Find Out What Google’s New Web Health Check is All About
Google Core Web Vitals are built around the user experience and measure the following:
- Page Load Speed—how fast your server and a page’s main body content area loads. What Google calls this core web vital: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- Content Interactivity—how long it takes for the rest of your page content to fully load and become interactive. What Google calls this core web vital: First Input Delay (FIP)
- Visual Stability—how animations or unexpected layout shifts of page content affect the user experience. What Google calls this core web vital: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Google Core Web Vitals will assess page speed and experience factors using these ideal measurements:
- LIP – 2.5 seconds or faster
- FIP – less than 100ms
- CLS – a score of .1 or less
Pay Careful Attention to the Underlying Conditions
In addition to the Google Core Web Vitals, Google will also factor these additional sublayers into a site’s overall page experience ranking:
- Mobile-friendliness (part of LCP)
Refers to how easy to use and navigable your website is on mobile devices including the readability of content and whether your on-page elements (links, images, etc.) are clickable and accessible.
- Safe Browsing (HTTPS) (part of LCP)
Determines whether a site has issues, such as a history of malware, hacking, or data breaches to ensure users can browse safely and securely.
- Non-Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines (part of CLS)
An algorithm that will help determine if on-page content is obstructing other content as users are browsing. Examples are large images that cover up a majority of available screen space or videos that autoplay without user interaction.
What Are the Implications of This New Initiative?
Google has said that they will begin to penalize websites with slow load times in their search engine rankings. The implications of the Google Core Web Vitals could have a major impact not just from an SEO perspective but also on how people interact with your site too. Google is currently working on visual indicators to identify pages that have met all of the page experience criteria listed above. All of this means that now is the time to turn your attention to how your website performs in order to maintain, and grow, your web traffic and improve your user experience.
How to Address Google Core Web Vitals and Other User Experience Measurements
Ensure your Google Core Web Vitals are optimized—start with measuring page speed. Here at DJG, we use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool which will give feedback about how well a page loads based upon its performance metrics. The results we receive are important to assess user experience because they tell us when users get content in front of them. This tells us if people wait too long to see meaningful information displayed. This tool also provides recommendations such as optimizing images by using readily available tools that compress images into smaller sizes without sacrificing quality.
If you have a responsively designed website, you can check “mobile-friendliness” off of your “to-do” list. A responsive website is crucial for mobile users, who make up more than half of global web traffic. If your site is not mobile-friendly, this is a good nudge to make it so.
A good hosting provider should help you check off the safe browsing (HTTPS) metric easily. Most providers today offer some sort of secure HTTPS configuration as this was a requirement to avoid penalization of websites back in 2019. Contact your hosting partner to confirm your site is configured for HTTPS.
Follow non-intrusive interstitial guidelines. Intrusive pop-ups, banners, or overlays (aka “interstitials”), can obstruct users from getting to important page content and creates a negative and frustrating experience. To avoid this, consider removing pop-ups that load when people arrive on your website, avoid large images that block or overlap existing content, and avoid having your videos autoplay when a user visits the page. Lastly, ensure that they don’t have to close anything to continue their experience with your website.
Google’s introduction of these new metrics for website performance is a big step forward toward a better user experience with your website. Evaluating your website against Google Core Web Vitals and the other user experience measurements outlined in this post and mitigating potential issues should be an integral part of your association’s web strategy in 2021. We at DJG are excited about these changes because these core web vital stats establish guidelines that ensure an improved user experience, positively change how people interact with our clients’ websites, and deliver better search results.
Have Questions About the Vitals of Your Website?
Reach out to Drew Navolio to connect with DJG about how we can help optimize and organize your site to better meet these guidelines and criteria.