Increase Visits & Conversions GET A FREE WEBSITE REVIEW


Why should Fix Core Web Vitals?

Date: 25/02/2024

Stuart Watkins

Businesses should fix Core Web Vitals as these metrics significantly influence user experience (UX) and search engine optimisation (SEO). Core Web Vitals are a set of three main metrics: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measure the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of a webpage, respectively. 

These metrics are part of Google’s Page Experience score, which is a broader assessment of a webpage’s overall UX, including mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and lack of intrusive interstitials.

Fix Core Web Vitals

Why Core Web Vitals Matter for Businesses:

SEO and Ranking: 

As of June 2021, Google has officially made Page Experience, which includes Core Web Vitals, a ranking factor. This means that websites with better scores in these metrics are likely to rank higher in search results. Since Google uses over 200 factors to rank sites, it is increasing important to fix Core Web Vitals to give your businesses a competitive edge.

User Experience: 

Improving Core Web Vitals directly enhances the user experience. A faster LCP means quicker loading times, a lower FID ensures the site is more responsive to user interactions, and a minimal CLS provides a more stable and less frustrating browsing experience. Research has shown that sites meeting the Core Web Vitals thresholds see a 24% lower abandonment rate.

Engagement and Conversions: 

Websites that load faster and offer smoother interaction are more likely to retain visitors, leading to increased engagement and higher conversion rates. Optimising for Core Web Vitals can thus directly impact a business’s bottom line by improving site performance and user satisfaction..

Mobile Ranking: 

Given the increasing prevalence of mobile browsing, Core Web Vitals also play a crucial role in mobile search ranking. A positive user experience on mobile devices, facilitated by good Core Web Vitals scores, is essential for maintaining and improving search visibility in mobile search results.

How Do Core Web Vitals Affect User Experience

Core Web Vitals are crucial for businesses because they significantly impact user experience (UX) and search engine optimisation (SEO). These metrics include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measure loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability, respectively.

Impact on User Experience

  1. Loading Speed (LCP): A faster LCP means quicker loading times for the largest visual element on a website, which is essential for keeping users engaged. A slow-loading page can lead to higher bounce rates as users may abandon a page that takes too long to load..
  2. Interactivity (FID): A lower FID ensures that the site is responsive to user interactions. If users experience a delay when interacting with a page, they may become frustrated and leave the site.
  3. Visual Stability (CLS): A minimal CLS provides a more stable browsing experience by preventing unexpected layout shifts. This is important because unexpected movement of page content can be disorienting and annoying, potentially causing users to click on the wrong thing or abandon the site altogether.

Impact on SEO

  • Google Ranking Factor: As of June 2021, Google has included Core Web Vitals in its Page Experience score, a ranking factor for search results. Websites with better Core Web Vitals scores are likely to rank higher, making it essential for businesses to optimise these metrics.
  • Mobile Experience: With the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing, Core Web Vitals are particularly important for mobile search ranking. A positive mobile user experience, facilitated by good Core Web Vitals scores, is crucial for maintaining and improving search visibility.

Business Metrics

  • User Engagement: Studies have shown that when you fix Core Web Vitals be meeting the thresholds, users are 24% less likely to abandon the page load. This indicates that optimising for these metrics can lead to improved user engagement.
  • Conversion Rates: Improvements in Core Web Vitals have been linked to increased conversion rates. For example, a reduction in LCP led to a higher web conversion rate for Farfetch, and reducing CLS led to increased page views and session durations for Yahoo! JAPAN

Challenges and Considerations:

While the benefits of optimising for Core Web Vitals are clear, businesses face challenges such as the dynamic nature of these metrics, which can vary based on user device, browser, network conditions, and behaviour. Additionally, achieving good Core Web Vitals scores may require technical expertise, resources, and ongoing monitoring and optimisation efforts.

Fix Core Web Vitals

What Are Some Common Issues That Can Negatively Impact Core Web Vitals

Common Issues Impacting Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that Google uses to assess the user experience quality of a web page, focusing on loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability. Here are some common issues that can negatively impact these metrics and fix core web vitals:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

  • Slow Server Response Times: High Time to First Byte (TTFB) can delay the loading of the main content.
  • Render-Blocking JavaScript and CSS: These resources can prevent the main content from loading quickly.
  • Resource Load Times: Slow-loading resources, such as large images or fonts, can delay LCP.
  • Client-Side Rendering: Heavy JavaScript frameworks can lead to delays in rendering content.

First Input Delay (FID)

  • Heavy JavaScript Execution: If the browser’s main thread is busy executing JavaScript, it cannot respond to user interactions, leading to a higher FID.
  • Long Tasks: JavaScript tasks that exceed 50 ms can block the main thread and delay response to user input.
  • Third-Party Script Execution: Third-party scripts can occupy the main thread and impact interactivity.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

  • Images Without Dimensions: Images without explicit width and height can cause layout shifts as they load.
  • Ads, Embeds, and Iframes Without Dimensions: Similar to images, these elements can cause layout shifts.
  • Dynamically Injected Content: Content added to the page dynamically can cause shifts if space isn’t reserved.
  • Web Fonts Causing FOUT/FOIT: Flash of Unstyled Text (FOUT) or Flash of Invisible Text (FOIT) can cause layout shifts when web fonts are loaded.

How Can Businesses Optimize Images To Fix Core Web Vitals

Optimising Images to Improve Core Web Vitals

Businesses can optimise images on their websites to improve Core Web Vitals by focusing on several key strategies:

  1. Choose Efficient Formats: Use modern image formats like WebP, which offers superior compression and quality compared to traditional formats like JPEG and PNG.
  2. Implement Responsive Images: Utilize the srcset attribute to serve different image sizes based on the device’s screen size, ensuring that images are not larger than necessary.
  3. Specify Image Dimensions: Set explicit width and height attributes for images to establish an aspect ratio and prevent layout shifts, which can improve Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
  4. Use Lazy Loading: For images below the fold (not immediately visible), implement lazy loading to defer their loading until they’re about to enter the viewport. This reduces initial load time and can improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
  5. Optimise Image Delivery: Prioritize the loading of critical images, such as the LCP element, by using the preload attribute in the <head> of your HTML to inform the browser of their importance.
  6. Compress Images: Reduce file sizes without sacrificing quality through compression techniques and avoid overly high device pixel ratio (DPR) images.
  7. Avoid JavaScript-Based Image Loading: Where possible, use HTML-based loading attributes instead of JavaScript to prevent delays in interactivity and potential impacts on First Input Delay (FID).
  8. Use fetchpriority Attribute: If preloading isn’t an option, use the fetchpriority attribute with a value of “high” to indicate to the browser that an image is important and should be loaded early2.

By implementing these image optimisation techniques, businesses can significantly improve their Core Web Vitals scores, leading to a better user experience and potentially higher search engine rankings.

How to Fix Core Web Vitals FAQ

How do I fix Core Web Vitals on WordPress

WordPress users face several unique concerns and challenges regarding Core Web Vitals, primarily due to the platform’s inherent characteristics and how it is typically used. Here are some of the common issues:

Theme and Plugin Compatibility

  • Heavy Themes and Plugins: Many WordPress themes and plugins need to be optimised for performance, leading to increased page load times and negatively impacting the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric.
  • Compatibility Issues: Some themes and plugins may not be fully compatible with optimisations required for improving Core Web Vitals, such as deferred loading of JavaScript or CSS.

Image Optimization

  • Large Image Files: WordPress users often upload high-resolution images without optimising them for the web, significantly affecting LCP. While plugins are available for image optimisation, not all users are aware of or utilise these tools effectively.

JavaScript and CSS Loading

  • Render-Blocking Resources: WordPress sites often suffer from render-blocking JavaScript and CSS, which can delay the time it takes for a page to become interactive, impacting First Input Delay (FID) and LCP.
  • Excessive Use of JavaScript: Over-reliance on JavaScript for functionality or design can increase FID scores, as the browser’s main thread becomes too busy executing JavaScript to respond quickly to user interactions.

Check our article on WordPress Core Web Vitals for more info

Share this Article share

Tell us about
your project

Send us a brief message outlining
your project and we’ll get back to
you asap to discuss your project
in more detail.