Web marketing

Why monitoring real users is essential

Core Web Vitals (CWVs) have already impacted mobile search rankings, and with the desktop rollout underway, they should gain even more importance for publishers. Due for completion in late March, we’ll see the familiar trio of CWV pillars incorporated as active metrics for determining desktop search success – namely, First Entry Delay (FID), the largest content painting (LCP) and cumulative layout switching (CLS).

Why Core Web Vitals can no longer be ignored

According to a recent analysis of Chrome’s User Experience Report, similar web and global traffic data, only 31% of websites globally are compliant with all three CWV metrics on mobile, just five percentage points lower. more so than when CWVs became official KPIs for site evaluation last summer. . But compliance with these user-centric metrics has never been more crucial – publishers who improve their search status are able to drive higher visibility, traffic and revenue, as well as an improved user experience. In fact, Google’s own research shows significant gains on mobile, with ad revenue up to 10% higher and session duration up to 23%.

And while site owners might assume they’ll have an easier time with the desktop – with its superior connections and faster processing – that’s not necessarily the case. Figures from the Chrome User Experience Report show that of the world’s top 1000 media sites, only 59% meet the requirements for CLS on desktop. That’s even less than compliance on mobile, at 67%, and puts publishers at risk of accidental clicks from readers, which could lead to penalties from Google and a significant drop in revenue.

The risk of sudden changes

Even those with good scores can’t afford to be complacent: often times, seemingly minor changes to a site, such as adding a new script or a new vendor, can cause a sudden drop in scores which is not immediately obvious.

For example, one of Clickio’s publisher partners saw a significant drop in its CLS score last July, shortly after making some changes to its Progressive Web App (PWA) setup.

While there were apparently no issues with site performance or layout, Clickio’s Vitals Monitoring web service showed that CLS on mobile dropped from around 90% to less than 60% in only a few days. However, by spotting the problem quickly, the publisher was able to test several solutions and fix the issues quickly, before they appeared in Google Search Console or affected the site’s search rankings.

In another case, a publisher working with Clickio never paid much attention to Core Web Vitals and had no real problems. That was until last August when they suddenly saw a 16% deduction from their Google AdSense earnings due to incorrect traffic.

With that deduction rising to 26% in September, the website owner wanted to get to the bottom of it and started looking at his Web Vitals scores with our Real User Monitoring Tool. This showed a CLS score below 60%, but after implementing a few quick CSS changes, the site was soon fully compliant again, with all three metrics above 90% and Google’s deductions near zero in November. .

Four Reasons Publishers Should Implement Real User Monitoring

With desktop deployment bringing new challenges and Core Web Vitals metrics also expected to evolve over time, the only way for publishers to stay agile in the face of change is to implement real user monitoring.

Specifically, real user monitoring is essential for the following reasons:

1. Google says so Although the tech giant announced its own report on Search Console for desktop URLs, it openly stated that this analysis did not go far enough:

The data provided by Chrome User Experience Report provides a quick way to gauge site performance, but it doesn’t provide the detailed per-page view telemetry that’s often needed to accurately diagnose, monitor, and quickly respond to regressions. Therefore, we strongly recommend that sites set up their own monitoring of real users..”

Indeed, Google recognizes the need for site owners to have more accurate data on how users view pages.

2. Track real user experience – In other words, publishers need field data. Distinct from lab data, which is collected in controlled environments with unchanged device and network settings, field data collects information about what is happening in the real world, including the impact of various factors such as location, device type and network quality. With Google using field data for its Page Experience rankings, publishers should prioritize this resource when learning how users experience their website.

3. Access real-time data – While Google’s tools are typically based on historical data, which means site owners have to wait weeks for updates, real-user monitoring platforms are based on user data. real in real time. This means that publishers can see their site’s performance while it’s running and take immediate action. Some services, such as Clickio Web Vitals Monitoring, also allow site owners to set up email alerts, so they’re immediately notified if their vitals drop.

4. Identify specific problems – This ability to see, at a glance, if a site is compliant with each of the three CWVs, means publishers can quickly spot when their site is falling short. By exploring by page, device, browser, and other dimensions, publishers can identify exactly what needs fixing.

It’s time to act

The desktop deployment of CWVs is the latest wake-up call for publishers to improve their site’s performance. While many are already struggling on mobile, site owners now face the possibility of low scores in both environments if they don’t closely monitor compliance levels. By using real user monitoring platforms, publishers can arm themselves with the information needed to take stock of their site, understand the user journey, and act quickly to protect their search rankings, as well as traffic. and income.

Why not try Clickio Vitals web monitoring for free? Click here to register now, or Contact us if you want to know more.

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About the Author

Clickio offers an all-in-one technology solution for online publishers – combining an advanced AI-powered advertising platform with integrated site performance, compliance and analytics tools. Since 2015, Clickio has been at the forefront of industry innovation and was one of the first companies in the world to provide a fully automated tool to manage GDPR consent. A Google Certified Publishing Partner, Clickio is recognized for its expertise in helping content creators reduce their workload, increase user engagement, and maximize ad revenue.