What is page speed and why is it so important?

What is page speed and why is it so important?

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It seems not a day has gone by in the past 12 months that we haven’t conducted a page speed audit on behalf of our digital marketing clients.

But what exactly is page speed and why is it so important in 2021.

In a nutshell, Page Speed is the term used to refer to the time it takes to fully load and display a specific page on a website. It is as simple as that. It is important to note however, that assessing page speed is not as simple as hitting refresh and starting a stopwatch. There are far too many variables that have an influence in such a scenario including the device (desktop, mobile etc.) & internet connection (High Speed Broadband, Dial Up, 3G, 4G etc.)

Instead, there are a number of free digital tools to help you assess a pages speed such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and GTMetrix. Each of these tools not only provides you a score out of 100 or a letter based rating for the assessed page, but also a set of specific recommendations that could be carried out to improve.

Many of the recommendations made through either assessment require some digital know how. However, there are typically a number of very simple elements that may be negatively impacting your page speed such as unnecessarily large images or redundant 3rd party tools still on site. Even simple changes can start to make a big difference to your score, and it really is worth considering for those looking to succeed online.

In May 2020, Google announced their intention to include page signals as part of the organic search ranking. Following that publication, the most popular search engine in Ireland reported a 70% increase in the numbers of users using their Page speed insights tools to identify opportunities for improvement. In November the same year, they subsequently announced that page speed signals would become an organic ranking factor from May 2021, joining the existing mobile friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs & intrusive interstitial guidelines as ranking factors.

So you might ask why is page speed so important? The answer is simple.

“Your Websites Page Speed will become an organic ranking factor this month!”

How to improve your pagespeed scores?

The first port of call for improvement is to run your websites home page through Google’s Free Page Speed Insights Tool right here. This will give you a good starting point from which the only way is up.

There is likely some images on your homepage that are bigger than necessary. No, we don’t mean bigger in terms of width by height, we mean bigger in terms of file size. Excessively large image files on websites not only slow down a page speed but cost your visitors money if they download them via their mobile data. Don’t worry, if you do happen to see “Properly Size Images” recommendation in your site assessment, simply run the offending images through an online compression tool such as tinypng.com or tinyjpg.com. This will increase the compression of the image and reduce file size which you can then upload in place of your current images.

You may also see the following recommendations but unfortunately, it is likely you will need a web developer to help implement these:

1 - Remove Unused JavaScript

2 - Eliminate Render Blocking Resources

3 - Remove Unused CSS

4 - Enable Text Compression

5 - Serve Static Assets with an efficient cache policy

6 - Reduce Impact of 3rd Party Code

7 - Image Elements do not have explicit Width & Height

Contact Dmac Media Today!

All things considered, Page Speed assessments should be the cornerstone of any efficient digital managers monthly actions and vital after significant content updates to pages expected to achieve organic rank. Providing an immersive, user friendly experience in a fast efficient manner for all website visitors is essential in 2021. Search engines agree with this and are now responding in the same way and promoting those considerate of users experiences with faster loading pages to the top of their listings.

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