Optimize Your Site for Google’s Core Web Vitals in 2022

Avatar for Wouter Maatman
Google Core Web Vitals

The ranking in Google Search Results is largely determined by the search term’s keywords, the usage of the keywords within a page, and the popularity of a page according to the number (and quality) of links. Since August 2021, Google is making efforts to assess pages based on performance. These so-called Core Web Vitals are a set of three Google user experience and website performance metrics.

Core Web Vitals explained

Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWV) are three performance metrics that assess the user experience:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Loading performance
    This is a measure of the time it takes for the largest piece of content on a web page to be visible. For publishers, this may be the text of an article. Or perhaps a product image on a retailer’s site. For a ‘good’ classification from Google, this content should load within 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Interactivity performance
    This is the time before a visitor can interact with a page. On some sites, you may notice that you can’t click on a link or add text to a form field until various page elements have finished loading. For a ‘good’ classification from Google, this delay before interaction should be less than 100ms.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Visual stability performance
    This metric relates to the visual stability of a page. Moving or unstable elements as a page is loading can lead to users clicking incorrect links, which can be a frustrating experience. For a ‘good’ classification, Google wants to see a CLS of less than 0.1.
Google Core Web Vitals

This new Google algorithm update is now in place for six months. A page’s LCP, FID, and CLS scores are based on the last 28 days of real user metrics collected anonymously through the Chrome browser. These measurements can vary due to the user’s device, connection, and other concurrent activities. Any page that achieves a good (green) score for all three Core Web Vitals metrics receives a higher ranking in search results. In addition, it can be included in the “Top Stories” carousel in the Google News app.

Importance for e-commerce sites

Fast page loads are key to keep online shoppers happy and not or scare them off towards a competitor’s site. Core Web Vitals take into account a user’s first impression of speed, interactivity, and visual stability. If the numbers are higher than 2.5s for LCP, 100ms for FID, or .1 for CLS, you can assume both users and Google perceive your site as slow. Google will lower your rank and consumers will bounce and never return. Poor page experience will not only hurt your webshops reputation but also impact your SEO ranking. This results in lower traffic, conversion, and revenue.

It is easy to measure your Core Web Vital. For example, PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of a page on your website. Or use Lighthouse, which is an open-source tool for optimizing and elevating the quality of web pages. Finally, you can also use Google Search Console to identify pages across your site that require improvement. The search console helps generate a Core Web Vitals report. 

Avatar for Wouter Maatman

Digital Marketing Manager at Icecat N.V.

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