Find out how Google ranks your website page speeds & how it affects you

Understanding your website is the key to it’s success. Finding out your strengths and weaknesses will allow you take a focused approach to improving your website.

If you’re interested in how Google see’s your website, using their tools is a great way to understand the inner workings of Google and maybe even give you an idea of how your website can be ranked over others.

After all, a slow website will have a higher bounce rate* and lower average time users spend on that website or page.

Google uses many factors in ranking your website, from offering mobile friendly websites, to keyword relevancy and also, you guessed it, website speed is one of them! Google focuses on websites that offer the best user experience and produces the results it thinks is most relevant website for the users search term.

What to consider when designing a website for speed

When designing a website you should not only consider how the website functions and looks but also how well it’s optimised for all devices. That in short means optimising images and compressing code as much as you can to ensure that your websites page speeds are quicker. Your website hosting can also have a huge affect how how well your website performs and gets scored. So always choose a trusted and reliable hosting provider.

Discover how your website does in the test: Find out your page speed scores here

Please note that you will need to repeat the process for each page of your website to ensure that all pages are running at optimum speed.

So, you’ve got your results, but what does it all mean?

What do your scores mean?

Your website is scored out of 100. The closer to 100 you get, the better optimised your website is. You’re given a score for both mobile and desktop as these are ranked separately. If you’re running in the reds or yellows, then it’s best to take a look at the results below to find out where the issues are coming from. But, if you’re in the green and your website is scoring 80+ then your website is well optimised and may only need a couple of tweaks to increase it even further.

There are a few terms that are mentioned in the test. I’ve gone through each of these to give you a simple explanation of each. If you wish to know more info, feel free get in contact.

Enable Compression

If this is displaying for you, it’s likely that you will need to look into gzip compression (find out if your website is using gzip Check GZIP compression). This can reduce the transfer size by around 90% so it’s definitely worth taking a look at. There are different ways to apply this depending on the type of server that you’re on. Google offer some great advise directly on their website here.

Minify CSS, HTML & JavaScript

This is referring to simplifying the code on your website to run faster, removing all the unnecessary characters from the code whilst keeping the functionality.

If you’re running a WordPress website you can run plugins that take care of this for you. Although, please seek professional advice or make a back up before doing this as there is a risk it could break your website. 

Optimize images

Images can create a large drag on your website. The larger the image file size, the longer it takes to load.

There are a number of things you can do to reduce this:

  1. Saving the image the exact size that you want (for example loading a 1000x1000px image for your favicon is going to unnecessarily large as it only displays at 32×32 maximum to display in a browser.
  2. Using a website plugin or using TinyPNG to compress your images to the smallest file size, whilst maintaining good quality web images.

For professional assistance on optimising your website speed then feel free to get in contact with me at scott@scottpearson.co.uk, calling 07584 356 745 or contacting via the contact form.

Reduce Redirects

Every time a page redirects to another webpage, you face additional waiting time for a response from the other webpage before the website continues to load. This could be if you’re redirect to a mobile site (i.e m.domain.co.uk)

Leverage browser caching

Your browser caches* a lot of information, such as stylesheets, images and JavaScript etc. So that when that visitor arrives at your website again, it loads a lot faster as it already has the information it needs to display certain aspects of your website. You can manually set your expiration for that you want browsers to hold that information for. A recommended time is one year unless your website is updated frequently.

 

Render-blocking JavaScript

Your web browser has to build a DOM tree by parsing HTML before that page can then be rendered. Meaning that if your website has external blocking scripts this could delay the browser until the JavaScript can be fetched and executed. 

 

Improve server response time

Your server response times can be affected by the amount of traffic your website is receiving, the size of each page, the software your server is using and also the type of hosting you are using. Ensure that you have optimised each page and followed the steps above to reduce speeds, but also ensure that you have adequate resources (memory) allocated for your website. Your server response time should be at 200ms. 

We offer high speed hosting solutions for your website. Enquire about them here

 

Other tests to consider:

GT Metrix
Pingdom

Glossary

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors of your website navigate away from your website after viewing only one page.

Cache – The cache store information about your website, such as styles, images and JavaScript to allow your website to run faster if you visit that website again in the future.

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