Businesses can no longer compete on the digital front without a good website and strong search results. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 played a huge role in the sudden shift to digital storefronts and eCommerce shopping. It’s because of this shift that businesses must adapt their websites to be better than ever.
The latest changes from Google come in the form of the Google Core Web Vitals update. This update is scheduled to occur sometime in May 2021. The core web vitals update will affect how your website and content rank on Google.
To prepare for core web vitals, it is important to understand a bit more about the update, and what it will mean for your website and online business. Let’s review the basics of the update, how it will affect you, and what you need to do to prepare for it.
What are Core Web Vitals?
First and foremost, let’s touch base on what the core web vitals actually are. A firm understanding of the update will help you develop a strong plan for preparing for changes that the update will bring.
At its simplest, the core web vitals are the basics that allow a website to be user-friendly.
The Google algorithm is designed to improve user experience. If your web page is not producing content that will be helpful to a user in the midst of a Google search, Google will not display your page or content as prominently, or at all.
The algorithm arguably forms the basis of all website functionality. To appear in Google results, your site must be user-friendly. The algorithm is extremely complex, however, and is a code only the best digital marketers know how to break.
The core vitals, on the other hand, are much simpler than the Google algorithm, but will become just as important. Let’s explore further.
How It Works
The Google core web vitals are a smaller snapshot of your website’s functionality related to the user experience. The vitals cover three major categories:
- Largest Contentful Paint
- First Input Delay
- Cumulative Layout Shift
The Google core web vitals update will encourage website owners to improve website responsiveness as well. It will also encourage owners to improve website SEO.
Under the update, if a page provides a good user experience, Google will mark it as so. Like the Google algorithm, obtaining Google trust can greatly improve your website ranking and theoretically improve your online business.
Google will continuously scan web pages in search results, and determine if those pages are user-friendly. If yes, a new label will appear in Google search results that allow users to take note of this determination. On the opposite side of the scale, if a website features a poor user experience, an appropriate label appears.
Let’s take a closer look at the major categories that will fall under the influence of the core vitals update.
What It Affects
The largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift may sound like gibberish to those who are not experts in digital marketing. But truthfully, they are rather simple concepts.
The largest contentful paint covers how long it takes for a website’s main content to load. About two and a half seconds or less is an ideal time to shoot for. Times that begin to creep into three seconds or longer increase the risk of bounce rate.
The first input delay measures how long it takes for a web page’s content to be interactive. 100 milliseconds or less is ideal. Again, anything that takes longer than that increases the risk of bounce rate.
The cumulative layout shift refers to the timeframe in which layout adjustments are made to your pages. Loading content is one thing; adjusting the layout is another. The ideal for the layout shift is less than 0.1.
The Google core web vitals focus on the user experience. Just as the Google algorithm filters website based on relevance to a search, the core vitals filters websites based on usability.
How Google Core Web Vitals Can Improve Your Ranking
Google’s stamp of approval will set some websites apart from others. For users, this means that not only are they receiving relevant search results, but they are also able to navigate a page with ease.
The core vitals are really nothing new. Web owners should be continuously optimizing their websites to fit the user experience. However, having a good standing with the core vitals update can mean the difference between clicks and zero user traffic.
Having a good core vitals ranking allows users to immediately know that browsing your site will be a good experience. And a positive experience is one aspect that keeps users coming back to your site.
How to Prepare for Core Web Vitals
Focusing on improving your site speed and interact-ability will go a long way in securing that high Google core web vitals score. Continuously optimizing your website for usability is a great step to take, whether you’re worried about the Google core vitals or not.
Utilize Google’s reporting system to continuously track your website’s status. Investing in basic SEO applications will allow you to get a sense of your website’s ranking, and can show insight into website speed and potential issues.
Google’s Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights are other valuable tools that allow developers to dive deeper into some experience metrics. These tools are also valuable in discovering problem areas, or pinpointing areas for improvement.
Take the Next Step Now
The world of Google is constantly changing.
If the Google algorithm is a serious hurdle for your business, or you are concerned about the Google core web vitals update, connect with Otaliems Academy.
Join our mailing list for the latest tips and tricks on keeping ahead of the changing Google market. Or, contact us with specific questions.
Otis Aliemeke created this content to assist entrepreneurs just like you in overcoming some of the most common online struggles facing the digital marketplace today. Don’t hesitate; connect today and see how great your website can be.