Google Core Web Vitals – The Next Big Thing in eCommerce SEO

Google Core Web Vitals - The Next Big Thing in eCommerce SEO

Google Core Web Vitals

Over the years, Google has come up with a number of updates to measure and report on performance. This is because the fundamental building block of the Google search engine is its core algorithm.

Google’s relentless approach to enhance user experience and optimize searches has made it dramatically hard to be ranked on top of search engines. From banishing keyword stuffing to including mobile-first ranking, the introduction of Core Web Vitals (CWV) is yet another push in that direction. When it comes to eCommerce websites, a page’s loading speed, aesthetic stability, and interactiveness are essential critical vitals that affect business.

Every user-centric update of Google to date has drastically affected the search engine results page (SERP) and Core Web Vitals is no exception to it. When the Core Web Vitals were first introduced in mid-June 2020, only 4% of websites got ranked “good” according to Searchmetrics.

From then, Core Web Vitals have become the next big thing to “target” for all business owners, developers, and marketers worldwide.

This blog focuses all on Core Web Vitals, why they are the need of the hour, how you can improve your CWV score, and join that 4% “good”. If you’re already one among the 4% of websites that pass Google core web vitals, this blog has got expert tips on how to retain your score and deliver better website experiences to your customers.

What are Core Web Vitals?

The Core Web Vitals is a segment of Web Vitals and it’s applicable to all web pages. This present-day, Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that laser-focus on the following 3 key areas of user experience.

  1. Loading time
  2. Interactivity
  3. Visual stability

In field testing (real user monitoring), the Core Web Vitals set is made of,

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

While in Lab testing (synthetic), the First Input Delay (FID) is replaced by Total Blocking Time (TBT).

This Web Vitals initiative was introduced with an aim to simplify the perspective and help out websites to concentrate on the metrics that are crucial for critical user-centric outcomes, the Core Web Vitals.

eCommerce SEO & Google Core Web Vitals

All visitors want to simply browse, instantly check want they want, and swiftly checkout without any interruptions. If any of these expectations aren’t met, they bounce off and never return.

Optimizing your eCommerce site for a speedy, hassle-free, and smooth shopping experience helps you meet all these expectations and convert these visitors into paying customers.

Moreover optimizing the Core Web Vitals is not only for eCommerce sites but also for all other website categories such as Content Management System (CMS), News, Blog sites, etc.

And, ever since the arrival of smartphones, searches through mobile have witnessed significant growth. Anticipating this impact Google has prioritized a mobile-first approach for all websites along with the desktop site. Since mobile-first approach has become mission-critial you need to optimize your speed metrics and scores on mobile as well as desktop. Google Core Web Vitals optimization helps you deliver friction-less experiences on all devices.

Why your eCommerce site must be Core Web Vitals optimized?

These core web vitals are the metrics track the most crucial elements of user experience – the human emotions. It’s a direct measure of how your eCommerce store make the shoppers feel and how they responded to it.

  • If it’s taking all the time in the world to load it leaves your customers frustrated.
  • Page not responding when clicked – They exit the page.
  • Contents shifting here and there in the layout – It gets on the user’s nerve.

The business benefits of optimizing your eCommerce core web vitals

  • High ranking on Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
  • Robust Technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Exceptional User Experience (UX)
  • Skyrocketing Retention Time & Engagement
  • Negligible Abandonment or Bounce Rates
  • Accelerated Organic Traffic
  • Faster Loading Times
  • Soaring Lead Generation
  • Rise in Order Placements or Conversion Rate
  • Boosted Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Increase in Revenue and Profit

Here’s how core web vitals help you improve your eCommerce business on the whole:

  1. Core Web Vitals influence Google ranking and Search Engine Result Pages.
  2. Core Web Vitals contribute to robust technical SEO and accelerated organic traffic
  3. Though well-written content plays a vital part in content discoverability, now site speed is also related to it.
  4. Faster loading times extend the average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  5. Optimizing Core Web Vitals lowers abandonment or bounce rates
  6. Core Web Vitals impact business with soaring lead generation and order placements
  7. Optimizing Core Web Vitals increases engagement and boosts conversion.
  8. Fast sites skyrocket revenue and retention rates.
  9. Core Web Vitals make speed monitoring easy.
  10. Core Web Vitals add significantly more to the Lighthouse Performance Score

Did you know?

  • Pages that load in 2.4 seconds convert 3X more than the ones with 5.7+ seconds.
  • The average retention rate of pages that load within 2 seconds is 91%.
  • When page load time increases from 1 to 6 seconds, bounce rate spikes by 106%.
  • On mobile, fast rendering times bring 327% more revenue than slow.
  • Fast rendering times on desktops bring 212% more revenue than average & 572% more revenue than slow.

Types of Core Web Vitals

What is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) calculates the loading performance of the website. It measures how fast the main piece of content is ready for interaction with a visitor.

What is First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) assesses interactivity. It captures the first impression of the user on the website’s interactivity and responsiveness.

What is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the visual stability of a website. It calculates the shift score by checking how much the visible content and elements impacted are shifted across the
layout.

What is First Contentful Paint (FCP)

First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures the perceived load speed. It is a user-centric metric that marks the page load time’s first point where the user sees something on the screen.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) monitors the time taken for the major content to load on a web page.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The type of content considered under this metric includes everything that is associated with user experience such as

  • Images
  • Video
  • Blocks of texts
  • Image tags
  • Video thumbnails
  • Background images
  • All other text elements like heading, lists, tables, etc.

The loading time of a web page is calculated based on the time taken for the page to be fully loaded with the largest part of the content. i.e, from the moment of click to the time taken for major content to show up fully is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).

Earlier to Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Contentful Paint (FCP) was the metric used to figure out content loading time. However, First Contentful Paint calculated the loading time based on the initial DOM content to render and not by the content displayed on the screen.

What is a good LCP score?

Now that we have a dedicated metric to monitor the loading time of web pages, a performance standard has also been set for it by Google.

As per Google’s core algorithm, pages that take about 2.5 seconds or less to load the main content of the is considered as “Good”.

Anything between 2.5 seconds to 4 seconds from the moment of click is classified as “Needs improvement” and more than 4 seconds is considered “Poor”.

Similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which considered page loading speed as one of the factors, LCP is also not a one-time thing. The loading time needs to consistently stay below 2.5 seconds on every click for desired results. This can be achieved only by constant monitoring.

What are the reasons for a poor LCP?

The most common reasons behind a poor LCP score are:

  • Longer response time from the server
  • Render blocking resources
  • Slow load times of resources
  • Using Client-side rendering
  • Large size of image
  • Browser loading time

How to improve LCP?

  • Improve the efficiency of server-side code and optimize the server.
  • Route using nearby CDN to reduce time waiting for users geographically farther away.
  • Clear away unnecessary third-party scripts.
  • Upgrade web hist for better loading times.
  • Use lazy loading.
  • Minify CSS.
  • Avoid large page elements that may slow down the loading.
  • Optimize and compress text files & images.
  • Preload important resources
  • Serve images in next-gen formats like webP and AVIF

First Input Delay (FID)

Google finds FID important because it captures the first impression of the real-life user on your website’s interactivity and responsiveness. First Input Delay (FID) assesses interactivity. It measures how long does it take for the user to interact with your web page.

First Input Delay (FID)

The interaction here can be of any form such as

  • clicking on a link,
  • selecting an option,
  • logging in,
  • navigating through the menu bar,
  • or typing something in the available space.

Technically it’s the time taken for a user to do anything on the page other than scrolling or zooming in on the page.

In simpler words, First Input Delay (FID) is the speed of your page.

Pages with pure content such as articles or blogs the only possible action would be scrolling down. So, FID is no big of a deal. However, if it is a signup page or homepage then FID is decisive, both for ranking & your business.

What is a good FID score?

The minimum performance standards for First Input Delay (FID) have been set by Google.

As per Google’s core algorithm, delay less than 100 ms, ie, 0.1 seconds is user friendly and considered as “Good”.

An FID score of anything between 100-300ms, i.e, 0.1 – 0.3 seconds “needs improvement” and FID above 300ms (0.3 seconds) is considered “poor”.

In the majority of cases, the users always feel the system is ready to interact instantly. But, sometimes the users may feel the page is a little irresponsive even though the FID is below 100ms. This is because the browser may take some time to run the tasks related to user input.

What are the reasons for a poor FID?

The common reasons behind a poor FID score are

  • Long Tasks
  • No page interaction readiness
  • Not using a web worker
  • Prolonged JavaScript execution time

How to improve FID?

  • Splitting up long-running code into smaller, asynchronous tasks reduces input delay.
  • Optimize the page for better interaction readiness.
  • Use Web Workers to avoid blocked main thread and run JavaScript on the background thread.
  • Reducing the amount of JavaScript reduces the amount of time spent on executing JavaScript code.
  • Remove any trivial third-party scripts.
  • Use browser cache to load content faster on your page.
  • Load the priority content at the first
  • Eliminate render-blocking resources

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures a website’s visual stability.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).measures the largest shift in the layout from the moment it’s clicked to loaded. It calculates the shift score by checking how much the visible content and elements impacted are shifted across the layout.

The shift can be in any direction – horizontal, vertical, or across, by any element in the page – images, carousel, ads, just within seconds. But, does get considered and calculated for affecting the user experience.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Imagine a user is trying to click on a link on the top fold of your page that has loaded. However, suddenly there is a shift in the layout as the rest of the page is loading and the user ends up clicking an ad next to it. This experience is sure to irritate the user and cause serious impacts such as lowering user experience or adding to bounce rate.

What is a good CLS score?

When it comes to measuring the minimum performance standards of Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) set by Google, for a “good” user experience of the sites have to strive for a score less than 0.1.

Again, as per Google’s core algorithm, a score between 0.1 to 0.25 is considered as “needs improvement” and CLS score above 0.25 is considered “poor”.

To make sure you are reaching your target, it’s advisable that you measure 75% of the page loads on both desktop and mobile.

If the elements move across the layout of the web page while it loads then it’s sure that your CLS score is under hit.

What are the reasons for a poor CLS?

The common reasons behind a poor CLS score are

  • Images with improper size attributes.
  • Inserts and resizing of Ads.
  • Embeds and iframes without proper dimensions.
  • Inserting new content over the existing content.
  • Web Fonts triggering FOIT/FOUT ((FOUT – flash of unstyled text & FOIT – flash of invisible text).

How to improve CLS?

  • Set dimensions for all forms of multimedia used in your web page (Images, GIFs, videos, infographics, and more).
  • Plan the space for Ad elements and keep it reserved.
  • If adding new UI elements, do it below the fold so that it doesn’t alter the content layout against user expectations.
  • Reserve sufficient space in the viewport for various types of UI affordances in advance.

The 4th Core Web Vital Nobody Told You About

First Contentful Paint (FCP)

First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures the perceived load speed. It is a user-centric metric that marks the page load time’s first point where the user sees something on the screen. The page content can be anything such as text, images, background, svg elements, or non-white elements.

The major difference between First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is that LCP aims to measure the finished load time – i.e, the time taken by the page’s main content or all content to finish loading while FCP aims to measure the time taken for something to be rendered or seen on the screen.

What is a good FCP score?

Anything less than 1.8 sec, is considered as a “Good” First Contentful Paint (FCP) score.

An FCP score between 1.8 sec – 3.0 sec “needs improvement” and FCP above 300ms is considered “poor”.

What are the reasons for a poor FCP?

  • Heavy web pages
  • Slow servers
  • Render blocking resources
  • Java Script files
  • Large text-based assets

How to improve FCP?

  • Use Caching to decrease server processing time
  • Minimize server response times (TTFB)
  • Get Rid of Unused CSS
  • Avoid multiple page redirects
  • Avoid large payloads (large file size)
  • Optimize your site’s Document Object Model (DOM) size
  • Eliminate render-blocking resources
  • Minify CSS
  • Preload main requests
  • Maintain low request counts & transfer sizes small
  • Avoid enormous network payloads
  • Minimize critical request depth

What are the tools to measure Core Web Vitals?

Tools to measure Core Web vitals can be classified into two categories:

  • Field tools
  • Lab tools

Field tools offer real-world data obtained from actual users in the field. This measurement is known as Real User Monitoring (RUM) and the data that it collects is called field data.

Lab tools offer data on how potential users may experience the site. It is used for debugging by website developers. The data collected by lab tools are called lab data.

For the field method, you could try,

  • Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX)
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Google Search Console (Core Web Vitals report)

And, when it comes to lab tools, the top 3 are,

  • Chrome DevTools.
  • Google Lighthouse.
  • WebPageTest.

ther than these, a few other interesting tools that you can check out to measure your Core Web Vitals are:

  • Dunplab Web Vitals Tester
  • Web.dev
  • GTmetrix
  • TREO Site Speed
  • Web Vitals (Chrome Extension)
  • Core SERP Vitals (Chrome Extension)
  • Core Web Vitals Annotations (Chrome Extension)
  • CLS Visualizer (Chrome Extension)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift Debugger
  • Layout Shift GIF Generator
  • Semrush Site Audit
  • PageSpeed Compare
  • ContentKing
  • DebugBear
  • OnlineOrNot
  • SpeedVitals
  • Super Monitoring

FREE Core Web Vitals Audit For Your eCommerce Store

After Google’s page experience update, site speed, and user experience has become the center of attraction again. To rank highest with these newest forms of web performance metrics, your site needs to satisfy both the web crawlers and the real-time users. Thus, optimize your website for Core Web Vitals so that you don’t miss out on any of its benefits.

When these core web vitals are fully fixed and optimized the conversion rates of your eCommerce sites are sure to spike. And the number of visitors converting into buyers also increases.

Thus supercharge your Core web vitals score and propel your business growth. We also offer you a free Core Web Vitals audit. To identify where you’re lagging and discover how to optimize your performance scores. It also helps you discover new growth opportunities and accelerate online conversions.

If you’re looking for more expert insights reach out to our Core Web Vital Specialists today. To learn more about Core Web Vitals in-depth, check out our next blog here. And, to get expert support in optimizing your site to its full potential, reach out to our team right away.

Get A Free Core Web Vitals Audit for your site

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