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Why Is It Important To Focus on Google's Core Web Vitals?

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 6 min read
Why Is It Important To Focus on Google's Core Web Vitals?


The importance of search engines like Google and Bing to businesses’ online and offline strategies can’t be understated. Time and again, these search engines and their improving algorithms are bringing customers highly relevant sources and great websites.

In 2020, the search engine giant Google launched the user experience metrics called Core Web Vitals. They developed these metrics to guide businesses that want to improve their website's performance in the context of their most important stakeholders: the users.

Google's Core Web Vitals gauge a webpage's ability to provide users with the ideal user experience: fast, efficient, and stable. Most digital marketers believe these Core Web Vitals will drive present and future improvements in site performance and search engine optimization (SEO).

This article highlights the benefits of using Google's Core Web Vital for your business. It also covers the three Core Web Vitals and tips to boost your site's scores.

What are the three Core Web Vitals?

What are the three Core Web Vitals (Image source: Cosmik Carrot)

Online shoppers have become more skilled at browsing for the best product or affordable services. Interestingly, the consumer’s online journey has inspired better solutions for businesses and search engines.

Google uses three Core Web Vitals to analyze websites and ensure that the best ones rank high. This way, customers looking for the best sites can easily find them.

1. Content loading speed

Google's Core Web Vitals update involves measuring the content loading speed of websites through the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). The metric looks at the average loading time for a page's main content (e.g., media, text).

Since LCP is scored by page level, a good LCP should have a loading speed of 2.5 seconds or less. Sites with LCPs between 2.5 and 4 seconds need improvement. Poor LCPs with a speed load of more than 4 seconds require more work.

Basically, the largest image or text block should show up as soon as the user begins loading the page (i.e., click the website link). From the user's perspective, a good LCP means they don't have to leave a page because the content loads fast.

2. Interactivity

Google measures the site’s interactivity through the First Input Delay (FID). This metric measures the time elapsed between a user inputting a command and the page executing it. These commands include clicking links, pressing keys, and tapping a button.

A good FID score would be observed on sites that execute commands at a speed of 100 milliseconds (ms). Poor scores are those with 300 ms or more, and 100 to 300 ms will get a needs improvement score.

3. Visual stability

One of Google's new Core Web Vitals measures the site’s visual stability through the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Precisely, it measures the site’s page stability while it loads. For instance, when a website loads, do you see the images and links shift down?

This shifting down means the site has a high CLS score, and the page elements need to be visually stable. The site likely has a CLS score of 0.25 or more. On the other hand, a good CLS should score 0.1 or less. Sites that range from 0.1 to 0.25 need improvement. Besides images, other elements that affect CLS scores include fonts, contact forms, buttons, and videos.

Can poor Core Web Vitals hurt your SEO?

Can poor Core Web Vitals hurt your SEO (Image source: Rank By Focus)

Low scores on Google's Core Web Vitals can damage your SEO goals (rankings and all). SEO and these web metrics help provide consumers with a great browsing experience. Your online visitors wouldn't be bothered to read your relevant content if it's loading slowly.

If you want your site to maintain or increase its search engine rankings, optimizing for Core Web Vitals is essential. Since CLS, FID, and LCP scores are already part of Google’s ranking algorithm, poor scores can bring the ranking down.

The combination of low Core Web Vital scores with poor consumer experience can cost your business its rankings. It can also affect other hard-earned metrics—click-through rates, top keywords, and organic traffic. Worse, your competitors could outrank you and take away your clients or potential customers.

Considering the amount of work this Google update requires, businesses need time to assess the importance of these metrics. Your SEO team can help in this process. Will it genuinely affect their search engine ranking? Read on to learn the answers.

Organic search and ranking

With 53 percent of website traffic coming from organic search, you must optimize the site for these Core Web Vitals. Google isn’t just adding these Core Web Vitals as a business guide. It’s also using these metrics as a ranking signal.

This means your website could fall or climb up if your site scored well. Moreover, your site could even outrank your competitors in the long run.

User experience

Fixing your site's vitals should help improve your user experience when navigating through your site. When optimizing for Google’s Core Web Vitals, think of the most impatient online visitors. Can you please them with the speed and efficiency of your site? If not, they will likely bounce back to the search engine results page.

Conversion rates

High organic traffic means your website can support lead generation. With Google's Core Web Vitals update, your conversion rates could improve. In a ticketing platform's case, the update helped raise their mobile conversion rates by 80 to 100 percent.

Are websites optimizing Core Web Vitals successfully?

Are websites optimizing Core Web Vitals successfully (Image source: Blue Compass)

Healthcare, business-to-business (B2B), and reference sites rose to the top. Over 60 percent of their sites passed the Core Web Vitals on desktop and mobile devices.

Search data provider Searchmetrics also found that fashion and travel websites perform poorly. Only 25 percent of fashion websites passed the vitals on mobile devices. The image-heavy websites explain this performance for fashion and travel, which can negatively affect loading times.

Of the top 100 most visible websites, 50 percent failed the Core Web Vitals on desktop performance. Forty-four percent failed the mobile version.

There's still a lot of work that marketers can do in optimizing these sites for these web vitals. Digital marketers can focus on reducing image size and removing unnecessary code and widgets.

They should get professional tech support if site visitors experience loading issues and other problems that can affect user experience.

Will all this effort pay? Consider fashion e-commerce company Farfetch; the company focused on reducing its LCP. They found that with each 100ms reduction, their conversion rate rose by 1.3 percent.

For improved CLS, look at the web and mobile ticketing platform redBus. The company curtailed its CLS from 1.65 to 0 and enjoyed increased global rankings.

Outcomes of optimized web vitals can come in twos and more. After working on their Core Web Vitals, electronics and gaming magazine Netzwelt ramped up their ad revenues (18 percent) and page views (27 percent).

Technology company Yahoo! JAPAN reduced their CLS only by 0.2. Still, it resulted in increased page views per session (15 percent), longer session durations (13 percent), and decreased bounce rates (1.72 percentage points).

How to meet Google's Core Web Vitals

How to meet Google's Core Web Vitals (Image source: KONSTRUCT DIGITAL)

The perks of a website that meet the core vitals are remarkable. To improve your site’s scores, follow these steps:

  1. Audit your website. Consider if the site only needs a Google's Core Web Vitals assessment or if you should include non-core web vitals. Besides an in-house audit, get Core Web Vital experts to do the auditing, so you don't miss critical data.
  2. Use Google’s Core Web Vitals report or other similar tools. List the common issues and prioritize which issues should be fixed first. Test for site performance in testing and live environments.
  3. Improve LCP or loading speed by reviewing the entire loading process. Consider utilizing new-generation image formats and addressing server and third-party scripts. You can also consider Google’s WebP image format.
  4. Check for heavy JavaScript execution, as this can impact FID scores. Assess if breaking up long tasks or optimizing interaction readiness can fix the site's FID. Consider plugins to remove render-blocking CSS (i.e., WordPress sites can use the WP Rocket plugin).
  5. Fix your site's visual stability by looking at images and ads without dimensions. Consider if resetting the required space with aspect ratio boxes can solve the problem of images without dimensions. Consider resizing your images or preloading larger ones.
  6. If your audit shows slower response times, start looking into your server. If your current hosting provider is the culprit, check out some recommended managed hosting providers. It can be costly, but it guarantees improved page speed.
  7. On a page level, try to identify which pages on your site are slow or generate a poor score. These pages can pull down your site's overall performance, so finding and fixing them can help.
  8. After implementing these changes, monitor for site performance. Keep your team updated on Google's new Core Web Vitals and other updates.

Hiring IT deparment might help you in that.

Google's Core Web Vitals: In a nutshell

Google's Core Web Vitals (i.e., LCP, FID, and CLS) are helpful metrics businesses can use to optimize their websites. These improvements can help the site rank well in search engines and boost conversions.

Users will benefit, too, through accessing sites that provide relevant content with a great user experience. That means a website loads fast, with stable elements and quick interactivity. It's a win-win situation that Google wants for both businesses and consumers in the long run.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins

is the Co-founder of Ranktracker, With over 10 years SEO Experience. He's in charge of all content on the SEO Guide & Blog, you will also find him managing the support chat on the Ranktracker App.

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