Blog
James Carr

Google’s recent announcement regarding Interaction to Next Paint (INP) marks a significant shift in Core Web Vitals (CWV) metrics, replacing the original First Input Delay (FID) metric.

Like FID, understanding and optimising INP will be crucial for maintaining a positive user experience and potentially influencing your search engine rankings. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about INP and how to enhance it.

What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?

In its simplest definition, INP measures how quickly a website responds to user interactions, such as clicking a button. As mentioned in my previous blog post, INP is being introduced to replace FID, as a more accurate measure of website performance and a key indicator of good user experience.

Unlike FID, which only measures the delay after the first input, INP measures ALL interactions on the page and reports the slowest result—giving you a more comprehensive view on your website’s performance.

Does INP impact search rankings?

Yes, it does! Google has confirmed that CWV, including INP, can affect your search engine rankings. Websites with better INP scores are likely to rank higher, emphasising the importance of optimising this metric.

Of course, CWV isn’t the be all and end all of rankings, so merely passing these metrics may not be enough to make your site rank—but it’s a step in the right direction.

Monitoring INP in Google Search Console

The best way to find out how your website is performing against INP is to take a look at the CWV report in Google Search Console. This report offers a detailed view of INP values across different pages on your website, helping you to identify exactly how many pages need improvement.

By using Google Search Console, you can monitor INP scores and identify pages which need optimisation, not only for INP, but for the other CWV metrics too. Checking this report and regularly making improvements to your site will help to enhance user experience, as well as overall website performance.

Improving INP Scores

To improve INP scores, first you need to understand what might be contributing to any poor results. Most INP issues can be broken down into three components:

  • Input delay: Background tasks that delay a browser’s response to user interactions.
  • Processing time: Optimisation of JavaScript code and CPU task scheduling.
  • Presentation delay: Time taken to update the page layout and display new content.

Tools like Chrome DevTools’ Performance tab offer insights into CPU processing during user interactions. This shows you how long they take and which elements were responsible for the results, helping you to know how best to optimise website performance. The data can be a little tricky to understand, so having a developer involved in the process is highly recommended.

If you work with an SEO specialist, they should be able to help you identify the issues affecting your site, although developer resources may be required to shed more light on the best way to address the problem.

After making improvements, you can use Search Console to monitor the changes. Be aware that data is aggregated over 28 days, so it might take some time to see the full effects of your changes.

What’s next?

Much like when CWV were first introduced, the change from FID to INP is going to take some getting used to, and require a lot of hard work to get right. However, by understanding the metrics and making optimisations as required, there’s no reason you can’t improve your user experience and boost your site’s ranking potential at the same time.

Want some help? Our team of SEO specialists have loads of experience in managing CWV metrics. They’re dedicated to making sure our clients’ websites are optimised to deliver a fantastic user experience. Talk to us today to see how we can help you achieve the same results for your site!  

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