How can a Core Web Vitals audit increase your visibility online?


Paul Dwight

4th May 2021

How can a Core Web Vitals audit increase your visibility online?

When it comes to optimising your website for search engines it is not just about the content on your site, but the overall experience for the user. Search engines like Google are invested in users coming to them above all other search engines and they do this by helping users find the information they want faster, easier and more accurately than their competition. This means that 1st page rankings are dedicated to websites which not only give the information clearly, but do so with the least amount of frustration or work on behalf of the user.

With this in mind Google are starting to focus on increasing the user experience (UX) through assessing three core web vitals of your website. It makes sense if you want great SEO that you pay special attention in tracking and improving these core web vitals, in order to up your ranking and drive users to you organically. 

What happens if I don’t check my website's core Web Vitals?

If you don’t spend time on exploring your web vitals then you could fall foul of future updates to Google's Search Algorithm and Ranking System. The negative impact on your site could undo a lot of good work and expense you have previously invested. If you don’t take time to explore and improve your UX you may find the following issues crop up:

Lower rankings and less visibility

It stands to reason that the better your ranking on your search engine results page or SERP (search engine results page) the more people will choose your site to click rather than to keep scrolling through listing after listing. Google holds over 80% of the market share, so you want to rank well in their SERPs for searches using keywords related to your sector.

Less Traffic from Search engines

It stands to reason that if fewer people get to see your page on SERPs through decreased visibility that fewer people will find their way to you. More traffic gives more opportunity for leads and for clicks to be converted into sales.

Less Reach for your carefully curated content

Unfortunately if your visibility and traffic both reduce in number, then that means all this content you have invested in for your website will be reaching fewer potential customers as well. Great SEO content which is interesting and convincing is only of use if it is backed by a technically good website. Keywords and beautiful imagery can only get you so far, they have to work and be legible for google’s algorithm in order to help your ranking.

A reduction in brand awareness

Again with less traffic to your website and opportunities for potential customers to get familiar with your products and services there will be less opportunity for you to raise awareness of your brand. This also reduces verbal referrals to those who may not be directly searching for you online.

Reduction in sales and revenue

It’s impossible for all the above to take place without there being an effect on your bottom line. Less traffic, fewer conversions ultimately means fewer sales and less interest. The loss of revenue is particularly frustrating when your company has invested time, resources and money into content creation for your website. 

Thankfully none of these issues have to occur if you take the time to learn how your website performs in terms of UX by auditing your core web vitals.

SEO Audit

What are Core Web Vitals?

As already mentioned Core Web Vitals are to do with the technical functions and overall experience users have when interacting with your website. Google has broken down its focus for SEO with regards to UX into three core vitals: 

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This is the length of time it takes a page to load from the users point of view. This is measured as the point from which the user clicks the link to your site up until the majority of the web pages content has loaded.

This time can be increased by the presence of unnecessary third party scripts, poor web hosting, trying to load all images on entry to the site rather than as scrolling occurs (lazy loading) larger page elements such as videos and bulky CSS.

First Input Delay (FID)

This is the time it takes for a page to become usable, so that the user can begin to interact with it. It may be your LCP has loaded but there is then a lag between that and their ability to click into a field to type, open up a menu or navigate elsewhere on your site. It is one step beyond a page speed score though as rather than merely asking how long it takes for something on your page to happen, it instead measures how long it takes for a user to do something on your page, so takes their behaviour into account. FID can be reduced by once again removing any third party scripts, minimising any javascript and using a browser cache.

Cumulative Layout shift (CLS)

The last web vital is to do with a page's stability as it loads, or whether elements suddenly jump around making it hard for the user to focus on the area they wish to. This stops users from getting confused by the placement of specific elements or clicking the wrong link by mistake because the link they were going to click on has suddenly moved.

This can be minimised by making sure any advertisement has a space reserved for them, rather than suddenly appearing and moving text and images out the way. Also by making sure that any new elements for the UI appear below the fold of the page so as to not push content being viewed down. Lastly, setting a size attribute dimension for any media like videos or images can help maintain consistent loading as the browser will know exactly how much space that element will need.

Web Vitals & Speed Test

Help Fixing your Core Web Vitals

Now you know what you are looking for in terms of improving your website's performance the question is how do you find out what needs improvement for your website and then what are the best fixes for the most impact.

How can I check if my website Core Web Vitals are optimal?

At CWS we offer a full SEO audit for your website. We can identify exactly how well your entire site is performing and pay specific attention to key pages, which are going to be the most important to divert traffic too quickly and easily. From this we create a report that will guide you through data driven steps to a better ranking website. Any improvements can be implemented by your in-house web team, or if that is not possible we can work with you to implement a clear step by step approach tackling the easiest and most impactful changes through to larger but less important tasks. Through using this audit to create a clear plan for improvement with measurable goals and targets , you will be able to see just how much our audit improves your visibility, brand awareness and successful sales.

What is the next step? 

If you are wondering if your website has fully optimised core web vitals, then do not hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly SEO and Digital Marketing team can talk you through the process of working with us, as well as all our various SEO services. We work to create the right package of services for each client based on individual needs. In this way we make sure you are covered for what you want rather than working to pre-set specification, so that you know every penny is working for you.

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