How Much Should I Worry About Core Web Vitals?

core-web-vitals-for-automotive-dealers

As of June 2021, Google will have (or has, depending on when you’re reading this) deployed three new ranking factors collectively named Core Web Vitals. Their weight — the degree of impact they will have — will continue to roll out through the summer until August. Naturally, you may be wondering just how much you should concern yourself with these factors. 

Let’s turn to the search giant itself for that answer.

“Our systems will continue to prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of the page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.”

So, “great, relevant content” still sits atop the iron throne of digital marketing. While this gives us reason not to panic about Core Web Vitals, bear in mind that its importance may grow as the adoption rate increases; hence, why we’re having this conversation in the first place. Now that we have the context of their impact, let’s dive into what they actually are.

Core Web Vitals 101

All three of the Core Web Vitals add to the on-page experience metrics that Google has assembled as ranking factors. They are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay (FID) — just what we needed in digital marketing, more acronyms!

What do these mean? 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Page Speed
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Page Stability
  • First Input Delay (FID): Page Interactivity

Largest Contentful Paint measures how long it will take a page to load in the user’s view.

Cumulative Layout Shift measures the frequency of page component moving. For example, if an image takes longer to load onto the page and shifts all of the content around it when it does.

First Input Delay measures how quickly a user can take an action on the page, such as clicking a button.

If these are ranking factors that can be optimized, then who can work with your dealership to ensure you’re satisfying them? Your website provider will be the primary control for Core Web Vitals, so it’s important that you have an open dialogue with yours to understand the plan they have in place. As for your digital marketing partner, such as Reunion Marketing, they should have a strategy that prevents new pages they create from driving down these metrics, including the monitoring of page speed, optimizing of image sizes, and auditing of conversion metrics.

As you continue to work with your CMS and partners, remember that fulfilling these metrics can give a rankings boost but poor performance will not incur a penalty from Google.

Core Web Vital Flash Facts

You can use Google Search Console to check your Core Web Vitals scores.

If for some reason your agency partner or internal team doesn’t have Search Console set up (quick tip: run!), then you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Yes, some OEM-mandated tools will slow down your site, such as chat providers, third-party scripts, Google Analytics codes, and GTM codes. 

Google does have baseline scores for what’s “good”:

  • Cumulative Layout Shift: 0.1 seconds
  • Largest Contentful Paint: 2.5 seconds
  • First Input Delay: > 100 milliseconds

No, you’re not way behind on satisfying Core Web Vitals. According to a Screaming Frog study in August 2020, only 12% of mobile sites and 13% of desktop sites got a passing score.

Your digital marketing partner should stay focused on driving high-quality organic traffic, earning higher rankings, and monitoring on-site consumer behavior to create conversions. There is no need to overhaul your SEO strategy over Core Web Vitals.

If you have more questions about Core Web Vitals that you feel weren’t addressed here, we are happy to help. Reach out to the Reunion Marketing team at sales@reunionmarketing.com, and we’ll have one of our representatives reach out to field questions and get answers.

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