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Measuring user experience on your website with Core Web Vitals
In May 2021 Core Web Vitals will officially become an important ranking signal and we’re here to give you a brief rundown on everything you need to know before it arrives.
But first, let’s quickly touch on…
The importance of page performance
The longer pages on your website take to load, the higher your bounce rate and the lower your conversion rate is likely to be. Research indicates that bounce rates increase by an average of 32% on webpages that take three seconds to load compared to webpages that only take one second to load. Similarly, on webpages that take six seconds to load, the average bounce rate further increases to an enormous 106%.
As ranking well for key search terms and words in search engine results pages (SERPs) is critical for local businesses, including veterinary practices, ensuring your online presence is optimised with usability, functionality and visibility in mind is a key aspect of securing the continued success of your practice. When Core Web Vitals are rolled out in 2021, you will be able to access a comprehensive report which details the areas of your digital presence that will benefit from some additional attention and refinement.
So, let’s begin our Core Web Vitals exploration with…
What are Core Web Vitals?
Announced by Google’s Chrome team in May 2020, Core Web Vitals is essentially a group of metrics that will help website owners and optimisation teams measure user experience (UX) online. The ability to see quantifiable metrics that are user-centered and focussed toward key experiential elements will be hugely beneficial when making important optimisation and design decisions related to the core objectives of your practice. These metrics are all related to visual stability, site speed and responsiveness.
The Core Web Vitals report is an important compilation of data that will showcase exactly how your webpages are performing using field, or real-world, usage data. The report will break down important data by device and ensure that all data is given one of three ratings: good, needs improvement and poor.
What is the purpose of Core Web Vitals?
Industry research and internal studies conducted at Google illustrate that users prefer websites that can deliver a seamless on-page UX. In response to this knowledge, Google has refined its list of UX criteria to ensure it is consistently recommending the types of websites that users want easy access to. As such, things like mobile-friendliness and page speed have become significant ranking factors that developers and design teams must carefully consider when creating sites that need to rank highly in SERPs.
Core Web Vitals will be used alongside existing signals used to make important ranking decisions, including HTTPS security and safe-browsing. Google has already noted that additional page experience signals will be incorporated into the rankings process each year to ensure its practices are consistently aligned with the ever-evolving expectations of users.
What does this mean for my practice?
In short, websites that have the ability to deliver a seamless UX are generally rewarded with high levels of organic traffic, lower bounce rates, and increased conversions. Ensuring that your online presence is updated in accordance with the recommendations presented on your Core Web Vitals report will help you to consistently meet the expectations of your audience.
If you need help or advice regarding your practice SEO, please get in touch with our team. We offer full-service SEO packages as well as mentoring, and we’re happy to give advice and guidance where we can to help set you up for success.