Google’s Core Web Vitals: Today, More Than Ever, The Industry Needs Formats Which Enable Creativity
By Bart Dabrowski, Creative Director, Inskin Media
Bart Dabrowski, Creative Director, Inskin Media on the need for creative versatility and formats which empower designers
Google’s decisions frequently lead to panic given the search giant’s dominance in online activity today, yet many of them are designed with user experience in mind. Recently, for instance, we have been asked for advice with regards to how to navigate its upcoming introduction of core web vitals, and particularly Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS, with the search giant opting for a gradual roll out of these changes as part of its page experience-ranking factor starting from this Summer.
CLS is the most recent of the three Core Web Vitals; the other two being Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FPI). When a website loads, CLS score is calculated based on the time and distance that the elements need to settle on their final position. It is a measurement of how much web page elements jump around, given that a user can’t interact easily when content shifts. It follows that this can lead to a poor user experience. What’s more, with web users increasingly on mobile devices, this type of sub-standard experience is particularly off-putting; with content shifts markedly affecting these devices thanks to their smaller screens.
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In the online advertising industry, the primary impact on CLS is caused by creating unallocated advertising space which causes a visible content shift when the site finishes loading. There is also a set of animation and interaction rules that should be followed.
To respond to these changes, our team took inspiration from standard display formats. The key challenge was to build these units out to provide more creativity, more space and greater attention from intended audiences.
As part of this, we created formats which provide us with a significant creative sandbox while maintaining access to scroll data, and which allow us to keep our signature ‘on scroll’ interactions. We set out to ensure we offer a versatile range of units which can be added in between or on top of content.
Pagescroll is the result of our team building inventive and highly engaging units. As Pagescroll loads outside of the initial viewport, it allows us to create extended creative space without impacting the CLS score. A versatile unit, it comes with multiple variants to accompany our desktop offering – Video, Evolve and Shoppable.
Meanwhile, our newest product – Baseline – loads advertising space on top of the publisher content to avoid unnecessary content shifts. The unit is designed to comply with Coalition for Better Ads’ (CBA) guidelines – given that leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media have already formed this group in order to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising. This format is all about integrating user browsing behaviour. Additional creative space opens seamlessly at the bottom of the page or on user interaction while the unit is built specifically to maximise viewability and dwell time.
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As always, creative execution is critical. This is achieved via the use of captivating, engaging, high-impact formats and creative flair. In this way, brands can stand out even in a cluttered digital environment, delivering engaging ad experiences which capture attention, while respecting publisher content and end users, too.
Having great content remains paramount, but it is also important to improve load times, to limit the amount of ads on one page and to use innovative ad formats which deliver positive user experiences for consumers, increase yield and revenue for publishers and lead to better results for advertisers. In this way, digital ads can sell products but they can also build brands.