What are Google’s Core Web Vitals & how will they impact eCommerce?

Optimising website performance is already a priority for many businesses. If your eCommerce website is slow, lacks mobile-friendliness or ......

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 min read

Optimising website performance is already a priority for many businesses. If your eCommerce website is slow, lacks mobile-friendliness or doesn’t promote safe-browsing, your website will not only be outputting a poor user experience but Google will now use those performance metrics as ranking signals for search. 

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals 

Launched in June this year, Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of 3 metrics that Google sees as key to offering a great user experience. They are: 

Loading - Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This measures the loading performance and therefore takes into account when the pages main content has loaded for the user to view. If your eCommerce store is slow, potential customers are likely to bounce from your site.

Interactivity - First Input Delay (FID)
This measures the overall responsiveness and accounts for the experience a user receives when they first enter the site.

Stability - Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This measures the visual stability of your site and will take into account varied layouts of pages. 

The 3 Core Web Vitals are grouped by 'Good', 'Needs Improvement' or 'Poor'. The optimum goal is for each signal to be marked as 'Good'. Anything below these markers is a clear indication that your eCommerce store needs urgent improvement to meet the needs of your users. 

The ‘page experience’ metrics combine the Core Web Vitals with the following existing signals, including mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS security and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

Google:At Google Search our mission is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites on the web. The goal with these updates is to highlight the best experiences and ensure that users can find the information they're looking for.‘ 

What does this mean for eCommerce?


According to Layer, only 13% of eCommerce websites are likely to meet the threshold of Google’s Core Web Vitals. This offers the perfect opportunity for eCommerce businesses to boost their website performance and usability to get ahead of the competition.

If your website is currently underperforming, the results may mean higher bounce rates, reduced purchases and lower rankings in organic search - all of which can have a detrimental impact on the success of your online store.

How to measure your eCommerce performance


If you’re not doing so already, your eCommerce store’s performance should be regularly monitored to ensure you’re providing the optimum experience for your customers. Google has released several tools that enable you to measure how well your eCommerce website performs against their Core Web Vitals. 

Google Search Console:
Search Console tools and reports help you to measure your eCommerce website’s Search traffic and performance against Google’s Core Web Vitals. Using the dashboard, you’ll be able to navigate through affected URLs to see what improvements need to be made.

PageSpeed Insights:
Once you have identified the affected URLs, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify all of the issues on individual pages across mobile and desktop devices that will need addressing.

Lighthouse:
This is an automated website auditing tool that helps developers to diagnose issues to help improve user experience. 

How to optimise your eCommerce store

The tools listed above provide the best possible insight to understand where your eCommerce website needs improving.

At 9xb, we transform this data into results-driven actions through our Website Performance Optimisation service. Partnering with our eCommerce experts, we’ll create a tailored plan to increase your scoring across all the Core Web Vitals including website speed, cross-device browsing, interactivity, visual stability, safe browsing/HTTPS and accessibility. 

Summary

This is notably one of Google’s biggest algorithm releases to date, putting user experience at the forefront of everyone’s digital strategy. The search giant has made it clear that it will be rewarding those who meet and exceed their Core Web Vital metrics and penalising those who don’t make the cut. This can have an impact on organic website traffic but more importantly, it’s highlighting the key changes that your site needs to make to delight your customers.

If you are yet to address Google’s Core Web Vitals, get in touch with one of our eCommerce experts who can offer advice on how to improve your eCommerce website’s performance and user experience.

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