If you're still on the learning curve for SEO (tell me who isn't!!), you need to know about Core Web Vitals and how Google uses these measurements to help site owners with user experience and gain better visibility on search results.
Core Web Vitals' purpose is to help Google guide you on the signals that determine a great user experience.
Ensuring that users get a high-quality experience makes all the difference for any site. The purpose of Web Vitals is to ensure that no matter what role you play in your website, you can measure what experience your users have when on your site to make it better.
Web experiences can all be improved no matter what you're offering, and Core Web Vitals gives a path to delivering a better one.
Let's look at this measurement system and how you can find what you need to work on.
Google breaks Core Web Vitals into three sections – loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Here's how Google has opted to measure site user experience:
Core Web Vitals for Measuring User Experience
Google tells us that we can measure site user experience using these says site owners can measure the quality of their site's user experience with this system of measurements:
- LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) refers to the time a page's primary content takes to load, with the ideal metric being 2.5 seconds or less.
- FID (First Input Delay): How long a page takes to become interactive for the user, with the ideal metric being 100ms or less.
- CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): the measure of the unexpected layout shift of any visual page content with the ideal metric being 0.1 or less.
The reason Google uses these is that they are essential to the user experience, can be measured, and are able to be improved.
How You Can Get the Metrics of Your Websites' Core Web Vitals
Google has set up many of the tools it offers, including Core Web Vitals. You can now use the following tools to measure Core Web Vitals:
- Search Console.
- Web Vitals Extension.
- Chrome DevTools.
- Chrome UX Report.
- PageSpeed Insights.
Here's what else you need to know about using these tools to get measurements of your site's Core Web Vitals.
In Search Console, Google added a new Core Web Vitals report section. This enables you to evaluate all the pages of your site.
This report aims to find the groups of pages that need improvement according to the Chrome UX report.
Please note that URLs are not included if the pages do not bring back enough data for reporting.
This tool has undergone a revision to make use of Lighthouse 6.0 now. Now you get access to results from both the lab and the field.
Core Web Vitals are annotated with a blue ribbon, as shown below.
This is another tool that has undergone improvement so that it now has more reports, audits and metrics, which all add to an easy-to-understand and measure performance score.
Two significant changes include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
These Core Web Vitals are from the lab and provide the information you need to improve the user experience for better results. Another change is the measurement of – Total Blocking Time (TBT).
Every product that Lighthouse contributes to is now using the latest version.
Chrome UX Report
You may see this mentioned as CrUX, derived from how user experience is collected on millions of websites.
You get access to the field versions – which means real-world data – of all the Core Web Vitals.
Google have recently improved this report to include a new Core Web Vitals landing page.
You can access the CRUX report here.
CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) is easier to fix with Chrom DevTools. You can locate the visual instability issues for better CLS metrics.
Just choose a Layout Shift and then click to see the details. You can hover over the Moved From and Moved To fields to find out more information.
You can also measure TBT (Total Blocking Time) on Chrome Dev Tools, which can improve FID (First Input Delay).
TBT is now shown in the Chrome DevTools Performance panel footer when you measure page performance.
The optimisations that improve the performance of TBT should also help with the FID>
Web Vitals Extension
A new Chorm Web Store extension measures the 3 Core Web Vitals measurements in real-time.
Here's a link to the extension here.
What About Other Valuable Metrics?
Although the Core Web Vitals are very important, they are not the only metrics you should watch for a better user experience.
Google plans to improve Core Web Vitals every year as it works on a better comprehension of user experience.
As time passes, we should also hear from Google which Web Vitals it will measure, why it's chosen those candidates and where it is with implementation.
In the meantime, Google is focused on page speed.
If you’d like help with your Core Web Vitals, please get in touch. Paul Gordon offers SEO services and can ensure your strategy is on the right track for commercial results.
I'm Paul Gordon an SEO freelancer who has spent the last 16 years helping businesses expand and grow through effective SEO strategies.