We are talking about web metrics that matter. A large number of pages indexed on Google, for example, may be worthless to your site's overall performance. But these web metrics can also be used to identify websites that need improvement. Such a site is usually characterized by one or more web metrics that indicate something is wrong. This could be pages that are not indexed, a broken link, or even just poorly written content. So, what are Core Web Vital signs? Find out in our article.
The First Contentful Paint (FCP): it measures the time it takes for the page to load and for some of the content to appear on the screen. For this metric, the term "content" includes text, images (including background images).
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures charging power. LCP is a metric that measures when a website is visible and usable to a website visitor. For a good user experience, a website should try to reach LCP in 2.5 seconds at most.
First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity. When a user interacts with a website, FID measures how fast a website responds. A user should have a good experience if FID is under 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): visual stability is measured by the CLS metric, which measures the degree of unexpected layout shift for the user - a low CLS metric ensures a pleasant experience.
Time To First Byte (TTFB): most websites that rank on page 1 for competitive keywords have this time under 200 ms. You can use it to measure how long it takes for your server to return the first byte of data. These two values indicate the latency of your user's network and the processing time it takes your server to create the document.
Usual reason for a high TTFB is NOT your host, but the generation of dynamic content. This refers to the time needed for PHP and database queries to generate your web pages.
The main factors that contribute to low dynamic content generation speed are:
- large files,
- excessive or slow database queries,
- autoload data.
1. Google Search Console
Most of the important metrics are analyzed here first. We will go through all the important metrics here. Google Search Console is a free tool that provides a lot of data about your website's health. It can tell you if your site is being crawled by search engines and provide a link to your site for indexing. The tool can also show you what keywords you rank well for, where your traffic is coming from, and how many visitors your each page has.
2. Page Speed Insights
Page speed refers to the time it takes a website to display content in a web browser. While this is not as important to Google as a page's indexing status, it does impact user experience and can affect your site's search rankings.
The tool analyzes the performance of websites by looking at over 100 different factors, including:
- Esthetics: things like fonts, layout, and navigation are analyzed.
- Accessibility: sites that are well constructed are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Performance: this includes the amount of time it takes to load a page, how mobile-friendly it is, how many requests it makes, and whether it uses third-party software.
If you're not in the top positions on Google’s SERPs, chances are your website is suffering from one or more of these issues:
- Poor indexation: your website is being crawled by search engines but the search results don't show it.
- Broken links: some pages are linked to but they are broken and thus cannot be indexed by search engines.
- Content quality: content on your site isn’t being read. As a result, Google may determine that the content is low-quality, which could result in it ranking lower than other sites that have higher-quality content.
- User experience: a user may find a website slow to load or not even display properly on a mobile device.
Of course, the solution will depend on what caused them to be poor.
E.g. fix broken links: the best method to fix broken links is to check them yourself. Online tools are available to assist you with this, such as brokenlinkchecker and pingdom. The former is free, while the latter costs a small fee.
Optimize page speed: a tool like Page Speed Insights can help you improve your page speed quickly. It's a free tool that is integrated into Google's search results page. It analyzes a website's code and tells users what they must do to make their site faster. The Lighthouse tool, as well as other similar tools, can be used.
Core Web Vitals are all about measuring how well your website is performing. The best thing about them is that they give a good picture of where your site stands in terms of performance, and give you some insight of what needs to be done to improve it.
The downside is that it may not be enough to get a website on Google's first page. Nonetheless, if you plan on increasing traffic and making money from your website, this is the approach you should take.
If you invest time and money into improving the Core Web Vitals of your website, you will reap the rewards. Ultimately, you should only invest your time and energy in the areas that have a direct impact on your SEO. It may not be worth your time if you do otherwise.