Pagespeed insights Improve Website Speed, your website has a direct impact on SEO and conversion rates. Not taking the time to make improvements can be a costly mistake.
There is a real need for speed, and Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool is a fantastic resource to help you find and fix issues that could be slowing your site down.
Understand how to use the PageSpeed test, how it works, and how to speed up your site using the recommendations. Plus, learn the truth behind a couple of common myths before your competitors do.
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What is Speed Matters
There is an expectation for the web to be fast. As far back as 2010, Google confirmed page speed as a ranking factor. Then, it “was focused on desktop searches,” until a specific mobile PageSpeed update rolled out in July 2018. While speed is one of more than 200 ranking factors, none of us want to unnecessarily lose business. Especially for something usually within our control. In fact, SEO blog Backlinko analyzed 1 million Google search results and found “a strong correlation between site speed and Google rankings.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website’s performance and see suggestions on how to make it better.
In fact, it’s arguably the most popular page speed analysis tool out there, so it’s worth your time.
You’re probably wondering, ‘how can I get a 100/100 score with PageSpeed Insights?’ Slow down. First, you need to know how to use the tool properly and how to implement the suggestions it makes. Otherwise, you might not see those performance gains that can make such a difference to your site. It’s also important to understand what PageSpeed is and what it isn’t.
How Does Work PageSpeed Insights ?
PagesSpeed Insights tool is powered by Lighthouse and provides both ‘lab data’ and ‘field data’ for a page.‘Lab data’ is collected in a controlled environment when scanning a page and is a great way to identify performance issues and find solutions for fixing these. ‘Field data’, on the other hand, is collected from real-world performance data when users load your page. Some of the problems and apparent bottlenecks that make it harder for your real visitors to convert can show up here.
In short, the tool shows you a performance score out of 100. However, the performance metric results used to calculate this are not weighted equally. Instead, things like ‘first contentful paint’ (the first time something a user can see shows up) have a larger effect.
- 3x – first contentful paint.
- 1x – first meaningful paint.
- 2x – first CPU idle.
- 5x – time to interactive.
- 4x – speed index.
- 0x – estimated input latency.
But you won’t see any of that. You will see a reported performance score and a color that depends on which score bucket it falls into. It is reported as:
- Red (poor score): 0-49
- Orange (average): 50-89
- Green (good): 90-100
How to Improve Your PageSpeed Insights Score
Try the recommended actions (or best practices) and starting points below; they are the most commonly seen issues and have the biggest impact upon improvements.
Image optimization is perhaps one of the most common reasons why a web page has a slow load time and often the best place to start making improvements, as the increases on both load time and PageSpeed can be significant. Especially when there is a number of people responsible for uploading content or adding products, it is hard to maintain strict standards for images, and problems can quickly mount up.
Images take a lot of resources to download, and they are often not properly optimized. The two main areas where you can make improvements by optimizing images are:
- The disk size of an image.
- Displayed size vs. the actual image size in pixels.
- Deferring offscreen image loading.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN).
- Using next-gen images.
First Contentful Paint (FCP)
While FCP is shown in the ‘field data’ report, it is based on an emulated analysis from Lighthouse, rather than real-world data.
First Meaningful Paint
The lower the first meaningful paint score for your site or webpage, the faster the page displays the content on it. In simple terms, this shows when a page’s main content was displayed on the screen and is a great way to determine a user’s loading experience.
The speed index metric shows how quickly the content of a page becomes visible, with lower scores indicating better performance.
First CPU idle
This reports on when most, but perhaps not all, elements of a page are interactive and when the page is able to respond to most user inputs without excessive delay.
Time to Interactive (TTI)
TTI measures how quickly a page becomes interactive. Optimizing visibility over interactivity can be frustrating for users. Hence the importance of fully understanding and measuring when a page displaying useful content has responded within 50 milliseconds.
Max Potential First Input Delay
Remember FID on the ‘field data’ report? For ‘lab data’, this is reported as max potential first input delay and shows the duration of the longest task after FCP that could be experienced by users.
PageSpeed Good Score?
Even if you aren’t achieving 100/100, you can still have a fast-loading site. Remember, PageSpeed, on its own, isn’t a direct indicator of load time.
The likelihood is that you may never reach a perfect score, despite making drastic improvements that positively impact the load time of your site. Focus your efforts and resources where they make the most sense. As stated by WordPress hosting platform Kinsta, “getting a 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t actually that important.” It is often cited as a common myth that you need to score 100/100 for your site to perform well.
Start to Improve Your Site’s Speed?
There is no ignoring the importance of having a site that loads quickly, and hopefully, you are a little clearer on what Google’s PageSpeed insights tool is, what it is not, and how it works, as well as how to approach improving your site’s speed.
It is often hard knowing where to start, but by taking the time to understand where you can have the biggest impact, you can start to work with your developers to put in place a prioritized plan of action and turn things around
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