Google Core Web Vitals Optimization: A Beginners Guide | Hacker Noon

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Core web vitals are a set of metrics related to site speed, visual stability, and interactivity. It is a part of the Page Experience Update set to be launched in mid-June 2021.

If you are a website owner, you need to take immediate actions to optimize your site for the Core Web Vitals to keep your organic rankings safe.

In this article, we will learn what are Core Web Vitals and what are the basic steps to take to improve your site performance.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics used to improve the performance of a website. The current Core Web Vitals metrics consist of three aspects: loading, interactivity, and visual stability.  

Core Web Vitals helps webmasters focus on the metrics that matter the most for their business websites. These metrics directly increase the performance of the site and aids in offering an exceptional user experience.

What Are The Main Factors of the Core Web Vitals?

The three main factors that are included in the 2021 Core Web Vitals measurement are:

1. LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – It measures the time taken by the browser to load the largest element on your website. The ideal LCP should be less than 2.5 seconds. Above 4 seconds is considered poor. 

2. FID (First Input Delay) – It measures the time taken by the visitor to take any action on your site. The higher the time is taken, the greater the FID score. The ideal FID value should be less than 100 ms. Above 300 ms is considered poor.

3. CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) – It measures the layout shift your web pages make while they load. The ideal CLS should be less than 0.1. Above 0.25 is considered as poor. 

The Steps Required to Optimize Core Web Vitals

Here are the steps to take to optimize your site for the Core Web Vitals:

Step 1: Log in to the Google Search Console

Select the property whose Core Web Vitals you wish to fix. Click on the Core Web Vitals section under the Experience tab. You will see the number of poor URLs on your site marked in red. 

Step 2: Click on Open Report in the Core Web Vitals Report

Here, you can see the exact Core Web Vitals issue that affects your website. Click on the issue to see example URLs that have the issue. 

Step 3: Analyze the URLs 

Once you have the URLs that do not pass the Core Web Vitals assessment, go to the Page Speed Insights tool to generate recommendations to fix the issue.

Enter the sample URL in the Page Speed Insights tool and click Analyze.

Now, you can see the exact LCP, FID, and CLS values along with a set of recommendations to help you fix the problem.

Alternatively, you can also use the Finteza Lighthouse Report. Login to the Finteza dashboard and click on Lighthouse. Here, you can see the overall performance score of your website along with the accessibility score and SEO score. 

The performance metrics let you measure six crucial metrics that are First Contentful Paint, First Meaningful Paint, Speed Index, First CPU Idle, Time to Interactive, and Estimated Input Latency.

The report also offers improvement tips to fix all the crucial metrics and improve your Core Web Vitals score.

Step 4: Validate Fix

Once you have implemented all the changes in your site as suggested by the Page Speed Insights and Finteza tool, it’s time to validate fixes. 

You should visit the Core Web Vitals report in the Search Console and click on Validate Fix.

Google will take around 28 days to review the fixes, so you need to be patient with the review process. 

What are the Changes You Need to Do?

Here are some immediate changes you can implement in your site to fix some Core Web Vitals issues:

  1. Upgrade your website hosting to faster and larger bandwidth. 
  2. Optimize all the images on your site. 
  3. Use the WebP format for images because it is 32 times faster than the PNGs.
  4. Minimize the number of unnecessary plugins on your site because they increase the load speed.
  5. Use a CDN and serve static assets with an efficient cache policy.
  6. Remove unused JavaScript.
  7. Ensure that the text remains visible during the webfont load.
  8. Eliminate render blocking resources and keep request counts low.
  9. Minify CSS and remove unused CSS.
  10. Preload key requests and avoid unnecessary redirects.

What’s Next?

Google will be launching the Page Experience Update in mid-June, so you have just a few weeks left to optimize your site for the Core Web Vitals. Remember, every website owner should make the changes on their site to pass the Core Web Vitals assessment. Start early to keep your organic rankings safe. 

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