What Are Core Web Vitals?

As the owner of a website, you do not always need to know everything that goes on “behind the scenes” to elevate your search engine rankings.  Most business owners do not really want or need to understand how websites are coded or what types of markup give the best results.  However, it is important to understand the basics of what Google and other search engines are looking for so that you can understand why your website is–or is not–ranking well in search engine results.

One easy way to begin understanding these complex issues is to look at what Google calls “Core Web Vitals.”  These are three metrics that measure important factors for a website such as interactivity, loading time,  and visual stability.  By understanding these important points, you can more easily discuss what needs to change on your website with your webmaster or SEO professional.

TTFB of Time to First Byte

One of the first things that Google measures are TTFB or Time to First Byte.  This refers to the amount of time it takes for your website to load so that visitors can begin interacting.  The longer this takes, the more likely your customers are to leave your website and the lower your Google ranking will ultimately be.

One way to improve TTFB is to ensure that your website’s content is served from a location close to its use.  For Boise customers, for example, a website should be housed on a server near or in southern California.  Further, utilizing caching can also help minimize download time for users.

CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift

CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift is a measurement of how stable the visual aspects of a website are.  About a quarter of all websites are downranked by Google due to poor CLS.  CLS can be improved by setting explicit sizes for content, particularly for content that mobile devices will utilize.  Sizing images in advance is another great way to prevent image shift, as well as using aspect-ratio properties in your website’s language.   Perhaps most important, pages should be optimized for bfcache, or backward/forward cache in browsers.  This provides a snapshot of the page for instant downloading.  Minimizing things like animation can also help you avoid the problems associated with image or content shifting.

FID or First Input Delay

First Input Delay measures how quickly websites respond to user interactions.  By breaking up long tasks, web pages can be better optimized to respond to user input.  Avoiding unnecessary JavaScript usage can also speed up FID, as well as simplify rendering script, which is the language that tells the website what to do when a user gives a command.  Google recommends avoiding certain types of CSS or other languages or scripts to keep website operations simple.

I’m Not A Webmaster; What Do I Do?

Many business owners are overwhelmed by the world of web page scripts and commands.  This is why it is so important to hire a professional SEO and web-building firm for the job.  When you have someone you trust who understands the complicated world of web page development, you can rest assured that your site will perform well in search engine results.

At Caldiatech, we have spent many years optimizing websites for the best possible performance.  Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you clean up your website and increase your search engine rankings–no matter how much you know about coding!