Google core web vitals are parameters that assess the UX of your WordPress site. UX, which stands for User Experience, is the journey a user has upon visiting a website. UX focuses on the usability and accessibility of the website’s features.
Due to a growing digital penetration, people are reaching out to the internet, especially Google, for almost every query. As a result, Google has added certain parameters (core web vitals) to its algorithm. These parameters keep searchers satisfied and provide them with an optimum experience once they click on search results.
As a result, SEO experts, developers, and designers need to pay close attention to core web vitals.
Let’s understand more about these important parameters.
The three core web vitals
There are three specific page speeds and user experience measurements that form the core web vitals. These measurements are basis the actual usage data or field data representing how users interact with your WordPress site.
Google uses a formula or algorithm (known as its ranking algorithm) to rank and list websites on the results page. The ranking algorithm uses these core web vitals to rank your page after determining your performance in these areas. Each page on a WordPress website is assigned scores to gauge performance.
These are the three core web vitals.
1) Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This parameter senses how fast your page loads for users. It detects the time taken by your slowest and largest element to appear. It tracks the time the user has to wait before engaging with all the content on your page. If the turnaround time is 2.5 seconds or lesser, it indicates that users can load your page rapidly.
2) First Input Delay (FID)
It tracks the time your website takes to react to a user’s engagement. It gauges how long it takes for your website to respond after the user has clicked on a link or element. Although a speed of 100 ms or less is ideal for FID, it does not mean much for websites that do not have interactive elements.
3) Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
When your site has elements that keep moving around, it can get frustrating for users to look at your page. CLS tracks the visual stability and marks how stable each element is on your page. A score of 0.1 or lesser is generally ideal, and while CLS does not determine the speed of your page, a good CLS score can make a page feel faster to users.
Tips to improve core web vitals on WordPress
1. Reduce third-party scripts
Third-party scripts, such as Google Analytics, social media, or ads, can slow down your WordPress website performance. Although some of these scripts are functional, some might be redundant too.
If third-party scripts slow down your page, try the following:
- Remove the script entirely.
- Remove the unnecessary script on a few web pages.
- Load the script using the async or defer attribute.
- Self-host the script if the third-party server is slowing things down.
2. Minify CSS, JS & HTML files
The terms ‘Minification’ implies removing any unnecessary code by reducing the size of –
– Cascading Style Sheets or CSS files (used for describing the presentation of a document)
– HyperText Markup Language or HTML files (used to design web pages)
Minifying the CSS, HTML and JS files can drastically improve your site speed. Removing these codes reduces your website’s load time and improves UX & core web vitals scores while ensuring that the key information is displayed on your site.
3. Save space for slower-loading elements
Adding the width and height for your site’s images and pop-ups in your CSS will improve your site’s CLS score. It will also result in the browsers saving space for any slower-loading elements that would have caused your website layout to shift. This will increase visual stability for site users and improve your CLS score.
4. Clean up your database
When you update and upload new elements on your WordPress website, your database fills up with information, such as previous drafts of content, deleted comments, old plugin documents, and more. Over time, this overloads your database and slows down your site, resulting in low core web vitals scores. You can clean your database automatically with free plugins such as WP-Sweep and Advanced Database Cleaner or manually via phpMyAdmin. Cleaning helps in maintaining a high core web vitals score.
5. Optimise images and videos
Images and videos are typically the largest elements on web pages. They can often be accountable for slower loading issues and increased LCP rankings. You can speed your website up while enhancing your LCP rankings by following these tips:
- Compress photos.
- Enable WebP, which is a version of image format similar to JPEG (You can enable WebP by using the WebP Express plugin. It helps convert images on your site to the WebP format).
- Host videos through third-party platforms.
6. Take the help of a trusted hosting provider
The sooner your hosting provider processes browser requests, the faster your WordPress site loads. The geographical location can also affect your speed since the farther your users and servers are, the farther your UX and core web vitals scores will be.
If your users are spread across the globe, you should consider setting up a CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN is a network of servers positioned all over the world, which decreases the distance your website files need to travel to reach users.
Remember, a great user experience is one of the best strategies to keep users engaged. It impacts your SEO rankings and organic traffic too. Hence, improving your core web vitals score will certainly help you rank better on Google’s search engine results page. Minimising the scripts on your web page and having a viable host for your website is the key to having a great core web vitals score. Follow the 6 tips suggested above to improve your score.