Google’s much-talked-about Core Web Vitals update is expected to be rolled out in May of this year. Are you ready? It’s OK if you’re not. In fact, it seems that only about 12-13% of all tested URLs would pass a Core Web Vitals test, as of August 2020. It seems that a large number of marketers and webmasters will be leaving things until the last minute.
This is the biggest and most anticipated update that Google has released in years. In most cases, an update is considered big if Google acknowledges it, even bigger if they give webmasters forewarning, and absolutely massive if they give you a year or more to prepare. This update falls into that last category.
But the good news is that there is still time to find an SEO expert to help you prepare. It’s in your best interest to start now. You don’t want to be scrambling to get help improving your rankings after the update goes live because you saw a sudden drop.
Whether you’re hiring an agency or auditing your site by yourself, here is what you will need to look for.
Your site’s loading time has been an important ranking signal for years. However, the Core Web Vitals update will truly put it under the microscope.
Webmasters will now need to be obsessed with 3 speed metrics:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Target Score: 2.5 seconds
How long does it take the largest asset to load? Each page can only be as fast as its bulkiest asset.
First Input Delay (FID) – Target Score: Under 100 Milliseconds
How long does it take for your site to respond after a link or button is clicked by the user?
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Target Score: A Minimum Of 0.25
When does a page stop moving unexpectedly during the loading process?
These metrics expand the definition of a fast page and give you unique insights into the user experience.
If there is one thing that the average user hates more than a slow webpage, it’s being greeted with an intrusive interstitial ad that takes up the entire screen— especially on a mobile device. If they can’t find a way to simply close this ad, they will simply leave your site.
Fortunately, Google has provided some very clear guidelines on how to properly use interstitial ads on your website. We all want visitors to sign up for our mailing list or our free trial. However, going after this too aggressively with interstitial ads can kill your user experience and your SEO value.
Tools Of The Trade
There are a number of tools that you can use to run a Core Web Vitals assessment right now, so you can find out what changes need to be made.
- Screaming Frog
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome DevTools
- Search Console
- dev’s measure tool
- The Web Vitals Chrome extension
- The Chrome UX Report API
No matter what tool you use, the important thing is that you take an active role and take action as soon as possible.
The Core Web Vitals will be here before you know it. Make sure you don’t end up being one of those companies that don’t know what hit them.
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