The Importance of Website Speed & PageSpeed Insights

7 Min.
PageSpeed Insights
Last updated on

About a year ago, Jesus Mendes, the SEO director of Mail Online, woke up with a shock: A Google core update had caused his website - one of the world's most visited online newspapers - to lose half of its traffic. And overnight. Learn more about PageSpeed Insights, and how you can use it to uncover performance sins.

The impact on the Mail Online website was dramatic and confusing. So Jesus was forced to use the Google Search Console help to publish a contributionto ask the SEO community for advice:

Ranking Crash
The call for help in the community

His unusual and desperate call:

The day after the update of the core algorithm (June 3), we saw a massive drop in Google's search traffic (loss of 50% of daily traffic). This decrease occurred over 24 hours and we did not make any changes to the site. (...) This applies to all areas, devices, AMP and non-AMP.

The first answer to his problem was not long in coming. And she found an obvious reason for the sudden loss of traffic. As hard as it may sound, the Mail Online website was, in the words of the Search Console Help Community classified as follows:

Pure SEO crap. (...) It takes over 12 seconds to load the website.

This clearly shows that the Loading speed of the site turns out to be the culprit. Why the Daily Mail in particular has such a slow website, the answering Dave Turring enumerates on the basis of four points:

  1. The website is overloaded with advertising
  2. It is provided with so many revealing pictures of Trash News that it is almost a website for adults
  3. Each of the so-called news articles is just a picture with completely useless information
  4. Annoying autoplay videos slow down loading and create a poor user experience

In short, there is too much and too large media content, which slows down the website considerably.

Images Traffic
Still very picture-heavy: The website of "Mail Online

The underestimated factor: speed

So one of the biggest online newspapers can lose half of its data traffic overnight. And this is due to slow loading times, also known as page speed. So what chance does your website have if you have never thought about loading speed? This article will show you how to get the problem under control.

It also lists important resources to improve your page speeds and SEO rankings. Let's first look at why page speed is so important to your website.

Ebook: Measure the performance of your site like a pro

Page speed and sales

Page speed plays an important role in sales. In the past, users were patient enough to wait long enough for an image to load. While 53 percent of visitors to mobile websites now go somewhere elseif loading a website takes longer than three seconds.

Nowadays, customers are simply no longer prepared to accept long waiting times. Because there are many other places they can visit on the Internet - to get what they are looking for. A slow page speed is bad for everyone. Even the big brands find it difficult to get customers to their website when they have sites long loading times.

Digital marketing guru Neil Patel illustrated the critical importance of page speed by referring to a study conducted by Amazon. The study found that every extra second the site takes to load costs the company 1 percent of its revenue. See this video on YouTube:

YouTube

By downloading the video you accept the YouTube privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUtbm9jb29raWUuY29tL2VtYmVkLzEzak9NSmhLSVNFIiBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW49IiIgd2lkdGg9IjU2MCIgaGVpZ2h0PSIzMTUiPjwvaWZyYW1lPg==

This is especially true if your website is intended for e-commerce: the user must be able to access your website and everything they want to buy with just a few clicks. Even Amazon rarely has videos on their homepage. And the company has dedicated teams working 24 hours a day on your website.

The importance of page speed for Google rankings

The loading speed of yours site is also a ranking factor. In other words: a shorter loading time will bring your website higher up in Google search results. This means that more visitors will come to your website. The users like to surf on sites , which are loaded quickly. They also stay there longer, which improves the bounce rate.

The top positions at Google are therefore always occupied by websites that load quickly. Google has long been the No. 1 search engine, which is why its standards for websites often become the standard. The slower the page speed of your website is, the lower the chance of it reaching top positions or even a ranking at all. And we all know that most people only click on the top ten results for a search query or keyword.

An approximation to Page Speed

In recent years, Google has become much stricter in terms of the technical requirements that are placed on websites. At least if they want to get good rankings. So websites that Smartphone friendly are better rankings.

The Importance of Website Speed & PageSpeed Insights

In contrast, slow websites and those that still use HTTP instead of HTTPS in the year 2020 no longer stand a chance. It is important to remember that page speed measurements also take into account the way the website works on smartphones. If your website does not have a high page speed for mobile devices, this will also have a negative impact on search engine rankings.

The improvement of the page speed helps the Googlebots

When we talk about page speed, we are not just referring to the time it takes visitors to access a website. We also think of the speed for search engine crawlers. If the speed of your website is too slow, it will also be more difficult for the Googlebot to access your content.

This is another reason why you should work on the performance of yourssite . If you have concerns about Google's ability to access your site, you should also submit a sitemap.

Side speed becomes even more important

Google strives to provide the best possible user experience for website visitors. This means that a slower page speed on a website is likely to result in even fewer clicks and even worse rankings in the future.

Google is currently planning to introduce a corresponding labelling system for its Chrome Browser. This makes it very likely that in the future, sites that load slowly will be marked in search results. The moment this happens, sites with slow loading speeds will immediately be at a disadvantage with Chrome.

Check lateral speed withPageSpeed Insights

To help operators adapt to the growing importance of speed and get an idea of how their sites are performing, Google has developed the PageSpeed Insights created. This tool gives users a good idea of whether the main performance tuning screws have already been used and also provides some useful tips for improving your site .

PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights on special offer

How does Google rate PageSpeed?

A website evaluation is calculated by Lighthouse is executed to collect and analyze page data. Points are awarded here according to a rating system, which the performance of a website summarize. You can see this in the upper part of PageSpeed Insights:

  • 90 or more points are considered good
  • Between 50 and 90 points need improvement
  • Under 50 is bad

If you enter a URL in PageSpeed Insights , the tool tries to measure data for different states of load times. Here are some of the most important key figures that are analyzed and displayed:

  • FCP (First Contentful Paint): Stands for the time it takes websites to load a first text or image. The FCP thus indicates how long it takes for the user to interact.
  • FID (First Input Delay): This value shows how long the website takes to respond after an interaction. For example, after a click on a button.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): This value always refers to the main element of a website. For example how long it takes to load the largest image.
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): The CLS value specifies how the visual stability behaves when loading a site layout. The smaller this value is, the better the user experience.

The measured values of the different ranges are indicated by a symbol of PageSpeed Insights :

  • Green hook: Means a fast website
  • Orange circle: Stands for an average site
  • Red warning triangle: marks a slow site

If you want to find out what you need to do for GooglePageSpeed Insights , you can use the here at Google .

7 tips to improve your loading time immediately

Here are some areas you can work on to improve the loading speed of your website (and the Google PageSpeed Score). And to ensure a better user experience and better rankings.

Enable compression

Compress the size of your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files so that they are less than 150 bytes. Or use a server-side caching for WordPress .

Reducing CSS, JavaScript and HTML

Remove spaces, commas and other unnecessary characters from your code. Also delete all commands with non-uniform formatting and unused code. See these instructions for WordPress.

Reduce redirections and broken links

Reduce the number of redirections on your website as much as possible. By redirecting only sites those that have a significant number of visitors. Additionally use server redirectswhich are partly much faster.

Check your website regularly for broken links and repair or remove them completely. Learn about the tools and methods you can use to find broken links in his article.

Improve the response time of your server

Make sure that your website is protected by a suitable server hosted will. The optimal server response time is less than 200 ms. Consider switching to another server or hoster here if your current solution does not work.

Optimize images

Make sure that the images on your website are not larger than they need to be. With the right kind of compression, you can reduce file sizes significantly without noticeably changing the quality of the images. Which ones WordPress -Plugins to help you optimize your images, see in his article.

Optimize your website for all devices

Remember that not only the desktop version of your website needs to be fast. At least half of all Internet users use a smartphone, which is why Google now uses the page speed of the mobile version of a website as the basis for its ranking. So there's no way around improving the speed of the mobile version of your site if you want to get a good ranking.

Experiment with Plugins

If the architecture of your website is a bit outdated, you might want to experiment with cachingPlugins . Or use server-side caching. Installing the Amp-Plugins on your website is a good way to improve speed for mobile visitors.

It's up to you now!

We hope that these tips will give you a better understanding of performance optimization and GooglePageSpeed Insights , so that you can optimize your website and bring it to the top.

Help with optimisation

You need help with your optimization? rankingCoach is Partner of RAIDBOXES. Test the All-in-One Online Marketing App free of charge rankingCoach 360.

What questions about website speed and PageSpeed Insights do you have? Please use the comment function. Do you want to be informed about new contributions to WordPress & Performance? Then follow us on Twitteror Facebook , or subscribe to our Newsletter.

Joshua Schofield is Marketing Content Manager for rankingCoach in Cologne. For the last ten years he has worked in the areas of content creation, digital marketing and corporate education. He holds a master's degree in American history from the University of Nottingham.

Related articles

Comments on this article

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * .