This Is Why Core Web Vitals Must Be Prioritised For User Experience
Google has provided SEO companies and site owners a list of Core Web Vitals that need to be prioritised when optimising for user experience.
By providing this list of metrics, Google intends to offer unified guidance on the quality signals that it deems to be “essential to delivering a great user experience on the web”.
“Optimizing for quality of user experience is key to the long-term success of any site on the web. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or developer, Web Vitals can help you quantify the experience of your site and identify opportunities to improve”.
According to Google, Core Web Vitals are much more important than other metrics as they are essential to every web experience.
The expectations of users when it comes to web experiences differ based on the website and context. However, some expectations remain consistent regardless of the webpage they visit.
All websites should focus on prioritising Core Web Vitals as these correspond with user experience needs.
Google specifically determines the core needs of user experience as interactivity, visual stability, and loading.
Below is a detailed list of how user experience needs are measured.
Core Web Vitals: Ways To Measure User Experience
There are the metrics local SEO agencies and site owners can use to evaluate the quality of their website’s user experience as understood by Google:
- Largest Contentful Paint. This measures load speed by marking the time in the page loading timeline once the main webpage content has loaded.
- First Input Delay: This evaluates responsiveness of the page as it quantifies the user experience in terms of the interaction with the page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: By quantifying the amount of sudden layout shift of visible page content, this measures the visual stability of a page.
Here is why the three metrics above are essential, according to Google:
“All of these metrics capture important user-centric outcomes, are field measurable, and have supporting lab diagnostic metric equivalents and tooling.
For example, while Largest Contentful Paint is the topline loading metric, it is also highly dependent on First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Time to First Byte (TTFB), which remain critical to monitor and improve”.
Core Web Vitals: How To Measure These Metrics
Google has been trying to make it much simpler for all site admins to measure and access Core Web Vitals.
Chrome UX Report
In order for site owners to assess the performance of all signals quickly, they can use the Chrome UX Report.
As of now, the BigQuery dataset shows accessible histograms for any Core Web Vitals.
Google is trying to make a new REST API, which will make it easier to access both the origin level data and URL.
Core Web Vitals Extension
Google is in the process of making a Core Web Vitals extension intended for the Chrome browser. Right now, this is still in developer preview.
This feature will enable a visual indicator showing the status of each vital as users browse the web.
In addition, the extensions will also allow users to see aggregated real-user insights (provided by Chrome UX Report) regarding the state of each core vital for the latest origin and URL once the future updates commence.
Updates to Existing Tools
In order to enhance Core Web Vitals, Google is now updating some of its tools to provide specific Core Web Vitals information.
Here are the tools that will be updated in the following months:
- Chrome DevTools
- Search Console’s Speed Report
- PageSpeed Insights
- and other popular tools
What About Other Vital Metrics?
While Core Web Vitals are crucial, they aren’t the only user experience metrics that need to be focused on.
Google will update the Core Web Vitals every year as it simultaneously improves its understanding of user experience along the way.
It will also give updates on the succeeding Web Vitals candidates, including the implementation status and the motivation behind selecting them.
As of now, Google is hugely invested in enhancing its understanding of page speed.
“Looking ahead towards 2021, we are investing in building better understanding and ability to measure page speed, and other critical user experience characteristics.
For example, extending the ability to measure input latency across all interactions, not just the first; new metrics to measure and quantify smoothness; primitives and supporting metrics that will enable delivery of instant and privacy preserving experiences on the web; and more”.
Ways To Evaluate The Success Of Linkbuilding Metrics
Linkbuilding isn’t a piece of cake, especially without the right linkbuilding metrics in place. In order to improve, you must know which parts need further enhancement.
Merely counting your links won’t suffice as you need to apply linkbuilding metrics too. However, not knowing what type of metrics to utilise to evaluate your linkbuilding campaign can make achieving your goals more difficult.
Additionally, it’s always better to be aware of how the linkbuilding efficiency will be measured prior to building new ones. This will help you set up possible goals as you strive to make positive changes to your organic traffic growth trend.
In terms of organic traffic growth, linkbuilding is just one among many complex SEO processes. While it is deemed essential, there are a number other of different factors that can also affect your website ranking.
In other words, your webpages must be optimised well by focusing on some basic elements, such as mobile friendliness, meta and title descriptions, and much more.
In addition, the webpages you are intending to improve by using links must also target keywords with an adequate search volume. Most importantly, these must be supported with high-quality content.
After taking these SEO basics in mind, you are now prepared to move on to the next step that is your organic growth. The goal is to take this to the next level with the help of some data-driven linkbuilding.
Below are three valuable metrics to utilise for measuring the growth of your linkbuilding campaigns:
- Growth trend of new referring domains
The first metric you must track is the number of referring domains gained month over month. This would help in determining if the linkbuilding machine on track.
Take note that linkbuilding success isn’t achieve overnight as growing a reliable backlink portfolio takes a whole lot of effort and time.
Generally, the first few months are spent developing relationships and acquiring one or two links.
Only after that time can you begin to see links coming to your door.
Most often, 2-3 months are needed to begin building strong link numbers for new niches, It really takes time.
On the other hand, once you’ve reached that moment, doubling the number of referring domains obtained every month will take very little time. This is the usual trend you’ll see:
It’s also better to check your rival’s referring domains from time to time ae well as your backlink profile growth.
Where you notice some increase in the number of their referring domains, there’s a big possibility that they are also building links.
As a matter of fact, doing this every month can be an inspiration source for your next linkbuilding efforts.
You will potentially notice some changes in Google ranking once your linkbuilding is running well. After this, the second metric is your next priority.
- Positive changes in the target page positions in Google Search
Among the most vital goals that you need to reach with linkbuilding is to escalate your search rankings for particular pages.
In an ideal position, this involves your best posts being among the top 3 positions. But if this isn’t possible, the least you should aim for is getting it to rank on page one.
This is why the next metric you need to keep track of must be the position of your target webpages in the Google SERPs.
While Google Search Console looks like it’s easy to track, remember that the exact numbers don’t really appear here, rather it shows the average position.
In order to acquire precise data for this metric, you need to utilise a third-party position tracking tool.
You can use SEMrush to check precisely the increased level of visibility of your target pages in Google SERPs.
To facilitate the whole procedure, you can utilise a tagging feature to label search questions to one webpage. Then, simply filter these out from the rest of the keywords.
Here is a screenshot of the results for searching search the terms labelled with the “email outreach” tag in SEMrush plus their position changes for the past month:
If you notice the main keyword “email outreach” has retained its position.
Where you encounter the same thing, you need to understand it more and investigate why.
If you want to look for the answer, go to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool and search for the keyword.
Once you do this, you will see the kinds of pages that are now ranking on Google first page:
The number of referring domains is the primary thing to focus on here.
You need to countercheck the number of referring domains your webpage has with the numbers of pages that are outranking you at that time.
Another essential factor to remember is the domain rating (DR) of the website. The question is, how does this compare to the DR of pages that rank better?
In the case of Digital Olympus, it has a DR of 61, while many of its pages in the top 10 results go beyond 70 with some of them even getting a DR of 90+.
Hence, Digital Olympus has to build 4-5 times more links back to a page to outrank those other pages. This is why its position hasn’t really been improving in the past 30 days.
The higher the DR, the faster it will be for the pages to rank.
When you reach a better position in Google search and achieve more referring domains, then you can expect an increase in organic traffic on your site.
- Organic traffic growth
The main reason for linkbuilding is to grow organic traffic. This is why it must be the third important metric to track.
You can quickly track organic traffic growth from Google Search Console or Google Analytics account.
However, Google Search Console is much preferable since it enables you to check if the number of average positions and impressions are growing for a certain page:
Though, it’s essential to remember that it might take some time for Google to rank the site again.
It might take 3-12 months after building your links to notice changes. The time frame depends on the competitiveness of your niche.
You can try to understand the history of pages with good ranks belonging to similar sites within your niche to better know how long I it will take before yours begins to achieve similar rankings.
Below is a good illustration of this:
The graph given above shows how they were able to grow 34 referring domains since they started building their links in January 2019.
And below is their organic traffic graph:
If you compare the organic traffic report and the backlink profile above, you will see that it took around a year to start acquiring traffic.
Below is another example of a recent linkbuilding data wherein Tidio started building links to their blog post regarding chatbots in January 2020:
If you notice, Tidio has managed to acquire 60 referring domains reasonably quickly. However, how long was it before this was reflected in their organic traffic?
This is the SEMrush report, where it shows March as the time they got their first-ever organic visitors. Hence, we can say that it took around two months for the linkbuilding results to happen.
Linkbuilding takes time as proven by the examples given in this article. However, once the results start to appear, it will surely benefit you. The worst-case scenario is waiting for months without tangible results. This is why it’s important that you keep your linkbuilding progress tracked by utilising the given metrics in this post.
To sum it all up, by counting the number of new referring domains, keeping track of target page search result ranking changes and measuring general organic traffic growth, you can create a reasonably accurate overview of the effectiveness of your linkbuilding efforts.
Stories on this SEO UK blog are based from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-core-web-vitals/366258/ and https://www.searchenginejournal.com/link-building-metrics/365894/. Go over the links to know more.
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