3 SEO terms that you should become closely familiar with over the course of the next few months are:
1. LCP or Largest Contentful Paint
LCP is the amount of time taken to display your largest content element from when a user first requests your URL.
The content element is most likely to be an image, video or perhaps even a large block of text.
2. FID or First Input Delay
FID, is the amount of time measured from when a user first interacts with your page by clicking on a link or button – to the time taken for the browser to respond.
In order to provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
3. CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift
CLS is a measurement based upon the amount that a page layout shifts while it is loading in the browser.
This is most likely to be caused when using images, iframes or video embeds without specifying their dimensions.
In order to provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
So, why are these 3 SEO terms important?
Because these 3 terms are essentially what ‘Core Web Vitals’ are all about.
And ‘core web vitals’ are a real-time measure of loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of your web pages.
Which are the fundamental building blocks that Google will use to determine the search ranking worthiness of your web pages in the near future.
Importantly, Google have just announced that page experience signals will be added to their search ranking algorithm from May 2021.
These signals measure how a site visitor interacts with your pages to ascertain whether the experience is helpful and enjoyable.
The new page experience signals are said to combine Core Web Vitals with existing search ranking signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines too.
Google also intend to highlight pages that have great page experience in search results with a visual indicator.
Crucially, this is bound to influence the choice of users in clicking the search result that they want to visit.
The knock on effect is likely to impact clickthrough rates, bounce rates and inevitably search rankings too!
What to do next…
Start by conducting a thorough website audit to determine where there is room for improvement.
Google’s search console tool provides an overview of how your site is performing, detailing any issues that may need addressing.
Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse are 2 of the tools that are commonly used to iterate any necessary page improvements.
Additionally, these core web vital tools provide further help on improving user page experience.
Incidentally, AMP continues to be touted as the easiest and most cost-effective way to deliver a great page experience.
It is understood that, Google will link to a cache-optimized AMP version if you publish an AMP content version.
Google’s primary aim is to rank pages with the best information overall.
And even though great page experience does not override great page content.
The two combined, present an extremely powerful ranking signal that Google will find hard to ignore.
The overall message is loud and clear!
Get to grips with this impending algorithm update and begin the process of improving your user page experience.
Make sure that your web pages are mobile friendly and offer safe browsing.
Employ the HTTPS safety protocol and avoid the use of intrusive popups whenever possible.
Or else…risk being shunted down the search rankings pecking order indefinitely.
The good news however, is that we have ample time to address these issues.
As the new changes will only come into effect in May 2021.
So, it’s time to get really comfy with these 3 SEO terms and begin your process of iteration soon.
Do let us know how you get on in the comments section below. Contact our London SEO agency team for further help and advice.