In May 2020, Google announced their Core Web Vitals algorithm update would roll out in 12 months. These vitals are metrics that will impact the way websites are ranked by the search engine.
With the 12-month mark approaching next month [May 2021], Google will officially roll out this update and add Core Web Vitals to the various other “page experience” signals it analyzes when determining search rankings.
As of 2019, mobile devices, excluding tablets, generated about half of all website traffic globally. (Source: HubSpot)
What Are Core Web Vitals?
Google defines Core Web Vitals as “a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don't accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger - how annoying!) (Google).”
The goal of this update is to enhance the user experience. Currently, there are three Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - How long a page takes to load.
- First Input Delay (FID) - How long it takes before a user can interact with a page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - How much design elements and content shift as a page loads.
Google is combining these Core Web Vitals with their existing Search signals for page experience, including:
- Mobile-friendliness - How responsive a website is on mobile devices, smart devices, etc.
- Safe-browsing - Ensuring sites don’t have malware or harmful downloads that could negatively affect users.
- HTTPS-security - Is a website secure.
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines - Does a mobile site feature a popup or layout design that impacts a user’s ability to easily navigate the primary content.
Google plans to improve and build upon these page experience signals on a yearly basis to “further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure (Google).”
How Do Core Web Vitals Impact Search Rankings?
This update will impact search rankings as Google will “reward” websites that deliver a better user experience.
“While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search (Google).”
This is an essential aspect of the update. In situations where multiple sites are delivering high-quality, relevant content, the website with the strongest user experience will have a higher ranking.
How Will This Impact Your Website?
“Aside from improved SEO, small business websites optimizing for the new metrics will reap the rewards of an improved user experience for their site visitors (techcrunch.com).”
Today’s consumers want a positive buying experience, and your website is an extension of that experience. It should present relevant information to their search query, functional design and imagery elements, and easy navigation with clear call-to-actions.
Web developers and businesses who have taken the user experience into consideration for their website have less to worry about than those who haven’t. Those who haven’t made these website adjustments may see a dip in rankings for certain pages or across their site.
While the digital marketplace was already growing, 2020 showed a significant boost in online interactions, with many opting to use a mobile device to video chat, shop, and explore. Having a website that delivers a poor user experience on mobile devices could negatively impact lead generation for your business
At Markentum, we believe in offering integrated marketing solutions. While we could offer stand-alone services, we know that our efforts are more effective in collaboration. We know that these website elements play a role in search rankings, but only when combined with high-quality website copy. Beyond that, regardless of dollar amount, we know that our paid advertising efforts are only as effective as the user experience we provide to users through the websites we design and develop.
If you would like to learn more about our digital marketing services or how we can enhance your website, contact us today for a free evaluation – we would love to learn more about your senior living community!