to load. The main content is usually the main image, video, or a large paragraph of text.
For an in-depth analysis of how to measure and improve LCP, follow our guide to Largest Contentful Paint.
First Input Delay (FID)
FID measures how long it takes the user to interact with the page. These interactions can include actions such as:
- clicking a link in the navigation,
- Entering an email address in the registration form field,
- Select an option from the dropdown list.
For an in-depth analysis of how to measure and improve FID, follow our guide to first entry delay.
Change the cumulative format (CLS)
CLS determines how much the elements on a page are offset during page load.
Your page elements should be as stable as possible to be easily clickable for users and ensure that changing the layout does not prevent them from completing a desired action.
For an in-depth analysis of how to measure and improve CLS, follow our guide to incremental planning change.
How do Core Web Vitals affect SEO?
Core Web Vitals are metrics that define user experience in specific, measurable ways. Improving user experience means that users can easily find what they were looking for When they visit your site, they are likely to return to it.
We know Core Web Vitals is a sure Google ranking factorbut its impact on ratings is not entirely clear.
Here is John Mueller’s response from February 26, 2021, to a question about the impact of Core Web Vitals on search results:
[…] Relevance is still far more important. So just because your website is faster on Core Web Vitals than some competitors doesn’t necessarily mean that, in the month of May, it will jump to the top spot in the search results. […] It should make sense for us to show the site in the search results. Because as you can imagine, a really fast website might be a completely blank website. But this is not very useful for users. So it pays to keep that in mind when it comes to Core Web Vitals. It’s something users notice. It’s something we’ll start using to tidy up. But it won’t completely change everything. So it won’t destroy your site and remove it from the index if you got it wrong. It won’t get you from page 10 to first place if you do it right. Source: John Mueller
Moz found The most significant effect of the CWV metrics occurred for URLs that failed tests for all three metrics, which saw a decrease of 1.15 positions:
in both cases, Core Web Vitals’ impact goes beyond just being a ranking factor. User experience can affect the success of your business – for example, it can lead to higher conversion rates.
John summed it up in response to the Reddit post:
The other thing to keep in mind with Core Web Vitals is that it’s more than just a random ranking factor, it’s also something that affects the usability of your site after it ranks (when people actually visit). If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, then this traffic will not be as beneficial as if you had a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does) . CWV is a great way to identify and measure common user annoyances. Source: John Mueller
How do you measure Core Web Vitals?
you can use Several tools for measuring Core Web Vitals. Make sure you know what data the tools are using:
- Field data – taken from real users, or
- Laboratory data – collected from pre-selected conditions.
To understand the use cases for both types of data, make sure you’re familiar with our article on measuring web performance using lab and field data.
Contain Chrome user experience report (CrUX) obtains public, anonymized data about “Core Web Vitals” from real users on millions of websites. This dataset also includes information about the device and connection types, allowing for comprehensive evaluation and comparison of user experience between different technologies and sites.
CrUX is of immense value to webmasters and developers To help them evaluate the performance of pages on the web.
Data from the Chrome UX report can be found at PageSpeed Insights and the Core Web Vitals report at GSC.
apart from that, Check out some other options for using CrUX data.
You can access Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools:
It is important to note that Lighthouse contains lab data.
To analyze “Core Web Vitals” in Lighthouse, use Incognito mode, because any plugins or extensions added to Chrome can affect how a page loads and display inaccurate results.
After you select Create a report on the page you want to analyze, you’ll see the evaluation results and some additional practical details, such as best practices and SEO checks.
You can also see recommended actions to improve your page load.
You can find a report dedicated to “Core Web Vitals” in Google Search Console. In the main GSC offering, you will find it in the Experience section:
After you open a report, you can see an overview of the URLs with the respective statuses, including the current issues that led to those statuses:
If you click on the status, it will display a list of affected URLs. You can then begin to address the problems. The advantage of using this report is that you You see data for all indexed pages within your site and you don’t have to parse every URL.
The Google Search Console report data comes from the Chrome UX report and reflects the experience of real users who visited the URLs.
PageSpeed Insights is a valuable tool for Check page performance on mobile and desktop devices Which can provide helpful recommendations for page optimization.
Crucially, this tool can display both lab and field data for a page.
If you don’t want to check every page on your domain, You can focus on analyzing a few pages of each type To get an idea of how this is implemented and which page templates may require modifications.
For example, if you have an e-commerce site, start by checking the performance of different types of product pages, as well as category and contact pages, and those that contain a shopping cart or are used to facilitate payments.
General SEO Tools
some include Popular SEO Tools Features to check CWV.
One of these tools is Screaming Frog Its paid version allows you to analyze CWV metrics after connecting to the PageSpeed Insights API. You can export the data you get as a csv file. to be used for further analysis.
Another option is to use WebSite Auditorproviding an opportunity to bulk analyze and segment CWV metrics for all of your pages to simplify the process of optimizing them.
Other metrics related to Core Web Vitals
Let’s discuss other valuable web performance metrics that can help evaluate user experience on the web.
Other vital elements of the web
Aside from Core Web Vitals, other complementary metrics capture the complete user experience and can support the diagnosis and remediation of performance-related issues.
Apart from the first content drawing scale (FCP) that I mentioned in the context of LCP, there are the following scales that you need to be aware of:
- time to first byte (TTFB) Captures how long it takes to request a resource and when the first byte of the response begins to arrive. TTFB is useful for diagnosing problems with LCP, such as slow server response times.
- Reaction time (TTI) The end time of the last long job that occurred before the quiet window, which means there are no long jobs and no more than two network GET requests during the trip, or if there are no long jobs – it’s an FCP value.
- Sets the total blocking time (TBT) Time between FCP (FCP) and TTI, which captures how long the main thread has been blocked by a long task running for more than 50 milliseconds and can result in a noticeable delay of user duration. The total blocking time is the sum of the blocking times for each long task that occurs between FCP and TTI.
TTI and TBT are lab metrics, and since they cannot be measured in the field, they are not considered vital components of the Web. But they can be used to diagnose interaction-related problems that can affect FID.
Candidate metrics for Core Web Vitals
During the Chrome Dev Summit 2021, Chrome announced that it was considering two additional performance metrics — responsiveness and smoothness — for Core Web Vitals.
Currently, First Input Delay measures the input latency delay. However, it does determine the time it takes for the browser to prepare to process the request but does not evaluate the total duration of the event from initial user input to the life of the page. This is what the response scale will get the new. Find out how this metric can measure in
Post from web.dev about the response .At the same time,
The softness Measures “stutters” or “freezes” in animations or during scrolling to help understand how dropped animation frames affect users. The result will show how smooth the animation is for the user.
We don’t need more research or testing to determine that Core Web Vitals is here to stay . It is your users who will come to your site and have a satisfying experience if you take the time to work on these metrics.Whether it’s an important ranking factor or a measurable way to evaluate user experience, we can expect Google to refine CWV metrics in the future and improve the way they are used in search.