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Understanding Your Google Core Web Vitals and Time to Interactive Metrics

For eCommerce sites, it’s critical to have metrics into how a site is performing – or not performing.  

Google’s Core Web Vitals provide metrics that measure a website’s user experience, which is why understanding how your site’s Core Web Vitals stack up is fundamental to success. 

According to Google, the main factors that determine a website’s usability are page load speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability.  

Optimizing Core Web vitals will have a positive impact on SEO rankings, provide a better shopping experience and help boost online revenue.  

As more shoppers turn to eCommerce to meet their needs, many retail sites are impacted due to slow page load times. Slower page load times cause shoppers to bounce and spend their money elsewhere as user interaction can affect page speed in ways that lead to lots of variance site performance.   

Time to Interactive (TTI) 

Separate from Core Web Vitals, Time to Interactive (TTI) is a synthetic performance timing metric defined as the point when the page becomes completely interactive (often greater than 10 seconds). Google’s Lighthouse gauges the metric by the number of seconds from the time the navigation started until the CPU had at least five seconds of quiescence.  

It is possible to measure TTI in the field, but it is not recommended. As a lab metric, TTI helps diagnose potential interactivity issues that will impact First Input Delay (FID). It also serves as a complement that measures the cost of long running tasks which is often from the heavily loaded JavaScript. 

It’s important to note that TTI is going to be deprecated from Lighthouse 10.0. TTI’s 10% score weight is shifting to Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which will now account for 25% of the overall performance score, according to Google. TTI was defined in a way that made it overly sensitive to outlier network requests and long tasks. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Speed Index are better heuristics for a page’s contents feeling loaded than a count of active network requests, Google said.  

YOTTAA currently captures LCP, along with other Core Web Vitals for a complete view of site performance.  

At YOTTAA, our dashboards track and report on TTI metrics. Going forward, TTI will be lowered in priority and removed as one of the primary metrics from our performance dashboard. In the future, TTI can be leveraged as a metric for user interaction along with other Core Web Vitals to determine how interactivity can help improve conversions.  

Brands must track Core Web Vitals in order to provide their shoppers with the most efficient experience possible. YOTTAA can help brands understand their Core Web Vitals metrics and provide a fully comprehensive view of their overall site performance. 

Contact us for a completely FREE eCommerce Site Performance Evaluation to help you make sense of your Core Web Vitals