What Are They? How Can You Use Them to Perform Better with Google?
It’s an old adage in online marketing that “content is king.” That perception may lead you to believe that all you need to do to rank highly with Google is post fresh and informative content on a regular basis. While that will certainly help you perform well with search engines, Google also weighs other factors when determining where to rank your website. In 2021, Google published information about certain ranking tools, known as “Core Web Vitals,” that can impact your position on a search engine results page.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
By understanding the Core Web Vitals, and using that understanding to optimize your website, you can improve your visibility online. Core Web Vitals focus on a user’s experience visiting a website, rather than on the authority and relevancy of content. Specifically, Core Web Vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which looks at how rapidly the largest block of content on a page loads;
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measures how long it takes the page to become stable; and
- First Input Delay (FID), which relates to the responsiveness and interactivity of a page.
How Can You Use an Understanding of Core Web Vitals to Rank Better with Google?
Google has established minimum standards for its Core Web Vitals. Those pages that meet or exceed those standards carry greater weight with the search engine. Here are the criteria and some strategies for boosting your performance:
- Improve page loading—Google’s best practices require that the biggest piece of content on a page should load in 2.5 seconds or less once a visitor comes to the page. If you don’t know what your current page loading speed is, check out the Google Page Speed tool. There are also a number of third-party page speed tools. Some things that can slow down page loading include third-party scripts, cascading style sheets (CSS), and poor web hosting.
- Ensure greater page stability—You want to take the right steps to ensure that your pages don’t change as the page loads. Make certain videos and other media are properly sized and that page elements are always directed to the same place.