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Core Web Vitals 101: the quick SEO guide for 2021

Core Web Vitals 101: the quick SEO guide for 2021

Every person who has to deal with search engine optimization knows that the key to success is to keep up with every whim of Google. We just got ourselves settled with the previous core algorithm update, here we have the new one. It will be rolled out in May 2021, so we have quite enough time to get ready for it.

Page speed will be the main thing Google focuses on. To be precise, the engine will look at Core Web Vitals — three page speed metrics that allow the system to understand how quickly your website loads. These metrics will add up to those Google is already using: mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, and the number and frequency of pop-ups.

A closer look at Core Web Vitals

These are metrics that allow website owners to understand how quickly and smoothly their pages are loading. For now, Google has three page speed metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) — it shows the amount of time in seconds that’s required for the heaviest element on a website to load. This metric shouldn’t exceed 2.5 seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID) — it shows the amount of time in milliseconds required for a page to be ready for user interaction. This metric measures how much time it takes for a page to respond when a user clicks it. FID should be under 100 ms.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) — this metric shows the number of unexpected movements a page experiences while loading. The score should be under 0.1.

To pass the requirements of Google when it comes to Core Web Vitals, at least 75% of all pages must have acceptable CWV grades.

Measuring Core Web Vitals

Since this new algorithm is just about to roll out, there aren’t many tools that include CWV. But there already are free ways to measure these metrics. We will focus on two of them — PageSpeed insights and Google Search Console. These tools are the simplest.

Starting with PageSpeed Insights

It’s easy to measure Core Web Vitals with PageSpeed Insights. This browser-based tool offers useful tips on how you can improve your website’s speed. And recently, it started highlighting Core Web Vitals and stating whether your site passes them or not.

All you need to do to analyze your Core Web Vitals is to enter your site’s URL and click Analyze. Then PageSpeed Insights will display an overview of your entire website’s CWV. And if you want to get metrics for specific pages, enter a URL for each page separately.

If you want more details on your Core Web Vitals, you should turn to Google Search Console.

Measuring Core Web Vitals with Google Search Console

Google Search Console also added Core Web Vitals to its reports. You can find them under Enhancements — Core Web Vitals.

This report will show you aggregate data and group pages with similar problems. Also, it will include a line graph that will show you the history of CWV. Yet, this report won’t show you issues by page. You’ll see problems an entire subcategory or subfolder is dealing with.

While giving a bit more data, Google Search Console does not offer any solutions. That’s why it’s best to use both PageSpeed Insights and Google Search Console.

First, open your GSC and see which pages don’t pass Core Web Vitals. Then take URLs of those pages and enter them into PageSpeed Insights to get tips on how to improve the score. You can share PageSpeed Insights results with your developer so that they can fix the problems, or you can deal with them by yourself.

Why does Google care about CWV?

A modern user won’t tolerate slowly loading pages simply because there are many alternatives online. And Google understands that. Since the search engine wants to provide its users with sites that are not only relevant to the search query but also offer a good user experience, Google will consider the loading speed of each page.

The biggest shifts started happening when Google decided to prioritize user convenience. That’s why today it’s not enough for a website to offer a suitable solution to whatever a user is searching for. A site needs to be mobile-friendly and speedy, too.
Since most of the time slow loading speeds are caused by a hosting that can’t handle the load of a website, it should be the first thing to look into if your site failed Core Web Vitals. Check out King Servers VPS hostings and dedicated servers to find a highly scalable and suitable solution for your website. If you struggle to understand your needs, just contact us — we will choose the plan that fits your requirements and budget.

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