In order to have and keep a successful and highly ranked small business website, tracking web performance metrics is important. Each of these metrics have different characteristics and impact various aspects of user experience. Because of the sheer volume of metrics, keeping track of all of them can be difficult. It can be hard for small business owners to even identify which ones are critical to track in any context.
Fortunately, Google has launched the Web Vital Initiative, which points to a set of core metrics that should be consistently tracked. This set of metrics is called the Core Web Vitals.
What Are the Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that determine top-quality user experience. Currently, the set of metrics focuses on three factors, which include loading, interactivity, and visual stability. The parameters used to determine the threshold for each factor are:
1. The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP Measures how long it takes for the largest piece of content on your site to appear on the screen. It could be a block of text, an image, or a video. A favorable LCP value is low and can help your site load faster. If your LCP value is high, your site will probably load slowly which could result in frustration and users leaving your site. A good LCP should be at 2.5 seconds or lower. Anything over 4 seconds means your site needs attention.
2. First Input Delay (FID)
FID measures the time it takes for your site to react to the first interaction by the user or the responsiveness of your website. It could be anything from the tap on a button, clicking on an image or clicking a link on the page. Similar to LCP, you should aim to have as low of a FID as possible. The ideal target FID for your site to be considered responsive is 100ms. Anything above 300ms is rated as poor. The performance of the FID is limited to taps, clicks, and keypresses. Zooming or scrolling doesn't trigger the FID metric.
3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures how words and other aspects of the site move around on the screen while it loads. Simply put, CLS measures the visual stability of the site. How the different aspects of the site move as it loads can affect your CLS, especially if you have clickable areas hidden under ads. Pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1.
Why Core Web Vitals Matters
There are hundreds of metrics that Google relies on when ranking pages. Most of them cater towards customer experience and Core Web Vitals is no different. Ensuring your metrics are in good standing with Google will help improve user experience and, ultimately, improve your website ranking.
How to Measure Core Web Vitals
The easiest way of measuring your Core Web Vitals is using Google Search Console, then navigating to the metric in question. Google will be updating the metrics on a regular basis, so it’s important your small business website continue to evolve with the metrics.
To better understand the other vital metrics of your website, further improve your website ranking, and provide users with better web performance, contact us today to learn more about our reputable SEO services!