The good news is there are easy and actionable ways to improve Core Web Vitals for your website and ensure it’s not only user-friendly but also favored by search engines.

Regarding how Google ranks websites, various lists and schools of thought exist. 

However, all SEO experts can agree that Core Web Vitals play a significant role in Google’s ranking system.

Core Web vitals are a set of crucial performance metrics defined by Google and have become a game-changer in the SEO world. When the Core Web Vitals of your website are low, it reduces your ranking.

The good news is there are easy and actionable ways to improve Core Web Vitals for your website and ensure it’s not only user-friendly but also favored by search engines.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that measure critical aspects of your website relevant to accessing a positive user experience.

It evaluates a website’s actual user experience regarding visual stability, interaction, and loading speed, influencing a page’s position in search results.

As crucial as Core Web Vitals are to SEO, it is important to note that it is just one of the several other important ranking factors Google has.

So, focusing on ONLY your Core Web Vitals will not automatically push you to the top of SERPs.

However, you need to combine several SEO strategies to get on the top page of Google. 

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Why Core Web Vitals Matter to SEO

The primary importance of optimizing your Core Web Vitals will be to improve your SEO score and rankings in SERPs. 

However, there are other benefits of improving Core Web Vitals relative to this importance. They include:

Improved user experience

The metrics that indicate a good Core Web Vital are closely related to metrics focusing on user experiences. 

When you improve your Core Web Vitals, you also invest in a positive user experience on your website, which is an influential ranking factor.

Higher page rankings

Of course, Google will favor a site with good Core Web Vitals.

Users anticipate being taken to a website that loads rapidly, keeps a consistent layout, and reacts to their interactions immediately when they click on a search result. 

Google ensures users have a seamless and positive browsing experience by prioritizing websites that excel in these areas.

Mobile search performance 

Working on your Core Web Vitals is vital for outstanding mobile search performance. It means that your website will do well in mobile searches.

SERP special feature eligibility

Improving your Core Web Vitals can lead to inclusion in special search features like featured snippets, voice search results, image packs, knowledge packs, etc.

The websites featured in these special spots are fully optimized with updated and relevant content and good website performance.

Competitive edge

A good Core Web Vital performance will give you a competitive edge over other websites in your niche because you are more likely to rank for mobile results, be included in voice search results, show up in special features on a search engine result page, and so many other benefits.

More page views

When a page loads quickly, is responsive to user input, and has great UX design, users will likely stay on the page longer. 

This increases the likelihood of reading more content, clicking on more links, and engaging with the page in other ways, increasing your page views.

Core Web Vital Metrics

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is the time it takes for the largest content element on a page to load. This metric is important because it reflects the perceived loading performance of a page. When a page loads quickly, it gives users a sense that it is responsive and ready to interact.

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A good LCP is below 2.5 seconds. If a page has a high LCP, it means the largest content element takes too long to load, making the page feel slow and unresponsive to users.

2. First Input Delay (FID)

FID is the time it takes for a user to interact with a page for the first time, such as clicking on a specific link or tapping a button. This metric measures the responsiveness of a page. When a page is responsive, it is ready to respond to user input quickly, making it feel more fluid and interactive.

A good FID is below 100 milliseconds. If a page has a high FID, it means the browser takes too long to respond to user input.

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3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS measures the amount of movement of the main content on a page after it has started loading. It measures the visual stability of a page. When a page is visually stable, it means its layout does not shift after it has started loading, making the page more consistent and predictable for users.

A good CLS is below 0.1. If a page has a high CLS, it means the layout shifts too much after loading, making the page feel unstable and jarring for users.

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These metrics are summarized in the table below:

MetricDescriptionTarget
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)The time it takes for the largest content element on a page to loadBelow 2.5 seconds
First Input Delay (FID)The time it takes for a user to first interact with a pageBelow 100 milliseconds
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)The amount of movement of the main content on a page after it has started loadingBelow 0.1 second

Easy Ways to Improve Core Web Vitals

1. Optimize images and videos.

Optimizing images and videos is crucial for improving Core Web Vitals, particularly Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), the time it takes for the largest content element on a page to load. 

Since images and videos often constitute a significant portion of a page’s content, optimizing them can substantially enhance page load speed and the overall user experience. 

Here’s a checklist for optimizing images and videos for better Core Web Vitals:

  • Choose the proper image format.
  • Compress images.
  • Resize images to fit.
  • Utilize lazy loading.
  • Employ image sprites
  • Optimize video formats and dimensions.
  • Compress videos.
  • Transcode videos for different devices.
  • Utilize video hosting services.
  • Implement video preloading.

Images and videos can be a significant source of page load time, so optimizing them for size and quality is essential.

2. Minimize server response time.

Server response time is the time it takes for servers to respond to requests from the user’s browser. 

This can be affected by several factors, such as the amount of traffic on the server and the efficiency of the server software. 

Minimizing server response time is crucial for improving Core Web Vitals, particularly Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID).

Here are some actionable steps to minimize server response time:

  • Choose a reliable hosting provider.
  • Utilize a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Optimize database queries.
  • Implement caching mechanisms.
  • Minimize unnecessary code execution.
  • Regularly monitor server performance.
  • Update server software and firmware.

These strategies help you minimize the server response time, contributing to improved Core Web Vitals scores, a better user experience, and potentially higher search engine rankings.

3. Optimize your web fonts.

Web fonts can enhance a web page’s visual appeal and overall aesthetic. However, they can also contribute to slower page loading, resulting in a negative user experience. 

By optimizing your web fonts and how they are loaded, you can improve Core Web Vitals and enhance your website’s performance.

Here are some effective strategies for efficiently loading web fonts:

  • Subset your fonts.
  • Use a font-weight stack.
  • Use a font hosting service.
  • Prioritize font loading.
  • Optimize font file formats.
  • Preload your fonts.
  • Utilize font embedding.
  • Manage font variations.
  • Monitor and optimize font performance.

These tips can help you effectively load web fonts without compromising the visual appeal of your website while improving Core Web Vitals and overall page performance.

4. Minimize JavaScript execution time.

Minimizing JavaScript execution time is crucial for enhancing Core Web Vitals and delivering a seamless user experience. 

JavaScript is a powerful scripting language that adds interactivity and dynamic elements to web pages. 

However, excessive or inefficient JavaScript usage can significantly impact page load times and overall performance. 

Here are some steps to minimize JavaScript execution time and improve Core Web Vitals:

  • Identify and prioritize critical JavaScript.
  • Defer and async loading.
  • Minify JavaScript.
  • Bundle multiple JavaScript files. 
  • Utilize web workers.
  • Avoid unnecessary DOM manipulations.
  • Utilize caching. 
  • Regularly optimize JavaScript. 

5. Prioritize interactive elements.

Interactive elements on your website, like buttons and links, are necessary for a positive user experience. 

They enable users to engage with a website and perform desired actions. 

Ensuring that interactive elements load and respond promptly can help create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for your website visitors. 

Here are some ways to prioritize interactive elements and improve Core Web Vitals:

  • Identify and prioritize your key interactive elements.
  • Optimize interactive element loading.
  • Reduce JavaScript execution time.
  • Utilize CSS custom properties.
  • Monitor and optimize interactive element performance.
  • Prioritize interactive elements in mobile responsiveness.
  • Leverage browser APIs.
  • Perform A/B testing for different approaches.

Prioritizing interactive elements is crucial for optimizing Core Web Vitals, particularly First Input Delay (FID).

6. Eliminate render-blocking resources.

Eliminating render-blocking resources is a crucial step towards improving Core Web Vitals, as it directly impacts a web page’s loading performance and perceived responsiveness. 

Render-blocking resources on your website prevent the browser from rendering/displaying the page until fully loaded. This can include CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, and images.

Here are some effective strategies to eliminate render-blocking resources and enhance Core Web Vitals:

  • Inline critical CSS.
  • Defer non-critical CSS.
  • Use asynchronous JavaScript.
  • Minimize JavaScript.
  • Use a CDN.
  • Optimize images.
  • Prioritize critical resources.
  • Utilize browser caching.

These steps will enhance the loading performance of your web pages, directly affect the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID) units of your website, and ultimately lead to a better user experience, increased engagement, and improved SEO rankings.

7. Manage content stability.

Content stability refers to how much the content on a page shifts or moves after it has started loading. 

This can be due to several factors, such as images loading late, CSS animations, or JavaScript that changes the page layout.

Content shifts can be a bad user experience, making it difficult for users to read and navigate the page. They can also make the page feel “jumpy” or unstable.

To improve content stability, follow these essential tips:

  • Use responsive designs.
  • Avoid excessive use of CSS animations.
  • Use preloading for images and videos.
  • Use a font-loading strategy.
  • Test your page on different browsers and devices.

By following these tips, you can improve content stability on your pages and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

8. Avoid intrusive interstitials.

Avoiding intrusive interstitials is crucial for enhancing Core Web Vitals and providing a positive user experience. Intrusive interstitials are pop-ups or overlays that appear over the content of a page, often obstructing the user’s view of the website’s primary content. 

They can be disruptive and annoying, leading to user frustration and a decreased willingness to engage with the website. Also, intrusive interstitials can negatively impact page load times and interactivity, diminishing user experience.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use considerate pop-ups: If you must use pop-ups, make them non-intrusive, easily closable, and relevant to the user’s context.
  • Prioritize user experience: Evaluate the necessity of each interstitial and consider alternative ways to convey the message.
  • Provide clear opt-out options: Allow users to close or opt out of interstitials easily to avoid frustration.
  • Limit frequency and timing: Avoid bombarding users with multiple interstitials at once or inopportune times.
  • Consider user preferences: Respect user preferences for interstitial blocking and provide clear privacy controls.

Minimizing these disruptions can enhance user engagement, improve SEO performance, and ultimately achieve your business goals.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

You can easily improve the Core Web Vitals of your website by following the tips in this blog post.

This will help to improve your website’s SEO performance and make it more user-friendly. As a result, you will attract more visitors and improve your conversion rate.

Remember, Core Web Vitals are an ever-evolving area of SEO. As search engines like Google release new algorithm updates, staying up-to-date on the latest best practices for optimizing these metrics is important.

How do you optimize your website for optimal user experience?

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