Always looking for ways to improve your website's performance and user experience? Core Web Vitals are crucial indicators of how well your website is serving users and highlight what you need to improve. So, how should you monitor Core Web Vitals? Read on to find out some of the most effective methods, both free and paid for.
As website owners and developers, we are always looking for ways to improve our website's performance and user experience. With Google's focus on Core Web Vitals, monitoring these metrics has become even more important. Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure the loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of a webpage. They are crucial indicators of how well your website is serving users and can impact your conversion rate and search engine ranking.
In this post, we'll explain what Core Web Vitals are and how to monitor them effectively.
Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure the real-world user experience of your website. They are:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures loading performance and represents the time it takes for the largest image or text block visible on the screen to load. A fast LCP ensures that users see content quickly and are less likely to abandon your site.
First Input Delay (FID): Measures interactivity and represents the time it takes for your site to respond to user input, such as clicking a button. A fast FID ensures that users can interact with your site quickly and smoothly and don't become frustrated.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability and represents the sum of all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of the page. A low CLS score ensures that users are less likely to experience unexpected layout changes while they are trying to interact with your site.
There are several ways to monitor Core Web Vitals and ensure that your website is delivering the best possible user experience. Here are some of the most common methods:
Use PageSpeed Insights: PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that analyzes your website's performance and provides recommendations for improvement. You can use the tool to see how well your website is performing on Core Web Vitals and get suggestions for improvements.
Use Lighthouse: Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can use the tool to analyze your website's performance, including Core Web Vitals, and receive recommendations for improvement.
Use third-party tools: There are many third-party tools available that can help you monitor Core Web Vitals. Some of these tools are paid, while others are free. Some popular tools include GTmetrix and WebPageTest.
The methods above are all examples of synthetic testing. Synthetic testing involves using automated tools to simulate user behavior and test website performance under controlled conditions. This type of testing can be useful for identifying performance issues and validating changes in a controlled environment. However, synthetic testing may not always reflect the true user experience, as it doesn't take into account the variability in user behavior, network conditions, and device types.
On the other hand, real user monitoring (RUM) involves collecting data from real users as they interact with your website. This type of monitoring provides insights into the actual user experience and helps you identify issues that impact real users, such as slow loading times, errors, and poor interactivity. RUM data can also help you prioritize performance improvements based on the impact on your actual users.
The most well known tool for RUM is the Google Search Console. Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to monitor the health of your website and receive alerts when there are issues with your site. You can use the tool to see how well your website is performing on Core Web Vitals and get suggestions for improvements.
Fixing Core Web Vital issues can be frustrating because the Google Search Console takes 28 days to validate site improvements based on the last 28 days of data in Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). Only the 75th percentile is used to remove anomalies, and the worst value for each Core Web Vital is calculated instead of the average. Thus, it takes more than 28 days for the worst score to drop out of consideration in the report after site fixes.
Our illuminatr dashboard gives you an alternative way to track your Core Web Vitals.
Similar to Google Search Console, we use the 75th percentile to display the worst score for each vital across a date range you select. However, we also provide a daily breakdown of the worst 75th percentile score, giving you more immediate feedback on the effectiveness of the improvements you've made to your site. In addition we make it easy to see this breakdown by country and page as well as recording the elements in the DOM responsible for any issues.
To read more about the advantages of illuminatr, see this informative guide.
Core Web Vitals are an important part of website performance and user experience. By monitoring these metrics, you can ensure that your website is delivering the best possible user experience and rank well in Google. Whether you use Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, or illuminatr, there are many options available to help you monitor Core Web Vitals effectively. So start monitoring today and improve your website's performance and user experience!