The newest ranking factor with Google’s algorithm, Core Web Vitals, is something that businesses, especially small businesses, need to be aware of. At Higher Images, we’ve broken down what small business owners need to know about the Core Web Vitals and how you can use them to improve your website and SEO.
What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Google’s Core Web Vitals are the metrics Google used to evaluate your website and determine whether to show it in the search results. As of May 1, 2021, the Google algorithm was updated to include the Core Web Vitals in Google’s page ranking.
Essentially, the Core Web Vitals work to measure how user-friendly your website is by measuring three critical aspects of your website, which include:
Website Responsiveness (First Input delay)
This core web vital called First Input Delay, measures how quickly interactions, such as how fast your forms or email signups load. Best case, these interactions between your site and the user should only take about 100 microseconds, practically in the blink of an eye.
Website Speed (Largest Contentful Paint)
Google has never favored slow websites, but this has become even more prominent with the new algorithm. The loading speed of websites is a new Core Web Vital that will measure how long it takes for the main content of your website to load. This main content is called the Largest Contentful Paint by Google. They recommend that this main content load within 2.5 seconds or faster for both mobile and desktop sites.
Website Stability (Cumulative Layout Shift)
A stable website should have minimal layout shifting as the user scrolls. However, you’ve likely been on a website where the entire layout would shift as you scroll due to something such as an ad. It can have a significant effect on user experience, and Google recognizes that.
This shift is called a Cumulative Layout Shift, and the ideal range for this is less than 0.1 for your website.
Google measures all these Core Web Vitals to determine how easy it is for users to interact with your website. This allows Google to evaluate not just what is on a website but also to measure the user experience.
What You Need to Do as a Small Business Owner with Core Web Vitals
Google began tracking the Core Web Vitals in May of 2021. Moving forward, we recommend that small business owners evaluate the user-friendliness of their website and make any necessary updates to ensure your Google rankings remain favorable. All of our SEO programs will enable you to be in compliance with this Core Web Vitals update.
In many cases, small business owners will try to manage their own websites. If this is what you have been doing, you will need to look at your page insights and check how mobile-friendly your website is. If you have a site built on a WordPress theme, you will have to check for excess code which can significantly slow your website. It is also crucial that you have your website set up on Google Analytics and the Google Search Console.
With this new Google update, your site can’t just look good, it also has to perform well on the front and the back end to ensure that your target audience finds your website. As Google becomes more competitive, website best practices continue to change, and Google continues to update its algorithm, it can become more challenging to manage your website on your own.