How many of you have experienced slow loading pages while trying to connect to a website?
What is your response? Of course, you do not want to waste your precious time waiting for the site to load on your phone or, as a matter of fact, on any other gadget.
You move on to a faster website. With the enormous number of websites to choose from, you will find one where you can easily find the information you are looking for.
Taking your own experience into account, you can see what can happen to your online business if you do not pay attention to the crucial aspect: your online platform’s speed or having a good PageSpeed Insights Score.
According to research by Google, if your landing page takes more than 3 seconds to load, you are at risk of losing more than 50 percent of your potential conversions, as the bounce rate becomes more than half.
The research goes further to put forth a very critical fact that as page load time goes from 1 second to 10 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 123 percent.
Why Speed Matters
The speed at which your site loads directly impacts Google search engine optimization (SEO).
A faster loading website helps you achieve a higher ranking in Google’s Search Engine Results Page.
On the other hand, a slow landing page leads to a high bounce rate and losing on probable conversions resulting in a significant business and revenue loss.
To help you deal with this problem, Google offers a free tool, Google PageSpeed Insights.
Now that you know why the speed of your website matters, let us walk through the various aspects of this tool, such as how it works and how you can use it to identify the issues affecting your site speed.
You will also learn how to use the tool to fix and improve your website speed.
Say Hello to Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool
Almost all website owners hope to have a fast website loading speed. It is true that customers only have the patience to wait for 3-10 seconds for a website to load.
If the website does not fully load in the required time, the chances are high that customers will move away from your website. It will directly benefit your rivals.
The Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that helps test your web page speed both on mobile and desktop devices.
A score on such a tool between 90-100 shows that the website has a good loading speed. You can check your website speed too on the Google PageSpeed Insight tool.
Here, we have given an example of SSL2BUY that has achieved 100/100 score on the Google PageSpeed Insight tool. See the result in the image below.
Google PageSpeed Insight tool is a valuable tool as it analyses the issues in a web page and recommends fixes to overcome them.
SSL certificates also have a considerable impact on your website’s speed as they allow your website to utilize HTTP/2 that can reduce site loading time.
To check the website speed, you have to type the URL of your mobile or desktop page and click on “Analyze.”
PageSpeed Insights prepares a complete report of your web page speed based on two significant evaluations:
- Time to above-the-fold load is the page’s time to display the fold’s content after the user makes a new request.
- Time to full page load is the browser’s time to fully render the page after the user’s request.
The report contains PageSpeed Insights (PSI) Score ranging from 0 to 100 points. A score of 90 plus indicates that the page’s performance is good. The report contains components that are slowing down your pages and solutions to fix them.
How Does PageSpeed Insights Work?
The PSI runs Lighthouse, an automated tool, to collect and analyze ‘Lab Data’ and ‘Field Data’ for a web page.
Lab data is collected under controlled conditions, highlights performance-related issues with the web page, and helps fix such issues.
On the other hand, field data collects real-world data, which helps to reflect all the critical issues faced by users when loading the page that might prevent users from converting.
The web page’s performance score is calculated out of 100, based on many metrics such as ‘First contentful paint’ and first meaningful paint.
The performance score is color-coded to reflect different categories of performance as mentioned below:
- Red (Poor Score): 0-49
- Orange (Average): 50-89
- Green (Good): 90-100
The opportunities section gives you recommendations to improve your page loading time, PageSpeed Insights Score, and the estimated reduction load time reduction you will gain from these recommendations.
How to use PageSpeed Insights:
- Browse the PageSpeed Insights Tool
- Enter the URL of a web page, which need not be necessarily the root domain or homepage. After the PGI tool calculates the scores and recommendations, the following is displayed.
Please keep in mind that the default performance scores served are for mobile. Use the tab at the top left-hand side of the page to switch to desktop view.
How to Improve Your PageSpeed Insights Score?
Now that we have learned much about the Google PageSpeed Insights Score, let us now learn about the most widely recommended actions that will significantly impact achieving a high PageSpeed Insights Score.
Focus on Server Response Time
The time it takes the server to start loading your page requested by the user defines the server response time.
The factors that can improve the speed of server response time are either by reducing the load on the web pages of the website or by having good hardware specifications such as doing away with memory limitations and slow routing.
But the most significant factor affecting the speed of the server response time depends on your web hosting provider’s speed and reliability.
Some cheap bargains may land you up with slow speeds and higher downtimes during rush hours.
It is therefore advisable to choose a reputable web hosting provider to ensure that your site performs smoothly and with high speed.
Do Away with Redirects
Having Multiple redirects only forces the browser to add HTTP requests, add on to the load time, and slow down the web pages.
So, avoiding redirects totally by focusing on a responsive design for web pages optimized for different devices will surely enhance user experience.
Use Browser Caching
Cashing works by making your browser store some aspects of your site that have been recently loaded.
Every time the user makes a request, the elements cashed by the browser need not be loaded, reducing the loading time of the page considerably.
One of the most common reasons for slow loading time and slow page speed is the non-optimization of images.
Since images take up a lot of resources to download, it becomes imperative to optimize these images. The image optimization can be achieved by using the following measures.
- Compressing the image size using various tools without compromising on its quality. A compressed image will take less time to download than a heavier image.
- You must size up your images to their display size rather than having them larger than they are required to be, as the browser will first have to download a larger image and then display it as a smaller size, unnecessarily causing an added load time.
- Using a content delivery network distributes the server load over different geographical locations. Using the server closest to the user reduces the load time.
- Usingimage file formats like JPEG over PNG can save you some load time.
Use SEMrush Site Audit as an Alternative to PageSpeed Insights
SEMrush is an ideal SEO analyzer tool that can use an alternative to Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
It helps to optimize internal linking as such links enhance the site’s navigation, crawlability, and website index.
SEMrush also identifies the issue with Robots.txt that can impact a website’s crawlability. This tool also identifies and fixes site performance issues.
It also directs Google about canonical pages of a particular website. A report regarding crawls and progress shows warnings and errors of a site that have been fixed. If there is any HTTPS implementation mistake, the SEMrush tool will find and fix it.
It is important to remember that trying to achieve a 100/100 Google PageSpeed Insights Score is not an accurate indicator of your load time.
Incorporating significant changes that give you a high-performance score and focusing on the good practices to reduce your website loading time will surely place you ahead of your competition.
Ranking high in Google search engine results page helps you achieve a higher conversion rate and will put your business on a fast track to growth.