What are the Core Web Vitals and why are they important?

Core Web Vitals are a new set of performance metrics that Google is releasing as part of the Page Experience Update in May 2021. They focus on the user and highlight aspects of web page development that can affect user experience (UX). The Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements: largest contentful paint, first input delay and cumulative layout shift.

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the time between the start of a page load to when the largest image or text block is fully rendered.
  • First Input Delay (FID) looks at how long it takes for the page to be ready for user interactivity e.g. clicks, scrolls and keyboard input.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how much the page shifts upon page load.

Join search strategist Oli Hearsum as he explains what the metrics mean for your business and how you can measure them.

With the announcement that the Core Web Vitals will be in play from May 2021, there is work to be done now to get ahead of the competition and make sure you’re not adversely affected. The sooner you start looking into the data, potential issues, potential causes and required time to fix, the sooner you’ll be able to start prioritising the “problem” areas and getting them into a good state ahead of the rollout next year.

How can you check your page experience?

Google has provided a detailed developer document on page user experience  however in summary it is all about the end user experience.

These factors include:

  • Is your site mobile friendly according to Google? you can check here
  • Is your site secure – If you don’t have a secure site, we would encourage you to make this move now (speak to whoever hosts your site). You can check your site security here.
  • Page loading times (you can check this information in Google Analytics).

SEO specialist Levi recently wrote a blog on page experience signals exploring this announcement in more detail but we will continue to update as more is learned over the coming months.

If you would like to understand what these changes mean for your website or learn more about our team’s approach to search marketing & SEO, get in touch with our team of experts.