Core Web Vitals (CWV): Practical Tips for Marketers in 2024

Ralph Otto author photo
Ralph Otto Director of Product
Core Web Vitals eclipsing good content

Don’t let slow loading times eclipse your marketing content! In this blog post we describe how to optimize your Core Web Vitals efforts to ensure your users have a stellar experience.

When talking about Core Web Vitals (CWV), a balanced approach is key to getting a return on investment. We work with numerous clients on improving website performance, some of whom have hired us specifically to help with performance.

If no work has been done to improve performance, there is typically low-hanging fruit that can be addressed in a matter of a couple of weeks. This often yields immediate performance improvements. However, after this initial improvement, a nuanced approach is required to ensure that efforts invested provide a consistent return.

If you’re just starting your Core Web Vitals (CWV) journey, starting with our previous blog post on CWV and potential issues may be helpful.

What are practical considerations for CWV?

For marketers aiming to optimize their websites for better results, prioritizing the improvement of Core Web Vitals is a strategic move. Before committing significant resources to remediate Google Core Web Vitals (CWV) issues, marketers should consider a comprehensive evaluation of their current digital landscape and the potential impact of such an investment. The following questions can guide this assessment:

  • What is the current state of our website’s Core Web Vitals scores?
    • Assessing the baseline performance across LCP, FID, and CLS metrics helps identify areas needing immediate attention.
  • How do our CWV scores compare with industry benchmarks and competitors?
    • Understanding where you stand relative to competitors and industry averages can help prioritize efforts effectively.
  • What specific user experience issues have our customers reported?
    • Customer feedback can provide actionable insights, highlighting areas directly impacting user satisfaction and conversion rates.
  • How does website performance currently impact our conversion rates?
    • Analyzing data on how loading times, interactivity, and visual stability correlate with conversion metrics is crucial.
  • What are the projected costs versus the expected ROI of improving Core Web Vitals?
    • Estimating the financial investment required and the potential return can help make informed decisions.
  • Do we have the in-house expertise, or should we consider outsourcing?
    • Evaluating your team’s capability to address CWV issues internally versus the need for external experts is essential for budgeting and planning.
  • How will improvements in CWV scores align with our overall SEO and marketing strategy?
    • Ensuring efforts to enhance CWV scores complement broader SEO and marketing objectives is critical to cohesive digital strategy execution.
  • What is the timeline for seeing tangible results from CWV improvements?
    • Setting realistic expectations for when improvements will reflect in CWV scores and, subsequently, in user engagement and conversion rates.

By carefully considering these questions, marketers can make informed decisions about investing in Google Core Web Vitals remediation, ensuring that such efforts are aligned with broader business goals and are likely to yield a positive return on investment.

How impactful is CWV optimization on success?

Core Web Vitals are a barometer for website health, particularly regarding user experience. Among the discussions surrounding CWV, there’s a prevalent notion that marginal improvements (such as enhancing site speed by mere hundredths of a second) can lead to substantial business benefits. While this perspective holds merit under specific circumstances, a nuanced understanding is essential to gauge the true impact of such optimizations.

The assertion that minor enhancements, quantifiable in hundreds of milliseconds, can yield meaningful business outcomes often finds its roots in the context of large-scale, high-traffic e-commerce platforms. In environments where user interactions occur at massive volumes, even the slightest uptick in performance can translate into noticeable improvements in user engagement, conversion rates, and revenue. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this scenario may only apply sometimes, especially for websites with moderate traffic or those operating in niche markets.

Our experience suggests that significant advancements in CWV scores are required to realize tangible business results. Google corroborates this viewpoint through case studies highlighting the business impact of optimizing Core Web Vitals. These studies frequently reference organizations achieving double—or even triple-digit metric percentage improvements. Such substantial enhancements are more likely to drive meaningful changes in user behavior and business performance.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the principle of diminishing returns when investing efforts into CWV optimization. While striving for a 2x or 3x improvement in a particular metric is commendable and potentially impactful, expecting similar business outcomes from a modest 100ms or 200ms enhancement might lead to disappointment. This reality underscores the need for strategic prioritization in CWV initiatives, focusing on changes that offer the most significant return on investment.

Example 1:

Let’s look at one of the largest retailers in the world: Walmart. As of the writing of this blog post, the Homepage CWV score is 27 on mobile and 38 on desktop. This score should be much better.

Take a look inside the site. For example, this product page for these cool Lego roses receives a 41 on mobile and 56 on desktop. It still needs improvement, but it’s better.

Considering this, ask yourself if Walmart’s business needs a higher score. Walmart has a tremendous cache of inbound links and a vast content repository. It also has massive buying power, allowing it to negotiate lower costs from distributors, resulting in traffic from price-motivated customers. 

We’ll discuss this later, but for smaller organizations (almost everyone we work with), we recommend optimizing the pages visitors will likely land on, as this is often their first impression.

Could  do more? Yes, absolutely. Do they need to do more? No, probably not. They have a lot going for them.

Example 2:

Now, let’s look at the largest bank in the United States: Chase Bank. Their Homepage CWV score is 20 mobile/25 desktop, but it could be much better.

Subpages such as their First Time Homebuyer Find a Home Guide are designed to capture interest in loan applications. This page garners a 32 on mobile and 78 on desktop—not great, especially on mobile. Speculating again, most visitors researching the home buying process may be using a desktop, so Chase has decided to optimize for desktop only.

Traffic is typically split relatively equally between mobile and desktop, so we recommend optimizing on mobile to ensure these pages perform and capture leads. Improvements to this score would improve the overall user experience, but does Chase Bank have to make CWV improvements? No. They have shown solid market performance over the last five years.

Where should marketers concentrate their efforts on improving Core Web Vitals?

Given the pivotal role of first impressions in the user’s journey, marketers must optimize the pages where new prospects are most likely to land. These entry points play a crucial role in affirming the visitor’s decision that they have arrived at the right destination, necessitating a seamless and efficient user experience. Marketers should prioritize CWV on the following types of pages:

  • Articles/Blog Posts: As a frequent entry point for organic search traffic, ensuring these pages load quickly and smoothly can significantly reduce bounce rates and encourage deeper engagement with your content.
  • Pillar Pages: These comprehensive pages are a cornerstone for a particular topic or service offering. Optimizing these for Core Web Vitals ensures users have a positive experience when exploring in-depth content, which can enhance dwell time and signal content quality to search engines.
  • Landing Pages: Specifically designed to convert visitors into leads or customers, landing pages must load swiftly and offer an uninterrupted user experience to maximize conversion rates.
  • Homepage: The Homepage is often one of the most visited pages on a website. This page is a special case because it is both a landing page and what we consider a brand marketing page. The performance approach needs to be balanced with the page’s design to avoid sacrificing aspects of the page that form an impression with visitors.
  • And any other page types a user is frequently directed to by marketing

While optimizing Core Web Vitals remains essential, certain brand-centric pages like the Homepage, Services, and About pages may afford flexibility. These pages often require various assets to effectively communicate the brand’s essence and value proposition. Consequently, while aiming for speed is beneficial, slightly slower load times can be acceptable, provided they do not significantly impair the user experience. The key is to balance aesthetic and branding requirements with performance, ensuring that these essential brand touchpoints remain engaging yet accessible.

As a general guide, marketers should try the following first:

  • Evaluate your website’s context: Understand your traffic volume, user engagement patterns, and the competitive landscape to tailor your CWV strategy.
  • Prioritize substantial improvements: Aim for meaningful optimizations that promise to significantly enhance user experience and, by extension, your business metrics.
  • Monitor and analyze outcomes: Regularly review the impact of CWV enhancements on user behavior and business performance to inform future optimization efforts.

The most common high-impact recommendations we’ve found are to:

  • Improve Server Response Times: The quality and performance of your web hosting provider can greatly influence server response times and overall website speed.
    • Choose a reliable hosting solution and consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make your website faster worldwide.
    • Moving to a platform-specific hosting provider (e.g., Pantheon, WP-Engine, and WP Engine for WordPress, Pantheon, or Acquia for Drupal) from a self-managed server or generic hosting provider typically provides additional benefits. Their unique caching mechanisms and host-specific plugins/modules can speed up performance with minimal effort.
  • Optimize Media Assets: Compress images and videos without sacrificing quality to enhance loading speed, particularly on content-heavy pages.
    • It is very common to use incorrect file formats. PNG, for example, are not optimized for photographic content. Making this error can balloon the size of image on the page unnecessarily.
    • Review how images are being handled, particularly on mobile. Responsive images allow sites to serve appropriate image sizes on small screens.
    • Depending on your platform, images can often be optimized in bulk. This usually requires the use of a low-cost offsite service.
    • To further increase speeds, use modern image formats such as WebP that offer superior compression.
  • Review and Optimize Javascript: Inefficient or redundant Javascript can delay how long it takes for a page to become interactive, affecting FID/INP.
    • Integrating multiple third-party scripts, such as analytics tools, social media widgets, or ads, can increase page load times, so be cautious before adding scripts, even if they are in Google Tag Manager (GTM). Inform partners/vendors that you are working on CWV and that they should notify you of GTM tag deployments.
    • Often, scripts are included that are no longer used or necessary for the site. Trimming unused third-party scripts can be highly impactful, mainly if the script is old and not actively maintained by the vendor.
    • Scripts can be set to load asynchronously, which prevents a script from blocking the rest of the page’s load.

By strategically optimizing Core Web Vitals for content marketing, SEO, and ad pages, marketers can significantly enhance the user experience for potential new prospects. While giving brand marketing pages some leeway in performance, the overarching goal should always be to provide a fast, smooth, and engaging online experience that supports the brand’s marketing objectives and fosters positive user interactions.


In the digital age, where user experience can make or break a website’s success, deciding to optimize Core Web Vitals must be balanced with other priorities. Marketers can significantly improve site performance by addressing loading times, interactivity, and visual stability, enhancing user satisfaction, lowering bounce rates, and, ultimately, higher conversion rates. 

Focusing on key entry points like articles, pillar pages, and landing pages ensures first-time visitors have a seamless and efficient user experience, encouraging engagement and fostering long-term loyalty. While aesthetic and branding elements play a crucial role in the user’s perception of a site, they should not impede performance. Instead, the goal should be to strike a balance that delivers a visually compelling and fast-loading site. 

Businesses can gain a competitive edge in the crowded online marketplace by prioritizing Core Web Vitals, monitoring outcomes, and making data-driven optimizations. This ensures that their digital strategy aligns with user expectations and search engine requirements.

If you want to find the Core Web Vitals approach that is well balanced with other marketing priorities, COLAB can help! Our teams are well-versed in the challenges and solutions that commonly prevent high CWV scores. You can message us via our contact form, email [email protected], or call (804) 433-3582. We’re happy to help you make the right decision for your team.