Every individual at one time or another has experienced the frustrating anticipation of waiting for your computer or cell phone to load, only to give up and decide to try again another time. This annoying issue is due to the website’s page speed.
What is page speed? According to MOZ, it “can be described in either ‘page load time’ (i.e., the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or ‘time to first byte’ (i.e., how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server)”.
One overlooked Google ranking factor that many websites fail to optimize for is page speed. An article from Afrefs states that, “Page speed has been a ranking factor since 2010 when it affected one percent of desktop search queries. That changed in 2018 when Google extended the ranking factor to mobile searches.” The goal of optimizing your website for page speed is to make sure your site loads fast enough so it doesn’t negatively affect the user experience.
The next question you may have is, “how fast is that?” According to Google, “mobile pages should display content to users in under three seconds and that the time to first byte (TTFB) should be under 1.3 seconds.” They also say, “the total size of a mobile web page should be less than 500kb.”
The experts here at Aronson use a couple different tools to check and monitor our clients’ website page speed, not only because it’s a Google ranking factor but also because we want to provide the best user experience possible. Aronson Advertising checks their clients speed reports in Google Search Console. This tool shows which of our clients pages load slowly on desktop and mobile, while giving us a starting point of where we can begin to optimize our clients websites.
You can also evaluate your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. According to Google, “PageSpeed Insights (PSI) reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.”
What steps can you take to optimize your site in order to improve page speed? Below are some of the many ways to increase your page speed:
Reduce Website Redirects
A redirect is a server or client site automatically forwarding from one URL or page to another. Each time a page redirects to another page, your user faces additional time waiting for the HTTP response to completely load and become visible to the user.
Improve Serving Site
Your server response time is directly affected by the amount of traffic your site receives, the resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting solution you use. Moz recommends, “To improve your server response time, look for performance bottlenecks like slow database queries, slow routing, or a lack of adequate memory and fix them. The optimal server response time is under 200ms.”
One of the easiest ways to increase your page speed is to optimize your images before you push your page live. For instance, make sure that your images are no larger than they need have to be, and that they are in the right file format for your content management system. Moz tip, “(PNGs are generally better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEG format is generally better for photographs)”.