What Web Agencies Need To Know About The Core Web Vitals

What Web Agencies Need To Know About The Core Web Vitals

In recent months, Google has been notifying businesses about the introduction of the Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal. These Core Web Vitals are page loading speed and user experience metrics set to become part of Google’s ranking signals in May 2021 and will have a significant impact on search rankings. Web agency owners looking towards improving their client’s page speed should act as soon as possible. This is how their clients will beat their competition in SERP, improve their conversion rates, and start generating more leads. 

To put it somewhat differently, the Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that will become highly important in terms of the website’s overall user experience. They will contribute towards Google’s page experience score, making it possible to measure the site’s performance based on its overall UX. When it comes to a website’s long-term success and the results that it will generate, optimizing the quality of user experience is critical.  

What’s the Importance of the Core Web Vitals? 

There are a couple of significant reasons why these Core Vitals are so essential and why performance matters when providing a superior experience. For starters, they have to do with the page speed and how it affects conversion optimization. According to user behavior, as described by Google, people are around 24% less likely to abandon a page with a fast loading time, as opposed to a slow-loading page.

If a page load time increases from one second to three seconds, the bounce rate increases by 32%. In addition, if the load time increases to six seconds, the bounce rate can more than double (106%). A high bounce rate will negatively affect the bottom line of both the web agency and its clients. So, even if website owners may not be currently interested in SEO, the loading experience should still interest them as it will create a more enjoyable experience, more in line with user expectations. 

Secondly, fast-loading pages will rank better than their slower counterparts. The Core Web Vitals will act as the threshold when it comes to website rankings. Say, for instance, two web pages are equal in everything from highly optimized relevant content to linking and image files; the page that will come on top will be the one that provides the better user experience in terms of page loading performance. 

The Key Components of Core Web Vitals

There are three major components that Google will take into consideration as part of the Core Web Vitals raking signals. These will include: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

Largest Contentful Paint

The Largest Contentful Paint measures the loading speed of the largest element in the viewport. This can include the largest image, the largest content element, the largest video, or the largest piece of text. It acts as a gauge for how fast the entire page finishes loading. Many issues that can cause a low Largest Contentful Paint score such as issues with CSS, JavaScript, slow server response times, client-side rendering, or problems with various other resources loading slowly. 

First Input Delay

This is a performance metric that measures how fast a user can interact with the page. It looks at the time between the user clicking on a link or button on the page and how long it takes before that button loads and reacts to this interaction. A low score from this metric’s point of view is typically 300 or more milliseconds. Like is the case with the Largest Contentful Paint above, the First Input Delay can be caused by poorly optimized CSS or JavaScript. 

Cumulative Layout Shift

The third Core Web Vitals user experience metric looks at the visual page content. It tests the visual stability of the page whenever a user clicks on something before the page loads completely and something unexpected shifts in the background. The user’s click doesn’t register, or they end up clicking on something they did not intend. Either way, this translates into a poor experience for the user. Various factors can cause these types of layout shifts, such as adding images, iframes, or ads without dimensions, downloading and rendering web fonts, or other similar actions. 

What are the Benefits of Webpage Performance and Interactivity Improvement?

Terms such as the Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, or Cumulative Layout Shift can sound pretty technical, and not everyone may be able to follow their logic. As a web agency looking to convince your clients of the importance of Core Web Vitals and the need for performance improvement, you should steer the discussion more towards the benefits than the actual jargon. Mention the following: 

  • Fewer people are leaving the page prematurely because of slow loading times. This translates into more time spent on site, which indicates a higher conversion level. 
  • Increased ROI from ad campaigns since fast loading pages increase conversion rates. 
  • Return website visitors and customer referrals due to a good user experience. 
  • Better website SEO and Google visibility, which indicates more website traffic, leads, and sales. 
  • Fast-loading pages indicate professionalism, which makes a great first impression, builds trust, and makes visitors more comfortable sharing their personal and banking information. 
  • Fast-loading pages are a requirement in appearing in FAcebook newsfeeds and Google News. 

Measuring the Core Web Vitals Score

Measuring the Core Web Vitals can be done with various tools such as Chrome UX, Google Search Console, and Google PageSpeed Insights. Unfortunately or not, these tools are only for the more tech-savvy, meaning that the average business owner may not have the time, inclination, or willingness to learn.

Luckily, however, StrongWP is more than capable of doing these types of audits on your behalf. By taking us up on this service, you will benefit in many ways. 

  • For starters, you will be able to offer page-speed audits to impress new prospects and win their business. 
  • By taking this proactive approach, your clients will appreciate keeping them in line with the Core Web Vitals trends and ahead of their competition. 
  • You will also be able to win back former clients by offering them a free or low-cost page speed audit as a means of identifying any underlying issues and helping them improve them. 

Contact us today! We are happy to help and advise you about the best practices regarding the Core Web Vitals and website speed optimization