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What Are Core Web Vitals and Why They Are Important

May 10, 2021
By: Parm Sondh

Google will be using core web vitals as a ranking signal starting in May of this year. These were first introduced and designed to gauge how visitors experience the visual stability, responsiveness and loading speed of your pages.

There are basically three metrics used and they include:

  • The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).  This feature measures the time it takes for a webpage’s content to load. Ideally, the measurement is 2.5 seconds or better. This metric measures how long it takes the largest piece of content which could be a text block, image or video to load after a user makes a request from the URL.
  • The First Input Delay (FID).  This data gauges how long it takes for a webpage to become interactive. Simply put, it’s the time between clicking on a link to when a browser responds. This type of responsiveness is critical to making an excellent first impression with visitors. It shows potential customers that your website is running smoothly and is reliable. It’s recommended this score stay under 100 ms for 75% of your pages.
  •  The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) comes next.  Reducing these layout shifts is important. When you understand the reasons why a page can shift you’ll see why. This measurement is about the shifts that occur when buttons appear and images that cause a block of text to move. There are other reasons including drop-down banner ads and buttons that can appear on webpages. It’s recommended an e-commerce business aims for a CLS of 0.1 or under. This is one of the causes of a negative user experience that can cost you sales.

Here is another one of the reasons why these core web vitals are so important for e-commerce businesses and brick-and-mortar stores with a web presence.

Google took the time to analyze literally millions of webpages. They found that visitors are less likely to abandon pages that are loading when a site meets core web vitals requirements.

Here’s a quick overview of the things that you can do to boost your score.

  • Reducing page sizes to less than 500KB will make a difference.
  • Reducing the impact of third-party code is another solution.
  • Keeping transfer sizes smaller and request counts down works as well.

Taking on your website’s core web vitals doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Start by prioritizing the pages that cause the most trouble.

Parm Sondh

Parm has spent more than a decade leading digital projects and establishing effective development and project infrastructures for some of Canada’s biggest companies and top brands.


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