How to Test Your Google Core Web Vitals Score?
Core Web Vitals can be measured through Google Lighthouse via Chrome DevTools. Here’s how:
- Open a new Incognito window of Google’s Chrome browser and visit one of your web pages
- Select “Inspect” from the right-click menu
- Click on the top menu and select “Lighthouse.”
- Click “Generate Report”
Note: Ensure that you do this in an incognito window; otherwise, stored data may interfere with loading and lead to inaccurate results.
The Performance score is calculated by comparing your page’s performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO to a rate of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best. Your Core Web Vitals score is found under the Performance score.
Alternatively, you can check your Core Web Vitals through Google Search Console, but our team has noticed that this can sometimes give inaccurate results as it appears to grab outdated data. So instead, we recommend using Google Lighthouse.
Why are Core Web Vitals Important?
Now that we have come to understand what Core Web Vitals metrics are, why should we care about them?
Google has been indicating that UX is essential for a while now. Google uses the following Page Experience metrics to rank websites:
- In terms of mobile-friendliness:
Google’s mobile-first crawlers want to ensure that your mobile site offers the best possible experience for users, especially since 61% of Google’s U.S. organic search traffic came from mobile in 2020, and that number is expected to increase.
- Safe and secure browsing with HTTPS:
The HTTPS protocol has been a ranking factor for Google since 2014. Therefore, Google wants to make sure users interact with safe and secure websites within the Google index.
- Low quality or possibly spam content:
Google has explicitly stated that they want the content to be expert, authoritative, trustworthy, and high-quality within their search index.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
When you first open up a page, it takes a little while to be painted. “Paint” is a fancy term for displaying all of the content you can see on the screen. It’s the amount of time it takes to say most of the content.
The following tips will help you improve your site’s LCP:
- Delete any unnecessary third-party scripts: They can significantly slow down a page’s loading time.
- Your web host needs to be upgraded: Faster loading times (including LCP) are nearly always associated with better hosting.
- Load lazily: Enabling lazy loading means that your LCP will be substantially faster since images will only load when needed (i.e., when someone scrolls down the page).
- Remove significant elements from the page: PageSpeed Insights can tell you if a component on your page is causing your page’s LCP to slow down.
- Minimize your CSS: Bulky CSS can significantly delay LCP times.
First Input Delay (FID)
In addition to a page speed score, FID measures the time it takes for users to do something on your page. When a page is 100% content-rich, such as a blog or article, FID usually does not matter because the interaction is usually just scrolling the page. Still, if the page requires interaction, FID becomes crucial.
Among the things you can do to improve your site’s FID score are:
- Remove any non-critical third-party scripts: Similarly to FCP, third-party scripts (heatmaps, analytics, etc.) can negatively impact FID, so it is best to remove them when possible.
- Use a browser cache: Your page will load faster, and your user’s browser will run through JS loading tasks more efficiently.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) identifies the stability of a page as it loads. Think of this as “visual stability” in which the visible and clickable page elements do not jump around like crazy. You have a high CLS if your text, buttons, and images move around on your page as it loads.
Here are the mentioned steps you can take to minimize CLS.
- Use fixed size attribute dimensions for media (video, images, GIFs, infographics, etc.): The user’s browser will then know how much space the press will take up on the page and where to place it so that it doesn’t shift as the page loads.
- Ensure ads have a reserved space: Content may shift to the right, left, or down when ads appear suddenly on a page.
- Add new User Interface (UI) elements below the fold: These won’t push down content that the user “expects” to stay where it is when placed below the fold.
- Use system fonts when possible: In addition to helping your page look beautiful, they will ensure that each browser can load them quickly. While there are several workarounds, using system fonts is the most straightforward option. As an alternative, if you MUST use web fonts, make use of font-display: optional CSS.
How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals in WordPress
With some performance optimization tips, it isn’t that hard to increase your core Web Vitals score in WordPress.
1. Optimize Your WordPress Hosting
Your WordPress hosting company is essential to the performance of your website. They can optimize their servers for WordPress, resulting in a rock-solid platform for you to build on.
2. Improving Largest Content Painful (LCP) Score
The Largest Content Painful (LCP) is the most significant part of a page within the viewport. For instance, on a blog post, this could be the featured image or the article text. The faster this content loads, the higher your LCP score.
3. Improving First Input Delay (FID) Score
A user’s First Input Delay score is the time between clicking something on your site and their browsers starting to process elements. The easiest way to improve it is by using a better web host or managed WordPress hosting platform.
Another easy way to improve your FID score is to use a caching plugin like WP Rocket. It comes with a built-in feature that allows you to optimize file delivery.
4. Improving Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) Score
The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score is affected when different elements on a web page load slowly, making other elements on the screen move.
If you expand the ‘Avoid significant layout shifts’ tab in the Page Speed Insights results, you can see which elements affect the CLS score.
5. Eliminate Render Blocking Elements
The rendering blocking elements are the elements that take longer to load but are blocking other features from loading first. However, this lowers your overall Web Vitals score and affects your website’s user experience.
How to View Google Core Web Vitals for Full Website?
Google has created new tests, reports, and extensions to help analyze Core Web Vital’s performance.
The most important of these are:
- The latest field data assessment in PageSpeed Insights
- The new Google Search Console report
- Use the Core Web Vitals Chrome extension.
You can analyze LCP, CLS, and FID using Chrome’s DevTools and the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX).
How to Fix Slow Server Response Time?
Owners of websites and SEO specialists should prioritize reducing server response times. If a website loads slowly, it will be a waste of resources. The first few seconds determine whether a customer stays on your page or bounces to a competitor.
Here are some best ways that help to reduce the server response time for your website.
- Use authentic and reliable Web Hosting.
It is to consider that your hosting provider caters to the needs of your online customers. Fast server response times are essential. So it is necessary to invest in a high-performance server. Unfortunately, free web hosting, inadequate hosting services with little or no support, and shared resources contribute to slow servers.
- Use a CDN
Content delivery networks (CDNs) consist of distributed networks of proxy servers and their data centers. These networks are geographically spread out to deliver content to users as quickly as possible.
To ensure fast response times for all web page visitors, a provider needs to distribute its assets across the globe.
- Optimize Databases
A website’s response speed is determined by database optimization. When setting up a website, the database responds quickly to queries. Over time, the database accumulates information. The accumulating results in massive amounts of data stored.
There are ways to optimize the database. If you use WordPress, the first step is to identify slow queries with a query checker. Once these queries are found, you can optimize them. Use indexes, change the group to objects, or use any other solution appropriate for the problem.
Which Users Are Part of the Chrome User Experience Report?
Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) provides website speed data based on the experiences of Chrome users. Chrome users who have enabled usage statistics reporting and opted to sync their browser history across devices can observe a few main metrics that give an idea of how long it takes for a website to load.
While the data is anonymized, you can see how it is broken down by country, device, and internet connection type. Therefore, this can help you better understand how actual users are experiencing your website and diagnose any potential issues with our Core Web Vitals or website speed.
There are three primary ways in which Google provides Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) data:
- The Page Speed Insights tool
However, this is the easiest way to access CrUX data, but it provides a snapshot of the information Chrome collects. For example, when you enter a URL into the Page Speed Insights tool, you’ll find CrUX data under the Field Data section.
Although there isn’t much data today, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to benefit from Chrome User Experience data in the future. Just check back occasionally, and you may be able to access the report as your site grows in popularity.
- The Google Cloud platform
If you’re more technical, you can use Google BigQuery within the Google Cloud platform to gain deeper insights into CrUX data. This method requires basic SQL knowledge, so it will only make sense to some readers.
Step-by-step instructions are provided on how to access the data and create data visualizations from it to understand better the information provided by Google.
- CrUX Dashboard in Data Studio
Using the CrUX dashboard within Data Studio lets you explore data in greater detail than the Page Speed Insights tool, but it doesn’t require as much technical know-how as using the Google Cloud platform.
You can get the best instructions on how to set up your account and create a report here. In the report, you will find several pages that examine a specific metric or two in more detail. In addition, you will be able to slice and dice data depending on the type of device being used.