Tue Mar 14 2023
Founders & Tech Leaders

Measuring and Tracking Core Web Vitals: Best Practices

Ehtasham Afzal
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As more businesses and organizations shift towards an online presence, website performance has become increasingly important. One key factor in website performance is user experience. Poor website performance can lead to frustrated users who may leave a website without completing their desired action. To address this, Google has introduced Core Web Vitals, which measures website performance based on user experience. In this article, we will explore the best practices for measuring and tracking Core Web Vitals.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure website performance. The metrics include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay (FID). Each of these metrics measure a different aspect of website performance.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading speed of the largest content element on a web page. This element could be an image or a video, and LCP measures how long it takes for the element to load on the page.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how much the page layout shifts while loading. A high CLS score indicates that the page layout is unstable and may cause users to accidentally click on unintended elements.

First Input Delay (FID) measures how long it takes for a user to interact with a web page. This includes actions such as clicking on a button or typing in a search bar. A high FID score indicates that the website is slow to respond to user input.

How to Measure Core Web Vitals

Measuring Core Web Vitals can be done using a variety of tools. Google’s own tool, PageSpeed Insights, provides a detailed report on a website’s Core Web Vitals. Other tools, such as GTmetrix and WebPageTest, also provide Core Web Vitals measurements.

When measuring Core Web Vitals, it is important to measure them across all devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet. This is because website performance can differ across devices, and it is important to ensure a consistent user experience across all devices.

Why are Core Web Vitals Important

Core Web Vitals are important because they measure the user experience of a website. Poor website performance can lead to frustrated users, which can impact a business’s bottom line. A website that is slow to load or has an unstable layout can result in users leaving the site without completing their desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form.

In addition to the impact on user experience, Core Web Vitals are also important for search engine optimization (SEO). Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will become a ranking factor in May 2021. This means that websites that have poor Core Web Vitals may see a drop in their search engine rankings.

Core Web Vitals Algorithmic Update

In May 2021, Google will be rolling out an algorithmic update that includes Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. This means that websites with poor Core Web Vitals may see a drop in their search engine rankings. However, Google has also stated that websites with high-quality content may still rank well, even if their Core Web Vitals scores are not optimal.

Best Practices for Measuring and Tracking Core Web Vitals

To ensure optimal website performance, it is important to measure and track Core Web Vitals on a regular basis. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Measure Core Web Vitals across all devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet.

  2. Use a variety of tools to measure Core Web Vitals, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and WebPageTest.

  3. Monitor Core Web Vitals regularly to ensure that website performance is consistent.

  4. Take action to improve Core Web Vitals scores if they are below the recommended thresholds.

  5. Focus on providing a high-quality user experience by optimizing website speed, layout stability, and responsiveness to user input.

Optimizing for LCP

To optimize for LCP, there are several steps that can be taken. One important step is to optimize images and videos on the website to reduce their file sizes. This can be done using image compression tools or by reducing the resolution of images and videos. Additionally, reducing the number of third-party scripts and optimizing server response times can also improve LCP scores.

Optimizing for CLS

To optimize for CLS, it is important to ensure that the website layout is stable and does not shift excessively while loading. This can be achieved by setting dimensions for images and videos, and by reserving space for dynamic elements such as ads. Additionally, avoiding using pop-ups and overlays can also improve CLS scores.

Optimizing for FID

To optimize for FID, it is important to ensure that the website is responsive to user input. This can be achieved by optimizing server response times, reducing the number of JavaScript libraries used on the website, and prioritizing the loading of critical resources.

In conclusion, Core Web Vitals are an important aspect of website performance that should be measured and tracked regularly. By optimizing for LCP, CLS, and FID, businesses can provide a high-quality user experience that can lead to increased engagement and conversions. With Google’s algorithmic update in May 2021, it is more important than ever to focus on improving Core Web Vitals scores to ensure a competitive edge in search engine rankings.

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