More than ever, Google is interested in helping SEOs and site owners improve their website performance.
Just recently, the company announced the Core Web Vitals that will serve as a ranking signal for websites. But these could only be measured by utilizing the Chrome UX report – perhaps a limitation.
Well, nothing is intimidating about the new Google Page Experience update – it incorporates the old user experience factors such as mobile-friendliness and page speed – other than the fact that it helps with an improved metric to measure user’s page experience.
Just as your thoughts, optimizing your page speed will help significantly with your ranking. In other words, if your page gives poor user experience, Google MAY not rank it as high as you want.
Let’s dive in a bit.
There are six new tools in the new Google’s kit that can be used to measure Core Web Vitals:
- Search Console
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome DevTools
- Chrome UX Report
- Web Vitals Extension
Here’s more about using each of these tools to measure Core Web Vitals.
Just recently, Google updated Lighthouse to version 6.0 that included new metrics, additional audits, and composed performance scores.
Powered by the Core Web Vitals, audits provided by this open-source tool will give you an accurate overview of the quality and performance of your site, both in mobile or web format.
Some of the metrics added on this latest version include:
- Largest Contentful Paint: LCP, one of the most important new metrics, measures the time it takes for the largest block or media on your site to load.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: this metric shows you the number of layout shifts that occur for your page finish loading.
- Time to Interactive: the TTI measures the time it takes your page to load to the when it interacts with a user’s input.
- First Contentful Paint: FCP gives the time it takes the browser to display the first piece of DOM content of your page, images, for instance.
- Total Blocking Time: the TBT measures the time between TTI and FCP; anything preventing responsiveness.
Not long after Google announced the Core Web Vitals, they updated the Search Console to show a speed report. This tool will help site admins to evaluate their pages within an entire site.
One of the perks of using this tool is that it can analyze several pages at a time. It identifies pages that require fixings – depending on human user data from the Chrome UX report – and automatically groups them. The report depends on three metrics: the LCP, CLS, and FID.
However, keep in mind that some URLs will be overlooked if they do not meet the required amount of content to be measured for the report.
Here’s a tip: if you fix an issue on your site, use this tool to track whether there’s an improvement with the user experience on the fixed website or not.
PageSpeed Insights (PSI) is another tool provided by Google, which enables you to measure the performance of a page.
Upgraded to use Lighthouse 6.0, it can be used to measure User Experience in both the lab and field parts of the report. While the lab data targets performance issues, the field data gives a more advanced real-time user experience. So, the PSI comes in very handy when you need it. Moreover, the PSI gives you an insight into how you can improve your pages.
To use this tool, all you need to do is open the PageSpeed Insights, enter your preferred URL, and click on ‘ANALYZE.’ After a few seconds, the tool will display a page with some results; and the Core Web Vitals marked in the blue portion.
Google’s Chrome DevTools is yet another great tool updated to show useful Core Web Vitals metrics. Additionally, the tool can help you check and resolve issues on your page that can be part of Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Like the others, it’s easy to use. For instance, a click on ‘Layout Shift’ in the summary box gives you the info of the layout. You can also figure out where the shift occurred by simply hovering over the ‘Moved’ from ‘Moved to fields.’
Total Blocking Time (TBT), which is useful when you want to improve First Input Delay (FID), can also be measured with Chrome DevTools.
Chrome UX Report
Chrome UX Report is also known as CrUX or Chrome User Experience Report. This report is a public dataset that lets you see metrics of human users on any site.
According to Google, “Chrome UX Report enables site owners to quickly assess the performance of their site for each Web Vital, as experienced by real-world Chrome users. The BigQuery dataset already surfaces publicly accessible histograms for all of the Core Web Vitals, and we are working on a new REST API that will make accessing both URL and origin level data simple and easy.”
Unlike Lighthouse that analyzes and gives results on lab data, Chrome UX Report works by reporting real-time users’ statistics of all the Core Web Vitals.
Recently, Google has revamped the report and now also shows metrics of the Core Web Vitals pages. You can get started by clicking here.
Web Vitals Extension
This is a downloadable Chrome plugin from Chrome Web Store that gives you access to a website’s Core Web Vitals metrics. The plugin can evaluate all the Core Web Vitals metrics just as Chrome tracks users.
Final Thoughts on Measuring Core Web Vitals
Why should you care?
When Google launches these updates, SEOs and site admins will have a better chance of improving their content for their audiences. And of course, competition for keywords and traffic will likely increase.
On the other hand, it’ll be an excellent time to optimized the non-AMP pages on your site. This way, it becomes easier to outrank your competitors using AMP on their website.
That’s not all there is – you can still outrank them by optimizing your mobile pages in Google’s Top Stories section.
So, get all you need before the launch. And strike!