Website performance audits and tools

Core Web Vitals

Learn about core web vitals and how you can use them to improve your website's user experience.

Welcome to another SiteImp tutorial! This time, we’re going to talk about very important (but often misunderstood) metrics known as “Core Web Vitals”. Core Web Vitals started life as a Google initiative to help guide website owners towards providing better user experiences. However, they have taken over the entire performance and user experience industries to such a point that at this point, it’s more helpful to look at them as ‘industry truths’ than as a Google initiative.

Core Web Vitals apply to all pages and can be measured in the field. As such, they’re incredibly useful ways to measure user experience and web performance. All website owners and administrators should understand, use and regularly measure core web vitals to make sure they’re always delivering a quality user experience.

However, the core web vitals took on even more importance when Google announced they would start incorporating page experience and core web vitals into search engine results. When those changes rolled out in June 2021, core web vitals started to impact traffic as well as conversion rates.

That change is a huge event in SiteImp’s history and so it seems fitting to write our second tutorial on the Core Web Vitals. I hope this content helps. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

There are 3 pages in this section. They are:

Part 1 - Cumulative Layout Shift

Cumulative layout shift measures the total of all layout shifts. Layout shifts refer to all the times that content jumps around when new pieces of content are downloaded. Layout shifts provide a really nasty user experience and they are all fully preventable. Read further to learn more.

Part 2 - First input delay

First input delay measures the gap between user input and when the browser actually starts processing and responding to that input. Input delay is both annoying for users and costly for website owners because a lack of responsiveness absolutely destroys conversion rates. First input delay and largest contentful paint provide a very thorough look at all aspects of web performance.

Part 3 - Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint is exactly what the name suggests. How long does it take for the largest element on the page (at page load) take to fully render so it's visible to the user? This is a proxy measurement to help website owners figure out how long it takes for the main content on their page to be visible. If you consider largest contentful paint and first input delay together, you'll get the best overall vision of your website's performance.