Page Speed: What is it and why should you care?

In online marketing, page speed is one of the most important metrics to keep your eye on. Page speed impacts your conversion rate, time spent on site, bounce rate, pages per visit, and more. There are a lot of factors that can decrease your web page load time.

Before we get into these factors, let’s first define “what is page speed?”

What is page speed?

Page speed is the time it takes for your web page to load fully. The faster your website loads, the better. This metric combines various elements loading on your website, such as images, videos, graphics, CSS, HTML, Javascript, and server response time.

website page speed

Is Page Speed Important for Mobile?

Yes. With a large portion of internet usage coming from mobile devices on cellular networks, your website should load quickly for users using the slowest networks.

Optimizing your site for the lowest common denominator will improve your time spent on site, bounce rate, website ranking, customer experience, and ultimately customer conversion rate.

Read more: Does your website need to be mobile friendly?

What is a good Google page speed score?

A good Google page speed score is relative. Ideally, you want to be “in the green.” However, when using the Google Page Speed measurement tool, you’ll notice that the score measures more than page speed. Google calls this their “performance score.”

Understanding your score’s performance

The metrics scores and the performance score are colored according to these ranges:

  • 0 to 49 (red): Poor
  • 50 to 89 (orange): Needs Improvement
  • 90 to 100 (green): Good

Ideally, you want to be “in the green”

largest contentful paint- page speed

The ideal page speed score

To provide a good user experience, your website should strive to have a good score (90-100). Don’t get caught up because you don’t have a perfect score. Achieving a perfect score is almost impossible, and it’s not needed or expected.

How your Performance score is weighted

Your performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores listed in the table below. The more “weight” a metric has, the more significant its impact on your overall score.

  • First Contentful Paint 10%
  • Speed Index 10%
  • Largest Contentful Paint 25%
  • Time to Interactive 10%
  • Total Blocking Time 30%
  • Cumulative Layout Shift 15%

Related: What is domain authority?

Does page speed affect SEO?

Yes! Page speed is one of the many ranking factors that Google considers when assigning SERPs. This has been made even more apparent since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update.

Website speed can also indirectly affect your rankings by increasing bounce rate, time spent on site, and whether or not a visitor leaves your site, goes back to the search results, and clicks on another link.

How to improve page load speed

Improving page speed might seem like a daunting task; however, there are a few quick things you can do to increase your page speed.

  1. Optimize your images. This is the most obvious and easy way to increase your page speed. Simply compress your images, so they have a smaller file size. You can easily do this using a WordPress plugin called WP Smush.
  2. Serve your images in next-gen formats.  Replace all the images on your site with .wepb or .avif files. These formats allow much more compression and will dramatically help you decrease your page load time. You can use a free tool like the free JPEG to WEBP Converter to accomplish this.
  3. Enable browser caching: This saves a website’s pieces onto your hard drive. If you’re browsing multiple pages on a site or visiting the same pages multiple times, you’re likely seeing a cached version of that page. If you’re using WordPress, we highly recommend WP Rocket.
  4. Improve server response time. This is not something you have control over unless you have the physical server in your building. The next best thing is to choose a better web host. We highly recommend using CrocWeb, which is run on LiteSpeed servers.
  5. Defer or combine your unused CSS, HTML, and Javascript. Fortunately for WordPress users, there’s a great plugin that allows you to do this quickly & efficiently called WP Rocket.
  6. Reduce the amount of plugins you’re using. If you’re a WordPress user, there’s a good chance you’re using way too many plugins. Disable any plugins you don’t absolutely need, or find one plugin that can perform the task of multiple plugins.

See our list of 5 Free WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Website

How to test page load speed

Testing your page load speed is quick and easy. Use one of the two tools below to check your page load speed.

PageSpeed Insights

google page speed insights

This is Google’s page speed tool, and is the only page speed testing tool you need to use. This tool allows you to see detailed analysis and recommendations from loading your site in a simulated environment.

GTMetrix

gt metrix page speed tester

If you’re more of a visual individual, you’ll love GTMetrix. It pulls almost the exact same information as Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool; however, it displays them using visually appealing graphs, charts, and color-coded performance metrics.

How to check page speed in Google Analytics

page speed in google analytics

Checking your page speed in Google Analytics has never been easier. Simply follow the instructions below to find your page speed in Google Analytics.

Once you’re signed in to Google Analytics, navigate to “Behavior” on the left-hand panel, and click on “Overview.” This will allow you to see your page speed in a variety of different browsers.

If you’re looking for individual page speed load times, you can click the next option on the left-hand panel under Behavior called “Page Timings.” Here you will find the individual average loading time for the highest visited pages on your website.

What are Core Web Vitals?

core-web-vitals-scores page speed

In short, Core Web Vitals measure your page’s overall user experience. CWVs are a subset of factors that are a part of Google’s “page experience” score.

Let’s explore the different metrics that make up Core Web Vitals.

First Contentful Paint  

This is how quickly your website displays anything, including text or images.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is how long it takes for the largest element on your website to load.

Time to Interactive

The amount of time it takes for your website to be fully interactive.

Speed Index

How quickly the contents of your page are displayed visually.

Total Blocking Time

This is the time between First Contentful Paint and Time to Interactive.

Cumulative Layout Shift

Your website shouldn’t “shift” once it’s interactive. An example of this is when you’re about to click on a photo or link and the site shifts and you end up clicking on an ad.

Related: Looking for SEO Tools to speed up your site? Check out our list of SEO Tools here.

Improve page load speed Infographic

How to improve website speed infographic

Originally published . Last updated .

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