Feb 20, 2023

Core Web Vitals. How does your site measure up?

Emily Bayes
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Core Web Vitals has been around for close to three years now. In that time, it’s been helping businesses to better understand and improve the performance of websites. Yet many still don’t know what it is and how it works. So, if you’re looking to take your website to the next level then understanding what CWV are and how they help you assess your site is going to play a pivotal role.

So, what are Core Web Vitals and why do they matter for your website's success?

Core Web Vitals is a term used to refer to the crucial metrics for a website's success on the web. It provides us with a broad view of how well websites are doing with regards to loading time, interactivity, and overall user experience. All these key performance indicators are essential for determining whether a website can provide an unbeatable user experience. In addition, these vitals help provide insight into the reliability and scalability of a proposed design when users check out your page or explore further deeper within it. Having detailed data regarding Core Web Vitals is beneficial when making decisions related to optimisation and coding refactoring. Understanding these “vitals” better will ensure that all websites deploy best practices, comply with Web Performance Guides, and increase positive user engagement.

What are the metrics that make up Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics created by Google to measure the health of a website. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) are the three metrics it consists of with each measured in their own unique way. LCP measures how long it takes for the main content of a website to load - if this takes too long, users may not stick around to read what you have to offer. FID measures user interaction with your page; if users must wait for something like an input box to appear before they can interact with a page, then their experience will suffer from slow loading times. Finally, there's CLS which looks at visual stability, meaning that unexpected shifts on your pages due to loading or ad elements can create an unpleasant experience for users. Combining all three creates Core Web Vitals, giving you an invaluable understanding of your website performance that you won't be getting anywhere else.

How can you measure your site's performance against these metrics?

Measuring your site's performance against key metrics can provide you with valuable insights about how to improve, and Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is an excellent way to do this. It considers both page loading and page optimisation metrics, such as how quickly resources are loading and how efficiently images are rendered. You don't need to be a tech wizard or a Google engineer either – the tool provides you with an easy-to-follow breakdown and recommendations on how to improve your speeds. You'll be able to measure your website's performance quickly and easily, giving you invaluable data that you can use for ongoing optimisation.

Why is it important to keep an eye on your website's Core Web Vitals over time?

It's important to check your site regularly and test Core Web Vitals. Over time updates, new pages, images and more will expand your site and effect the performance. If you find your scores are declining assess what changes have been made and what can be done to reverse that decline. It may require adjusting the design of your website, optimising images and content, or minimising redirects and scripts. Doing this will help give visitors the best possible experience on your site on all devices. Ultimately, improving performance is about enhancing user experience through faster loading pages, better interactivity, and more visually appealing overall design.

What can you do to help your CWV?

Improving your site's score in each of the three areas can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be a headache. Start with user experience: think about what you would want as a visitor of your own website? Make sure navigation is intuitive and content is well-written, error-free and optimised for SEO. Next, tackle performance. Run analytics to make sure pages load quickly and that users don't encounter too many broken links. Finally, security should also be at the top of your list - double check any forms or payment processing used on your site to ensure that data is adequately protected.

Test-driving your own website is one of the best ways to make sure your site meets the highest standards. Doing so helps you identify areas for improvement and can help you avoid costly mistakes. No matter how long you’ve been in business or how established you are, testing can uncover weak areas in usability, speed, or overall design. It’s often challenging work but it is also a good way to gauge whether your readers have a positive experience on your site. Make sure to test multiple times and with different browsers and devices to get a real sense of where change is needed most.

Taking steps to improve Core Web Vitals ensures that people keep returning to your website again and again. So don't forget—reviewing your site's score in these areas is an essential part of keeping it running smoothly and efficiently.

If you're looking for ways to improve your website's performance, we can help. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar SEO or marketing plan that increases audience engagement and delivers.

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