Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google believes to be important in a webpage’s overall User Experience (UX). Core Web Vitals are made up of three specific measurements: largest contentful pain (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).In short, Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s “page experience” score to determine the quality of your website's user experience. You can find your site’s Core Web Vitals data in the “experience” section of your Google Search Console account.
Why are the Core web Vitals Important?
Google first announced Core Web Vitals in 2020 as a ranking factor based on how users experience your website. These vitals measure your website's user experience, and there are three main factors Google is looking for: page loading speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability.Core Web Vitals are important for your website’s development because, while the contents of your page might be good, this is not the only thing Google wants to see. With each new Google update, every part of your website must be supported to ensure you rank higher in search engines. User experience is also a priority when it comes to Core Web Vitals, which means that making your page convenient is essential, including:
Making a mobile-friendly website.
Ensuring your site is safe
Ensuring that all pages are secure.
What are the current Core Web Vitals?
Now that you have a basic understanding of Core Web Vitals, let’s go into a bit more detail about each. As mentioned, there are three key areas to keep in mind with Core Web Vitals; these are page loading speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability. Each of these has a vital that you can track to understand what you need to do to improve your score. These are:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The largest contentful paint is the most significant content you have, whether a page, article or image. The LCP or Largest Content Paint is directly related to the page loading speed. In general, it should take about two seconds or less for your LCP to fully load, but if it takes longer, you may need to look into optimising it.
First input delay (FID)
First Input Delay measures responsiveness and interactivity. FID is all about having a good user experience regarding response time, as the FID measures the time it takes for your page to respond to your viewer’s clicks. If the pages take too long to register a click and move on then the users are likely to drop off and find what they are looking for on a competitor's site which will cause issues with your conversion rate.
Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
Cumulative layout shift measures how stable every element of your website is. Good websites have stable pages even when loading from one page to another; your CLS is what makes sure functions do not move to a different place while the page is loading and prevents your viewers from clicking the wrong button on your page and being taken somewhere they did not want to go.As a note; slight shifts in your page’s layout are not a problem when it comes to your CLS score, however, if the entire page is moved down by another element in the page, it will harm your CLS score.
The New Core Web Vitals INP & TTFB
As you have seen throughout this article there is no shortage of acronyms in SEO or within Core Web Vitals. And this doesn’t change with Google recently adding two more; INP (Interaction To Next Paint) and TTFB (Time to First Byte).
Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
INP or Interaction to Next Paint refers to how the page responds to specific user interactions that are programmed into the overall INP metric measured by Google Chrome’s lab data and field data.Confused?...INP is a new Core Web Vitals metric designed to provide a representation of the overall interaction delay of a page. This is done by working from a sample of the single longest interactions that happen when a user visits the page. If a page has less than 50 total interactions, INP takes into consideration the interaction that has the absolute worst delay.The measurement of INP is a representation of how long a user takes to interact with the entire page.Sounds almost familiar right? This is a direct contrast to FID (First Input Delay). With, as mentioned earlier, the FID simply measures the first response of interaction by a particular user.
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
Time to First Byte is one of the first values that can be measured on the way to a fully-loaded website and represents the server response time required for the DNS, socket, and SSL negotiations. More simply, TTFB measures the length of time that it takes for the first byte to be transferred by the server which is a much more technical measurement than the previous Core Web vitals.Google only recently decided to implement Time to First Byte as a new metric so that SEO consultancies can measure how their site performs at the server level.The significance of TTFB is it’s the most important metric that nobody thinks of for Core Web Vitals and, in effect, the most important metric for your websites. Why? In a nutshell, people are impatient.
Conclusions on Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals can help improve the visibility of your website as well as its position within the SERP. However the key to remember here is that the Core Web Vitals are not just another ranking factor, they are a way of measuring how well your website is serving its users. The key is not just addressing needs based on a score, it is more about serving the needs of your online community to give them a hassle-free experience and this has been proven with the addition of these two new core web vitals.