User experience will play an increasingly important role within the online landscape. That is why Google is planning an update in 2021 to include “site vitality” as a ranking factor. Google will announce this six months in advance so that you can take steps in advance.
advice, however, is not to wait any longer and get started right away, so that you can immediately improve the user experience. This update will affect every website. In addition, it is not only good for your SEO results, but you will also see it reflected in other KPIs.
What are the core web vitals?
With a very strong focus on user-friendliness by Google, it will come as no surprise that other “factors” are being added to improve the usability of websites. Google distinguishes between three measures:
- Visual stability
To help you on your way, Google has already updated the Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights tools so that you can see what your score is and what you need to improve. To gain more insight, the option “Site vitality” has recently been added in Google Search Console. In addition to other UX factors such as mobile-friendliness, the “Site vitality” report contains three pillars with which you can assess the site vitality/user-friendliness.
Largest Contentful Pain (LCP): make your page load fast!
LCP stands for “Larges Contentful Paint”. This measures the render time of the largest element visible on your page. This can be, for example, a video, image or text. This mainly concerns elements above the fold of a page. If the element is only visible when a user scrolls or touches the screen, this has no influence on the LCP. Ideally, this score is less than 2.5 seconds, between 2.5 and 4 seconds is considered moderate and longer than 4 seconds is bad.
Common causes of a “bad” LCP score include:
- Slow server response time
- Slow loading elements (video, whitepaper, etc)
- Rendering on the client-side
- More info: Optimizing the LCP.
First Input Delay (FID): Smooth interface!
FID stands for “First Input Delay”. This metric shows how quickly a page responds to a user interaction. This could be opening the navigation, pressing a button, entering a text, etc. You may have had the frustration yourself that a website reacts too slowly to a certain action, this of course affects the user experience on a negative way. Google itself gives a nice explanation for this to get a better picture:
“It’s like measuring the time from ringing someone’s doorbell to them answering the door. If it takes a long time, there could be many reasons “.
Cumulative layout shift (CLS): Don’t stagger your elements!
CLS stands for “Cumulative Layout Shift” and has to do with the degree that unexpected shifts of elements take place on your website. A website is usually loaded in multiple parts, sometimes this takes a very long time causing elements to jump and this has a negative effect on the user experience. A shift can be caused by, for example, fonts that load too slowly, resizing images, loading an advertisement, etc. However, if a visitor initiates an action that causes the layout to shift, this no longer counts for the score. This includes filtering in a webshop, selecting a dropdown menu, etc.