Are Core Web Vitals crucial KPI for businesses?
Last year, Google rolled out its new, much-vaunted – and lengthily trailed – ranking metric: Core Web Vitals (CWV).
With hundreds of ranking factors already deployed to analyse web performance and relevance, CWV was introduced to give greater weight to the user experience (UX), by quantifying crucial speed and user interaction measurements: load time, interactivity and content stability.
CWV’s focus on page experience meant that fresh factors were brought into the SEO mix, including whether websites were mobile-friendly, offered safe (malware-free) browsing and provided an environment low on intrusive interstitials (pop-ups).
Core Web Vitals KPI for the Business
After the initial noise died down, businesses were left to implement and monitor their own improvements – with predictably mixed results, as SEO experts argued that improvements could be made elsewhere (backlinks/ keywords) to return better SEO benefits rather than focusing on CWV.
This is misunderstanding the value of Core Web Vitals, though. Having different departments look at CWVs in isolation is a mistake; its real potential is in using page experience as a ranking signal that helps organisations to focus on performance, driving the optimisation of user-centric metrics that can boost business growth.
The thinkTRIBE perspective
Core Web Vitals are crucial, but keep in mind other metrics and factors that hinder user experience will always be important.
Obviously, optimising rankings is key but it’s only one metric and should be seen in the context of providing the best UX possible for a variety of sound business reasons. Interestingly, even those who were sceptical of the effect of CWV tweaking on rankings have seen other business benefits – including, in some cases, much higher conversion rates. We know from experience that prioritising the UX impacts a wide range of metrics and should be driven by business as well as technical considerations.
Due to the difficulty of isolating impacts, most marketers have avoided publishing hard data. But some do have the receipts to demonstrate very real improvements. SEO consultant Kristine Schachinger shared a screenshot last October that showed significantly elevated statistics for clicks and impressions compared with the same three-month period from the previous year.
The UX is paramount
UX is a critical factor for most web users; optimising it not only helps improve conversions but also plays a crucial role in building trust. For many businesses, search rankings are only relevant insofar as they advance their broader goals – including revenue generation. Google’s page experience update may well reward CWV-optimised content with better rankings, but it’s important to look at it as part of the bigger picture – might upgrading the page experience also give you a competitive advantage over and above basic SEO considerations?
Content counts but a satisfying page experience might well tip the game in your favour, all other things being equal. Fine-tuning your website to serve core content more quickly will not only have a knock-on effect on your ranking but will keep customers satisfied.
Google’s own tools, including Search Console, PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse, can provide a snapshot of performance. But realistic performance monitoring, coupled with an expert evaluation of potential customer-impacting issues, is key to optimising the UX and improving the CWV score.
Turning Core Web Vital insights into action
thinkTRIBEs 24/7 performance monitoring supports CWV. Our experts can:
- Use dynamic user journeys to benchmark your metrics in real-time
- Offer an independent view from a real user’s perspective
- Work with you to improve your Core Web Vitals score
- Track your metrics over time, highlighting trends on overall performance
- Capture your CWV more effectively with tests running every 5 minutes
- Display metrics in a way that’s easy to digest
By continuously monitoring your CWV, you have visibility on the impact of any given release on a newly created landing page.
Any customer can access these metrics and see the data through our portal. The first step is to review your SEO performance and check how you currently stack up against the CWV metrics. Get in touch if you want to see how using CWV as a KPI can deliver enhanced business benefits.