How can I optimize my site for Core Web Vitals?

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a collection of metrics that aim to measure the quality of the user experience on your site. 

In May 2021, Google will begin to factor in Core Web Vitals scores as part of their search ranking algorithm, as their initiative to prioritize not only great content but user experience as well.

Core Web Vitals include these metrics:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how fast your largest visible piece (by dimension, not file size) loads above the fold. Think of this as page speed.
  2. First Input Delay (FID) measures how fast the browser responds when a reader interacts with your page. Think of this as page responsiveness.
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how much elements unexpectedly shift around on your page. Think of this as page stability.

For a great visual overview and discussion, check out this short video: Core Web Vitals +  AdThrive publishers

Optimize your site by following Google’s four-step process 

Google recommends four steps for using tools and reports to measure and improve Core Web Vitals. Here are some resources to help with each step: 

1. Establish current performance

It’s vital to assess your site and top pages for current Core Web Vitals performance, to establish some baseline scores so you can gauge whether your optimization efforts are successful.

  1. How to measure your Core Web Vitals (including tools Google recommends)
  2. How to measure Core Web Vitals using Cloudflare
  3. Identify poor performers with Google Search Console

2. Diagnose Core Web Vitals issues

3. Optimize your site

    1. Site optimization strategies
    2. Choose the right hosting provider and plan: 
      1. How to choose the right hosting service for a speedy site
      2. 5 tell-tale signs you’ve outgrown your hosting service
      3. How a good host can help boost page speed and improve Core Web Vitals (+ a downloadable checklist to go over with your hosting provider)

4. Monitor for performance improvements

There are several options for how to monitoring your Core Web Vitals performance, tailored to your technical skill level:

  1. Beginner: Enable the Web Vitals extension available in the Chrome Web Store
  2. Intermediate: Create a CrUX monitoring dashboard in Data Studio
    1. Google’s guide on how to set up
  3. Advanced: Tap into Google’s tool APIs
    1. CrUX (Chrome User Experience) Report API for field data
    2. PageSpeed Insights API for lab data
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