There are hundreds of factors for a website that Google use to rank a website in the search results. Google have since announced that 3 signals are going to directly impact rankings for all websites, starting from next year.

These Core Web Vitals are detailed performance stats for your website, which can be found using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

In this resource guide we are going to look at the what the new Core Web Vitals are, and how you can improve your website’s score on PageSpeed Insights.

For a more details, see my Core Web Vitals Guide.

One thing to remember is that Google is now Mobile First. This means that ranking signals and factors are heavily influenced by how well your website performs on Mobile devices.

These Core Web Vitals have been performance indicators for a while now, but it is only recently that Google have said they will count as ranking factors.

Core Web Vitals to become Ranking Signals

What are Core Web Vitals?

There are 3 signals that make up the Core Web Vitals;

  1. Loading – LPC (Largest Contentful Paint)
  2. Interactivity – FID (First Input Delay)
  3. Visual Stability – CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)

Loading – LPC (Largest Contentful Paint)

This signal measures perceived load speed and marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded.

The main content of a page is what would load at the top of the website. This includes the header, menu, logo and the hero content on a specific page.

Interactivity – FID (First Input Delay)

FID (First Input Delay) measures responsiveness and quantifies the experience users feel when trying to first interact with the page.

This takes measures how long it takes for your website to load an item that someone can click (or press on Mobile) – like a button, menu, or hyperlink.

Visual Stability – CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)

CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) measures visual stability and quantifies the amount of unexpected layout shift of visible page content.

This looks at what actually loads on your website, from a more ‘real-time’ view. One example is that most websites have a cookies pop-up that loads, only once the home page has fully loaded.

Put simply, these 3 signals look at how your website loads technically. These 3 signals are the base of Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.

Google have now updated Google Search Console, and they have added a new report for these Core Web Vitals. This is currently in testing, but data should be available for your website soon.

What is PageSpeed Insights?

PageSpeed Insights is a free tool from Google to analyse your website on both Desktop and Mobile devices. The tool reports on the performance of your website, on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions for improvements.

You can analyse any page of your website, and any other website.

Use PageSpeed Insights to see Core Web Vitals

By analysing your website with PageSpeed Insights, you can see the score for your website, and how well your website performs for the Core Web Vitals.

Go to » PageSpeed Insights and enter the full domain of your website. Including ‘https://’ or ‘http://’ at the start.

Analyse your website with Google PageSpeed Insights

Once the report has loaded, you can see several scores in the report below. Some of the Core Web Vitals are listed in the ‘Field Data’ area.

Core Web Vitals Field Data on PageSpeed Insights Report

The tool has recently been updated, so your report may look a bit different to the above screenshot.

Google’s Scoring System

Google have a colour-coded scoring system for their PageSpeed Insights scores.

  • Poor 0 – 49
  • Needs Improvement 50 – 89
  • Good 90 – 100

If you have some of your website’s performance scores are in orange or red, Google will have some suggestions for you in the ‘Opportunities’ section of the report.

All the numbers that you see are time scales. In the Lab Data, this is how long each your website has taken to load each area. In the Opportunities section, they give you an estimate of how much time you could save.

From May 2021, I would suspect that any scores in the Poor or Needs Improvement range would impact your website’s rankings. The poorer the score, the heavier your rankings could be affected.

Opportunity report in Google's PageSpeed Insights

How do you improve your Core Web Vitals score?

If you have a wordpress website, there are plugins you can use to help. The main items that slow down a website are; unused java script, render-blocking resources and css code. Most, if not all wordpress websites have some form of these.

With the help from your web designer, you can minimise the strain these items put on your website. If you don’t have a web designer (or can’t afford one), I would recommend looking for a plugin.

To speed up your website and improve your Core Web Vitals, you should look to;

  • Eliminate render-blocking resources
  • Remove unused CSS
  • Remove unused JavaScript
  • Avoid multiple page redirects
  • Defer offscreen images
  • Minify CSS
  • Minify JavaScript

The original PageSpeed Insight score for my website was very low. I was scoring between 66 on Desktop and 46 on Mobile. By installing the free plug-in, Autoptimize, I bumped my score to 94 on Desktop and 85 on Mobile! (As of 30th May 2020).

  • An improvement of 42% for my Desktop score – from 66 to 94
  • An improvement of 84% for my Mobile score – from 46 to 85

Take a look at my PageSpeed Insights score below, when I had not setup the plugin – tested 29th May 2020.

Feel free to analyse my website now on » PageSpeed Insights and see my scores.

Please note, that this Autoptimize is not a plugin you just add to your wordpress website and let it be, you do need to go through the options and set it up correctly.

It is important to note that there is no guarantee that this plugin with boost your PageSpeed Insight scores, as there are several factors that affect this.

If you have a wordpress website and would like some help and advice, please get in touch – I would be happy to help. Contact me on LinkedIn or email me directly.

Want to learn more about Google Search Console? Want to read more resources about digital marketing?

See Google Search Console Resources and Digital Marketing Resources for more.

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