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How Important Are Core Web Vitals for SEO?


5th October 2020

The work of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is never done. Good SEO requires constant monitoring – and tinkering – of pages. This is because search engines – and especially, of course, Google – regularly alter the algorithms which rank pages. Paying attention to these changes is the secret to SEO success.

Incorporating into your pages those elements which search engine algorithms reward is, then, an ongoing task – and you need to keep your eyes on the future as well as the day-to-day. By preparing your site for changes coming down the pipe, you won’t fall behind each time an update occurs.

That’s why today we’re talking about Core Web Vitals. Due in 2021, this new algorithm change will make new demands on your site – but offers some significant opportunities, too. As the name suggests, this is Google’s attempt to centre some very basic fundamentals in their decisions on what experience pages should offer.

What are the Core Web Vitals metrics?

Google says they are all to do with “real-world user experience”: loading speed, interactivity, site stability. In other words, things that make a site easier and more pleasant to use.

Sites that load more quickly, crash less often, and offer useful and engaging interaction points will score better on Google. Sites that fail in those core aspects will – well, they’ll tumble down the rankings. You don’t need us to tell you that this would be bad.

What should I do about Core Web Vital reports?

The first thing is: assess your site’s compliance, way ahead of the launch next year. Measuring how well you’re doing on these key metrics now will give you the time you need to put good fixes in place.

First and foremost, this means accessing the Google Search Console. This invaluable utility will measure your site against the Core Web Vitals, offering a traffic light rating across a range of criteria. This is where to start: assess your site’s compliance and then start putting in place the changes necessary to do better.

For example, take a look at your most content-heavy pages and assess their render times. If these are too slow, start looking at ways to make them quicker: reduce your reliance on images, utilise some cache-ing, find some CCS or Javascript solutions to the issue. 

Likewise, locate the failure points in your pages – most often, these will be bad scripts or ill-defined layouts. Close these loops, so your pages crash less. And investigate your interaction points: do you have enough? Does your site respond quickly enough to each click? If not, introduce more and better code.

This painstaking protest of testing, measuring, fixing and repeating is how all SEO is done – and big updates like this one require a lot of work. The key? The reward is worth the effort – your page ranking literally depends on your doing this right. How Important Are Core Web Vitals for SEO? Very. So get working.

Obviously don’t change anything in the code yourself unless you are well versed! Contact your developer or get in touch with our team.

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