Go Mobile or Go HomeMost searches are now done on mobile, and this is only going to increase in the coming years. Google is “mobile first” – meaning, it’s making its decisions for ranking you based on your mobile site rather than the desktop site (in most cases). You’re expected to be mobile-friendly and streaming fast for mobile users, so make sure your site is mobile optimized. This data is pulled from Google’s blog (yes, the horse’s mouth) and it shows some pretty compelling stats about the crucial need for mobile speed: It’s clear to see that no matter what, faster is better and less is more. Slow load times, whether on mobile or desktop, affect both your conversion rate and your Google rankings. Page speed is one of the signals that Google looks at when determining which pages rank for a given term, especially for mobile.
So what ARE the Core Web Vitals metrics, anyway?Specifically, Core Web Vitals is a set of 3 key metrics related to page load performance: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A measure of the page’s loading performance in seconds (lower is better). In other words: How long does it take for a user to start seeing what looks like a fully loaded page? Google wants to see LCP below 4sec and prefers LCP below 2.5sec. First Input Delay (FID): A measure of the page’s interactivity in milliseconds (lower is better). In other words: How much time passes before a user can actually interact with a page (such as button clicks and scrolling)? Google wants to see FID below 300ms and prefers FID below 100ms. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): A measure of the page’s visual stability on a scale of 0 to 1 (lower is better). In other words: Do elements of the page move (or shift) as a user traverses through the page? I’m sure we’ve all been on web pages where content is abruptly pushed out of view when reading or where a button you’re trying to click moves just before you actually make the click. Google wants to see CSL scores below 0.25 and prefers CLS scores below 0.1.
How can you take your page’s pulse?I’m advising all my clients, and basically, anyone who will listen to me, to run, don’t walk to check your core web vitals via the PageSpeed Insights tool to find out where your site currently stands. Entering a URL and hitting “Analyze” will quickly get you a detailed picture of what’s slowing that web page based partly on these parameters, complete with recommendations on how to fix it.
- Parameter 1: Time to above-the-fold load. This is the amount of time it takes for a page to display content above the fold after a user requests a new page.
- Parameter 2: Time to full page load. This is the amount of time it takes a browser to fully render a page after a user requests it.