What is page speed?
Simply put, page speed is about how long a visitor has to wait before she can use your web page. The faster the page is visible and usable, the better. Page speed affects your user experience and your rankings in Google.
Various metrics help you understand the performance of a page. As an SEO, you need to understand this concept. This guide explains all the details about measuring and improving page speed.
Measuring Pagespeed and Core Web Vitals
Page speed can be measured using various tools, like Google Pagespeed Insights. This article explains how to make sense of these reports.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS is one of the Core Web Vitals. What does that mean? And how can you improve it?
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest Contentful Paint or LCP is one of the Core Web Vitals. What does that mean? And how can you improve it?
Images and Pagespeed
Images can have a big negative effect on the performance of your page. If you use them correctly, you can have a fast performing page with beautiful images.
Browser caching and pagespeed
Leveraging browser caching is easy to do, and can give your site a big performance boost. This article tells you how to set up caching.
Compression and Pagespeed
Enabling Gzip or Brotli compression on your server can speed up your loading times. This article explains why and how, and let's you check if compression is abled.
Preloading and prefetching
Using Pagespeed Insights, you may see hints like Preconnect to required origins or Preload key requests. Implementing these recommendations doesn't take much time and has a positive impact on performance.
Page speed as a ranking factor
The exact impact of page speed on rankings in Google has long been a source of discussion for SEOs. Already in 2010, Google hinted at including page speed in its rankings. In 2018, Google announced that speed is a ranking factor for mobile searches. In May 2020, Google took this one step further and introduced the Core Web Vitals: three metrics related to website performance and user experience that affect rankings as of May 2021.
Although Google never discloses how much page speed affects rankings, you can be sure that a fast loading page tends to rank higher - all else being equal.
Page speed on mobile devices
The increasing use of smartphones only increases the need for a fast loading website. The fact that Google now uses Mobile First Indexing makes mobile page performance extra relevant.
Page speed and User Experience
The beauty of optimizing your page speed is that it doesn't just help SEO. It also directly benefits your visitors. Fast loading web pages greatly improve the user experience of your visitors. The recently introduced Web Vitals focus on just that: it's not just a number in a report: it represents the actual experience of your real-world visitors.
Page speed and conversion rate
Consulting firm Deloitte estimated the impact of page speed improvements on the bottom line. In their research, they found that reducing the load time by 0.1 seconds could increase conversion between 8% and 10%. Now that's a number that helps to convince your clients to take performance seriously.
Improving page speed
Improving page speed starts with diagnosing what the issue is. Slow page performance can have various reasons, so you'll first need to find out what goes wrong. In the article about measuring page speed and web vitals, we'll explain to you how to find the underlying issue.
- Slow server response times
- Large, suboptimal images
- Too many redirects
- And many more
This guide will take you through each of them, and explain how to improve website performance.