Core Web Vitals: A Beginner’s Guide to Interactivity
Core Web Vitals encompasses a collection of factors that Google considers integral to a webpage’s overall user experience. These vitals represent user experience metrics related to: (1) load time, (2) interactivity, and (3) the stability of content as it loads.
In this article, we’ll focus more on interactivity, how it affects user experience, and how you can optimize this better search engine rankings.
What Is Interactivity?
Interactivity is the way a user interacts with your website. It’s an essential component of the overall user experience since it determines how quickly and easily users can interact with your content.
In the Core Web Vitals report, interactivity is measured as First Input Delay (FID).
How Is First Input Delay (FID) Measured?
First Input Delay (FID) measures how quickly a user’s interaction with the content is registered and responded to by the page. This includes all types of user interactions such as clicking, scrolling, filling out forms, or typing in search queries.
Essentially, FID measures the time it takes for your website to respond to a user’s initial interaction with it. Google categorizes FID scores based on the following guidelines:
- Good: with an FID score of less than or equal to 100 ms.
- Needs Improvement: with an FID score greater than 100 ms but less than 300 ms.
- Poor: with an FID score greater than 300ms.
How Can You Improve Interactivity?
To ensure that your website is optimized for interactivity, the best practice is to focus on reducing FID as much as possible:
1. Minimize code bloat
Code bloat is excess code that slows down the performance of a web page. To minimize it, use minification tools such as JS Min and YUI Compressor to reduce the file size and number of requests your website makes.
You can also consider using code-splitting techniques to split up large codebases into smaller, more manageable pieces.
You can also optimize your scripts to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible. For example, if you use a library such as React or Vue, you can use a framework like Next.js or Nuxt.js to optimize your code for better performance and interactivity.
3. Utilize caching techniques
Caching is a great way to reduce the amount of time it takes for web pages to load, which will improve both FID scores and overall user experience. By leveraging caching techniques, you can ensure that your web pages are quickly and easily available to users.
For example, you can use a content delivery network (CDN) to store all of your static assets such as images and videos. This will serve them faster from the nearest server location rather than having to pull them from the origin each time they are requested.
What Are Non-Technical Ways to Improve Interactivity?
While most of the work is done from the backend, there are some non-technical ways you can do to improve interactivity as well. Here are some quick tips:
- If your website has a search feature, consider making it more intuitive and easier to use.
- Ensure that all of your pages have clear titles and metadata so users can quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Make sure your web pages are optimized for mobile devices, as this will drastically reduce FID scores.
- Create a simple navigation system that is easy to use and understand. This will help users quickly find the content they’re looking for.
- Properly label buttons and forms so users know what to expect when they click on them.
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