Google’s Upcoming Introduction Of Core Web Vitals: All You Need To Know
Adnami’s Steph Miller writes on the importance of taking a holistic view of the overall user experience
Google’s decisions frequently have a rather alarming impact on the digital marketing industry. Rightly or wrongly, they strike panic and fear into the hearts of marketers. We have recently been asked by several partners for advice with regards to how to navigate Google’s upcoming introduction of core web vitals, for instance, which will be added to its page experience ranking factor from May.
While these factors should certainly be taken into consideration, it’s important to note that core web vitals are made up of a number of different elements – namely loading, interactivity and visual stability. What’s more, these are not given equal weighting.
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Loading and Interactivity have the biggest impact, by far, on the overall performance score while visual stability, otherwise known as Cumulative Layout Shift – or CLS, only accounts for five per cent of the overall score. The best way to optimise is therefore to focus primarily on loading and interactivity.
When a website loads, CLS is the name given to layout shifts that can happen – pushing elements down the page, for instance, while the next element is loading above. It is a measurement of how much web page elements jump around – clearly not something that’s ideal. A user can’t interact easily when content shifts and it can lead to a poor user experience.
Furthermore, it can seem worrying, at first glance, that CLS – when considered in isolation – is affected negatively by some high impact formats. However, our research has shown that when running high impact campaigns, overall, the core web vitals score is either unaffected, or is in fact improved. Moreover, high impact formats have been proven to deliver up to ten times higher ad effectiveness compared to standard display ads.
As always, it’s important that the full picture is taken into account rather than jumping to knee jerk conclusions. Looking at the overall performance score, the sites we measured came out with an improved overall performance when high impact formats were included. As mentioned before, factors such as load time represent a much more significant factor.
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So, what can publishers do to optimise their sites and to ensure that they are ready come May? Fortunately, there are some easy steps that can be taken.
Firstly, reserve the ad space. To fix layout shift, you can reserve the space that is to be filled with an ad.
Having great page content remains paramount. When ranking websites, while technical metrics of SEO are important, Google will still place more value on content.
It is also important to improve load times, not to have too many ads on one page and to use innovative ad formats that deliver great user experiences for consumers, increase yield and revenue for publishers and lead to better results for advertisers. In this way, digital ads can not only sell products but also build brands and ensure a positive user experience when delivered correctly.
Creative execution is key. For too long, display advertising has been used as a channel for retargeting and tactical performance. But high impact advertising has the ability to provide a platform for eye-catching creativity, with the use of captivating, engaging, high-impact technology and creative flair. In this way, brands can cut through the noise and stand out even in a cluttered digital environment – delivering thumb-stopping and engaging ad experiences that capture attention, in a respectful way.