In May 2020, Google announced that they were releasing a metric system that allows site owners to measure user experience, also known as UX. This metric system is called the Core Web Vitals.
If you are a site owner, it is time to start evaluating your site based on page speed, mobile-friendliness, and how your user interacts with your site.
The old ranking system of text on your page isn’t going to be as significant as the user experience.
In short, Core Web Vitals will be the top criteria in ranking on the first page of Google. However, do keep in my that there are over 200 other ranking factors that Google uses.
Is your website user-friendly? Keep reading to see if your website can pass the test.
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Info about Core Web Vitals
What is Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals is a metric system that will measure how user-friendly your site is that will affect your ranks on the top Google pages. The top three metrics of this new ranking system will be:
Large Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP measures the page and site loading times. To be considered user-friendly, your site must load within 2.5 seconds.
A lot of different factors can play into your site speed. For example, a slow host, the number of plugins you have, widgets, and the size of your images.
Although I am not knowledgeable about this, unused CSS can be a factor that could affect the LCP score, too.
When I was assessing my site, I realized my image sizes were massive and I was wasting a great deal of space. I learned about ShortPixel and bought their one-time credit.
ShortPixel is a plugin that bulk smashes all of the pictures on your site and compresses them so users can have a better user experience.
I bought the 30,000 picture plan, plus I get an extra 100 photos each month. This is more than enough to get started on and the plan is quite affordable!
First Input Delay (FID)
FID measures interactivity, meaning how long it takes for a user to click on links or buttons and how long it takes the site to respond. To provide a good user experience, your FID sore measure less than 100 milliseconds.
It’s best practice to make sure this measurement is within good terms because this affects the first impressions a user may have about your site.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures visual stability. For example, sometimes the layout of sites shift causing the user to click on something else than what they had originally clicked.
This usually happens when the site is still loading and typically affects the fonts, pictures, forms, and other content. To be user-friendly, your site would need to score less than 0.1.
Personally, I experience this when ads are loading and it causes me to lose my spot in the article. It’s super annoying so I can see why this would be a big deal in the overall user experience.
Check your Scores using these three options!
Now that we have a basic understanding of these measurements, we need to check the website scores!
There are several places you can check the Core Web Vital Scores, such as the Google Search Console, GTMetrix, and even the MonsterInsights plugin.
Google Search Console
If you have not had a chance to view your scores, you can go to the Google Search Console, enter your website, and click on Core Web Vitals under Enhancements.
If you do not have enough data, you can easily view the PageSpeed Insights to analyze your data.
GTmetrix is super simple to use and will give you another view of your site. Personally, I love the layout of this site compared to Google; however, I am not sure how accurate it truly is.
My stats are way better on this site compared to Google Search Console. However, I feel like GTmetrix does a better job at explaining all the technical improvements you can make.
MonsterInsights does a great job at making all of your stats user-friendly. The top reason I love using this plugin is that I don’t have to open another tab or leave my WordPress dashboard.
They have added a great new feature called the Site Speed Report. This feature allows you to see your Core Web Vitals and reports the elements that are doing great and what you need to work on.
To find the Site Speed Report, you have to go to Insights inside the WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Site Speed’ on the top menu to access your report.
The Site Speed Report allows you to check all of the Core Web Vitals we talked about earlier.
To get access to your report on the WordPress dashboard, download the MonsterInsights plugin, then upgrade to the PRO version to access the Site Speed Report.
As of May 2021, the Core Web Vitals and user experience-related signals measure how well your website ranks.
Combined with the Core Web Vitals, you also need to check page experience in areas, such as:
- SSL certificate
- This is the security of your site. Google recommends that you have this certificate, to begin with, but if you don’t you can contact your host and purchase the SSL certificate.
- There will be a lock next to your domain name in the URL if you have this already.
- The majority of users are on the phone, so this is a big factor you must pay attention to.
- When you publish an article or add new elements, always check your site on a mobile device to see if it works.
Site speed and overall user experience are more crucial than ever. Now is definitely the time to check your Core Web Vitals score to improve your site.
If there is any important information you’d like to add, please comment below.
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