What Is Website Page Speed And Why Does It Matter?

Speed is becoming an increasingly important feature of a web page. If it takes five seconds for a page to load then it’s more than likely that the impatient visitor won’t be waiting around. They’ll simply go back and click on a competitors page instead.

The unforgiving, modern user is inundated with a multitude of sites, ready to solve their problem in the most effective way possible. It’s for this reason that page speed should be a top priority.


It’s not only the user that requires pages to load quickly. Google has made loading speed a key factor for ranking.


What is page speed?


Put simply, the page speed of an individual page is the speed at which it loads on your website. Different pages within the same website can all have different speeds. This can be due to a wide variety of different factors such as scripts, images, and other forms of multimedia. On the one hand, factors such as the server’s performance, the connection type and how the user is using your site may be out of your hands. However, there are certain things that are within your control that you can modify in order to try and improve your load time. We’ll come back to this later.


Page Speed and Google


In case you were wondering, page speed is a direct factor and should therefore be part of any initial SEO strategy. Another thing to consider, is that page speed can also impact rankings indirectly. A painfully slow loading landing page is more than likely to have a high bounce rate.


Since users don’t tend to stick around if loading time is any more than three seconds, Google probably won’t like serving your site up to searchers if your loading time is any higher than this. Speed is measured in seconds, but Google also provides a tool that gives you a points score between 1 and 100.


What is Google PageSpeed Insights


In order to help website publishers with their site performance optimizations, Google brought out a family of tools, known as Google PageSpeed. The family consists of four key components:


PageSpeed Module – Also known as Mod-pagespeed, this is an open-source Apache HTTP Server that automatically applies chosen filters to pages and associated assets.


PageSpeed Insights – The online tool that helps to focus on identifying and utilizing best performance practices on websites. It gives a website a score which rates a web page’s performance, giving it a score between 1 and 100. It makes recommendations on how to improve a site’s optimization, and also comes up with ways to improve the speed of a site. You can access the tool through any browser.


PageSpeed Service – Intended to be a commercial product, but was turned off by Google back in 2015.


PageSpeed Chrome DevTools – An extension of the chrome browser.


How to improve your load time


Here are the top tips for improving your load time:

1. Optimize images – It’s often the case that oversized images are a great hindrance when it comes to page speed. When creating a new site, it’s important to reduce images before publishing. In the majority of cases, a super-high resolution isn’t needed.


2. Using Gzip compression – The ability to use Gzip compression depends on whether your web host utilizes Gzip on its servers. If it does, then it can be an excellent way to reduce file sizes without impacting quality.


3. Eliminate unnecessary redirects – While redirects can be an extremely useful tool that allow you to change your site without being penalized by the likes of Google, over-using redirects can slow your site down, since they add another link to the chain that reduces efficiency.


4. Cache – Utilizing plugins that cache the most recent version of the pages on your site ensures that browsers don’t need to keep on generating a page whenever a visitor opens it up. This is something that helps to reduce loading time.


Focusing on page speed and improving loading time must become a key component of any SEO strategy. Not only are you improving your rank in Google, but you’re also improving your conversion rate, reducing your bounce rate, and captivating new site visitors.

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