Optimization is the best way to improve your site's speed and search engine rankings.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) tool, which will give you a score out of 100 and list what areas need optimization. This guide will show you how to get started with PSI and help improve your scores:
1. What Is Google PageSpeed Insights?
When it comes to building a conversion rate and search engine optimized website, speed is crucial. If you don’t have a fast website, people will bounce faster than you can say “conversions.”
However, speeding up your website is no easy task. Your problem could be anything from code that’s written poorly to images or large page elements. You need to fix those issues fast, because Google will ding your website if you don’t. The faster your site loads, the lower the bounce rate. If your site is fast, you have a better chance of ranking on Google over slow sites that drive high bounce rates.
Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of your website and provides insight into areas that need improvement. It also offers suggestions to speed up your site. Simply enter the URL for your homepage, click “analyze,” and within seconds you receive a score from 1-100 along with an analysis of where you could improve page load speeds.
Google offers two tools for helping optimize pages: desktop and mobile. PC users can check their page speed on their browsers while on the go, all it takes is one tap on an Android device to run a speed test . Either way you choose, results are split into three categories each with its own score on a scale of 1-100.
Your mobile page speed score will fall into one of four categories:
Needs Improvement (50-89)
Very slow under 3G network conditions (<3G networks are common in some parts of the world). For best performance, aim for a PC desktop score of 90 or greater. Also keep in mind that if Google updates its algorithm and you don't update your site in time, you could see a drop in rankings because of increased load times.
2. Getting Started With Google PageSpeed Insights:
- Visit the Google PageSpeed Insights page
- Input your web page URL
- Click Analyze
You'll get a summary of your performance, as well as an in-depth breakdown of numerous categories, after a few seconds of analysis time. Here you will receive a list of suggestions on how to optimize your website faster. Choose the area that needs the most improvement and work from there.
3. Implementing Google PageSpeed Insights Suggestions:
Slow Load Times:
These tend to be common problems in most websites. One of the simplest things you can do is check the loading speed of your images. If you have a ton of images that are large, try running them through an optimization tool to shrink their file size without hurting quality. Some sites also contain unnecessary plugins that run on every page load and slow down performance. Look into caching your site, which could help with these slow times as well by keeping a local copy for faster retrieval from the user's browser cache.
Third Party Scripts:
Using too many scripts from external sources will not only take longer to download but will increase page-load times overall. Google suggests using fewer scripts and optimizing those already on your website .
These are all external widgets like social sharing buttons, "Follow Us" widgets and Google Maps that slow down your site. We also recommend using CDN's (Content Delivery Networks) like MaxCDN which speed up third party scripts.
Large Media Files:
Many people don't think about how large files added to their site will impact users with slower connections. The larger the file, the longer it takes to download. Users with sluggish connections may give up waiting for your site to load completely. If you're using images, try resizing them down to a smaller size so they do not take as long to load.
Another common pain point is form fields taking forever to submit or render data in the user interface. While this can't always be helped if it's part of what you are offering on your site, there are some things you can do to speed up forms and reduce strain on mobile users' internet connection speeds . One way is by adding autocomplete features wherever possible, such as when filling out email or phone number fields which are then added automatically into your text fields. Another idea is to use predictive input technology, which does not require the user to type in full names or email addresses.
Poorly Scaled Images:
When it comes to speed, images can be problematic on mobile devices if they are not optimized. Many smartphones now support high-definition screens and your users expect your website to look similar. Some things you can do are proactively reducing file size at upload time (which is what we consider resizing), using CSS Sprites , running images through an optimization tool like Kraken.io. While these may sound like overwhelming tasks, there are many plugins that handle image compression or transformation for you.
Poor Code Structure & Design:
Lastly, you want to check the code structure of your website. Here are some best practices for improving your site's speed and optimizing it so bots can index it better :
1. Minimize the number of DOM elements used on a page .
2. Keep images above-the-fold small and compressed so users aren't waiting for a huge image to load before they see anything.
3. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) from MaxCDN , Amazon S3 or other services that support web hosting to serve static assets.
To recap, here's the deal with Google PageSpeed Insights: if you have poor performance issues then you need to fix them or get ready for a drop in organic rankings. And why should we care about organic rankings?
Organic Rankings = Traffic
Traffic = Conversions (people clicking through to your site).
And here's the whole point of this article: if you want people to see your website and click on it, then keep it fast! Follow these guidelines that Google has laid out for you. If you need help making sure everything is properly optimized, check out our recommendations below. We recommend using page speed insights monitoring tool
to monitor your website scores and you can set up automated alerts so you know when your site falls below these boundaries.
The faster your site loads, the lower the bounce rate. If your site is fast, you have a better chance of ranking on Google over slow sites that drive high bounce rates.