Google’s ranking system uses entire series of constantly-changing algorithms that analyze hundreds of factors to determine what your site is about and where it should land on the search engine results page.
While no one but Google knows the exact number of ranking factors used by Google to determine your positioning, SEO experts have been guessing and testing long enough to determine that there are three critical factors that are most important for your website:
- Secure site (https vs http)
- Mobile-friendly site
- Page speed
How fast is your website?
If you don’t know, then it’s time to find out. If it’s loading pages, links, and images quickly, great! If it’s not, then you need to take starts to ensure that it does.
Use This 1 Simple Tool to Test Your Site Speed
Google PageSpeed Insights is your one-stop-shop for determining whether or not your site speed is where it should be.
Just enter your URL, click the Analyze button, and Google does the rest, rating your site from 0-100 and giving you a breakdown of why it has received the score.
This score is generated from your PageSpeed Insight (PSI), which reports both on the performance of the page on desktop and mobile devices, also providing suggestions on how to improve page speed.
The PSI provides two types of data about the page, including:
Lab Data: useful for debugging performance issues, but not reliable for capturing real-world bottlenecks.
Field Data: useful for capturing real-world, true user experience, but with a more limited set of metrics.
You’ve Tested Your Speed. What Next?
Now that you’ve tested your website, what’s next?
If your website’s speed is on point, congratulations! Everything is functioning as it should be in order to keep your site in good standing with search engines like google.
Keep up the good work. Make sure you stay on top of website innovations that keep your site fast and visible.
But what if your website speed is lagging, dragging down your SEO value and burying your website deep into the search results?
Bummer. Your slow site could be keeping your agency from reaching its full potential.
Here are 10 reasons you might be receiving a low PSI score:
Lagging Server Response Time
Your server takes too long to respond to a request from a user's web browser. This may be caused by a web server that is improperly set up, insufficient web hosting, your website using too many resources, or receiving more web traffic than your site can handle.
Lack of Browser Caching
Web browsers have to display multiple items to each user and caching ensures a user browser will remember elements previously loaded – CSS, images, logos, etc. – thus allowing them to load much faster during later site sessions. Without a caching mechanism in place, your site will load slower than necessary for repeat visitors.
CSS Delivery Slow Down
CSS is a Cascading Style Sheet coded to style a website and improve its appearance, but it does require more time to download, hence slowing load time per page.
Landing Page Redirects
A site that is built without responsive design requires more than one redirect to point to the final URL, triggering increased HTTP requests and delaying page load time.
Uncompressed Web Files
While compression of HTML and CSS files can allow your website to load faster for users, uncompressed web files are slowing your web servers ability to deliver requests to users rapidly.
Without compressing and optimizing images prior to uploading, your site load times will increase significantly due to huge images slowing it down.
Visible Content Not Prioritized
Improperly structured page code can cause resources to render on the bottom of the page first, causing a lag in elements loading at the top of the page.
When your website code loads your page all at the same time (synchronously), the browser will assure that your page is loaded completely before moving on to another task, causing slower loading times. Asynchronous coding allows browsers to move on to other tasks thus increasing page load time.
Having a slow site will turn away potential clients and displease Google. Nobody wants that.
Make sure that users and Google are getting the best out of your website by ensuring that your site speed is where it should be at.