SEO is constantly evolving. To stay on top of your B2B marketing you need to be aware of how the search engines (particularly Google) are adapting their methods, and understand how your B2B SEO optimization strategy fits in with these changes.
One such change is an increased emphasis on-page experience, which can be seen through Google’s Core Web Vitals. If your B2B SEO is going to achieve maximum success going forward, then you need to understand these metrics and make sure your website performs well in them.
A Natural Progression in SEO
Core Web Vitals aren’t revolutionizing the internet; they’re simply a natural progression, aimed at making the internet a better place.
What makes a search result useful for the user?
The value of the information on the pages is obviously important, but if the way that information is presented is sub-standard, then the page as a whole doesn’t offer as much value. Core Web Vitals place a greater emphasis on giving people a better page experience, and this is something that benefits us all.
Again, page experience is nothing new - we’ve known about the importance of page load speeds, mobile experience, and other Google ranking factors for a long time, but Core Web Vitals brings an extra layer to SEO.
See How Your Customers Experience Your Page
Core Web Vitals aren’t just a bot crawling your site and plugging numbers into a complex algorithm. They offer you a real-world look at how your visitors experience your pages.
For example, you might go to your website and find it loads pretty quickly, but does this accurately reflect the experience your page offers?
The answer is probably not.
With Core Web Vitals, Google is looking deeper and finding all those little things that bug users. Your page might look like it’s loaded, but do buttons shift across the page as you scroll, does it react quickly when you click a call to action?
There are many aspects that go into page experience, and core web vitals is Google’s way of measuring some of the most important elements.
What are the Core Web Vitals?
There are three signals for Core Web Vitals and while they might sound particularly complex, they serve very tangible purposes. For B2B businesses, SEO is extremely competitive and small improvements can make a big difference, so Core Web Vitals can have an impact on your rankings.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest contentful paint simply asks how long the largest element of your page takes to load.
You’ll often notice with a web page that basic elements such as text load quite quickly, but that big background image takes a little bit longer. Well, LCP measures how long it takes for you to get the complete experience, a good indicator of how fast your page really loads.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
You’ll notice when you load some pages, elements start at one point and seem to shift across the page until they find their final resting place. When you’re trying to find information quickly this is extremely annoying and can often result in you clicking the wrong button.
Cumulative layout shift is the measure of how long it takes for your page to load to a point where everything is stable.
First Input Delay (FID)
A page can seem like it’s fully loaded but when you go to click the buttons it’s not responsive. First Input Delay measures the speed at which your page is responsive, rather than just looks like it has loaded.
We all know how annoying it is when you keep clicking a button and nothing happens, so FID is an important part of your page experience.
Evaluating Core Web Vital Performance
With Core Web Vitals becoming a ranking factor in May 2021, it’s important that webmasters have the ability to audit their sites for performance in this area.
Google offers a number of different tools to measure Core Web Vitals, and each allows you to get a good understanding of where your site stands when it comes to page experience.
Google Lighthouse is available as a plugin on Chrome or you can:
- Click Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows and Shift+Cmnd+I on Mac
- Select the two arrows on the top menu bar and choose Lighthouse
- Click “generate report”
In just a few seconds, Lighthouse will give you a full evaluation of your website including your Core Web Vitals. The nice thing about this is you get a picture of exactly what Google sees when it looks at your site, and it even gives you actionable tips to improve your scores.
Page Speed Insights
Page Speed Insights has long been a useful tool to evaluate how quickly your website loads, but it also evaluates your Core Web Vitals.
One of the best things about Page Speed Insights is it takes real-world data from people who have recently visited your site. This means you can judge your page experience on information collected from real people who are interacting with your website each and every day.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console has so many insights that can help improve your SEO. Not only can you find out everything you need to know about how people are finding your business, but you can also see important information on the page experience they get when they land on your site.
GSC is a free tool that businesses should be using more because it gives you a ton of insights into how you can improve your SEO.
What Will Core Web Vitals Do to Your Rankings
As we wrote in our article “What’s Going to Make the Difference for Your SEO in 2021,” it’s not a case of out with the old and in with the new.
Core Web Vitals are designed to create a gradual improvement in the results that appear at the top of the SERPs, and they’re just one element of a much larger algorithm. This means Core Web Vitals aren’t going to completely change your rankings overnight, but they might make a small difference.
As we know, when you’re trying to rank for extremely competitive keywords, a small difference can be all it takes, so Core Web Vitals are something you need to be working on. Core Web Vitals aren’t just a ranking signal, they also have a big impact on engagement (Google studies show that people are 24% less likely to abandon pages that perform well on Core Web Vitals), so any improvements in this area will have tangible benefits for your business.
Core Web Vitals are going to be a ranking signal, and they should form an important part of any B2B business’ SEO strategy.
Performing well in this area will help you rank better, but perhaps the most important benefit is providing the best possible experience for your users. You want people to stay on your pages for as long as possible, explore your website, and become leads, and this won’t happen if you’re providing a poor user experience.
Core Web Vitals are a quick way to measure how good your page experience is, and gives you a clear idea of where your site needs to improve. Schedule a call with one of our experts today and find out how Core Web Vitals can take your SEO to the next level.