What Small Businesses Should Know For Improving SEO

Founder & Head of Growth @Hedley Digital, a global digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and various digital marketing services. 

Search engine optimization is mainly for improving the quality of your website and, in turn, offering a good user experience. Today, an important factor for SEO is “Core Web Vitals,” but what does that mean exactly? As the founder of a digital marketing agency, I’ve broken down what small businesses need to know about Core Web Vitals and how they can help you improve your website and SEO.

What are Core Web Vitals, and why are they important?

In 2020, Google announced Core Web Vitals, a ranking factor the company said will come into effect this month. Core Web Vitals are the important characteristics you need in your website’s total usage. These vitals measure your website’s user experience, and there are three main factors Google is looking for: page loading speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability.

Core Web Vitals are important for your website’s development because, while the contents of your page might be good, every part of your website must be supported to make sure you rank higher in search engines. User experience is also a priority when it comes to Core Web Vitals, which means that making your page convenient is essential. “Convenient” features could include:

• Making your website mobile-friendly.

• Ensuring your site is safe for browsing.

• Making sure the page is secure.

• Stopping pop-up advertisements.

How can you improve your website?

Now that you have a basic understanding of what Core Web Vitals are, let’s go a bit deeper into the details. As I said earlier, there are three major factors to consider in Core Web Vitals: page loading speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability.

So, let’s dive into each one of them and the elements I recommend focusing on to improve your Core Web Vitals:

1. Largest contentful paint: The largest contentful paint is simply the largest content you have, whether it’s a page, article or image. The LCP is directly related to page loading speed, as it measures the loading time of the largest content on your website. In general, it should take about two seconds or less for your LCP to fully load.

How can you improve your LCP? Initial steps you can take include removing third-party scripts that aren’t necessary and upgrading your web host to reduce your loading speed. You can also use “lazy loading” to make your loading speed faster and make images load only when your viewers scroll down on your website.

2. First input delay: Responsiveness and interactivity are very important for your website, and this is where first input delay comes into place. FID is all about having a good user experience when it comes to response time, as the FID measures the time it takes for your page to respond to your viewer’s clicks. 

In my experience, this is probably the rarest issue of all three — unless your website has other elements, such as plug-ins, that are being processed at the same time, which could cause some issues. Your goal should be to achieve about 100 milliseconds or less for response time. Similar to improving your page loading speed, you can improve your FID by removing third-party scripts that are not essential or using a browser cache to make your response time faster and to prevent your page from lagging.

3. Cumulative layout shift: Cumulative layout shift measures how stable every element of your website is. Good websites have stable pages even when loading from one page to another; your CLS is what makes sure functions do not move to a different place while the page is loading and prevents your viewers from clicking the wrong button on your page.

Aim for 0.1 or less of a cumulative layout shift. Slight shifts aren’t much of a problem, but if the entire page is moved down by another element in the page, it will affect your CLS. To avoid this, you can set the size attribute dimensions of images, videos, etc. This way, your viewer’s browser will know how much space is needed for each element on the page.


Core Web Vitals are important for SEO, as they can help give your website more recognition and keep it organized and clean. These vitals can help improve your website’s visibility and ranking in browsers, as well as give your audience a hassle-free experience while browsing your page. It’s better to start optimizing your website as soon as possible to avoid having negative feedback or lower rankings in search results.

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