A user’s experience determines the conversion rate for every campaign or strategy and every campaign leads back to a landing page or website. Research has shown that the faster your page speed is, the higher your conversions. Because a page with fast load time connotes smooth transition across webpages and in the long run provides a positive user experience.
Let’s be real, if your page takes time to load, a lot of visitors will abandon it and find an alternative. So proper page speed optimization is essential if you want leads to keep going through your sales funnel and come out as customers.
In a bid to find ways to track how fast a page is to your users, I’ll be showing you how to track your page speed and improve them using Google PageSpeed insights. At the end of this post, you’ll know how to move up your score to 100%.
Google PageSpeed Insights Tool
Since there’s an important need to improve load-time speed for pages, Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a tool that helps you figure out and resolve the reasons why your pages are slow. Using this tool, you can test the speed of a particular page on your website. It analyzes the entire front-end of that page and offers you suggestions for page optimization.
Google PageSpeed Insights works using a website rating system. It does this by grading a website’s speed on a scale of 100. Anything from 85 indicates an okay to good page speed.
Here’s how a typical page rating system is displayed;
0-49 (Red which is poor)
50-89 (Yellow which signifies average)
90-100 (Green which connotes good)
Here’s an example of what your score looks like on Google PageSpeed Insights
You’d see that this is an above-average score, but it can do a lot more better. Plus, no matter how low your Google PageSpeed Insight scores are, you’d get suggestions on how to make it better. However, scoring a 100 means perfection and that’s what I’ll be showing you how to achieve.
Also, the results are usually both mobile and desktop reports. So you’d know how responsive each variation is.
Initially, interpreting scores were kind of a bit of work. The results and suggestions were difficult and nearly impossible to get. However, the latest lighthouse update focuses solely on the results you get, improving user experience and conversion rates. So it makes it easier to understand and implement these solutions.
Why Your Page Speed is Important
Before delving into the specifics on how to use Google PageSpeed Insights tool, you need to understand why your page speed is an important factor in building your brand.
First off, it’s one of the keys to getting your website on top of Google’s search engine rankings. Lets’s see how this works. Usually, the first-page results on Google for any query are perceived to be the best results. And they all have two things in common; a great page speed and low bounce rates.
The correlation between this two is that once a webpage is fast, visitors tend to spend time viewing the content which significantly reduces bounce rate. However, when a page speed is poor, visitors immediately leave looking for better results thereby increasing your bounce rate.
To help understand what the acceptable first page results look like, Google released its industry benchmarks. One of which includes having a load time of 3 seconds. So, your page speed is important because it helps you rank high on search engine results.
Another reason why your page speed is important is increasing your conversion rate. As earlier highlighted in this post, the faster page speed you have, the more interest your visitors have in your brand. Plus when there’s a great user experience, your conversion rates greatly improve which translates to an increase in your revenue. The cost per page view on your website or blog doubles when you optimize your page speed.
How to Use Google PageSpeed Insights
Knowing how important your page speed is, is the first step towards getting the best page speed. However, accepting that your site needs evaluation and optimization gets you a step closer to achieving a 100% on Google PageSpeed.
Now a number of reasons can slow down your page speed. It could be your images or some technical underlying issues. Either way, analyzing your page helps you clearly see what is wrong and how you can optimize it for future speed tests. The best tool for the job is the Google PageSpeed Insights tool and here’s how to use it;
- On the PageSpeed Insights Tool, enter your URL into the navigation bar
- Click on ‘Analyze’ for a scan and test
- You’ll get a thorough report on all the errors and improvements for your site.
You could choose to use the mobile testing version on PageSpeed Insights, however, there’s an updated version that gives better comprehensive results.
- Use the test my site tool and enter your URL.
- You’ll get a comprehensive report on your mobile page speed.
At the end of each diagnosis, your page insights will look a little like this. However, remember that results vary for different pages and that’s because each page has different touchpoints.
Five (5) Ways to Get The Perfect Google PageSpeed Insights Score
Ready to get that score from red or yellow all the way to green? Here are some of the methods you should employ when building or optimizing your webpages;
1. Minify the HTML, CSS and JS
Poor coding habits can cause major damage to your site page speed especially when there’s a lot of redundant code or unnecessary scripts. Minifying helps remove these unnecessary blocks and leaves the code functioning just the same. What this means is after minifying, the browsers still read and process the webpage, the same way. Only that this time, due to how lighter your page has become, it will load faster.
Remember, the lesser code you have, the lesser load-time browsers will need on your page. This is why minifying is a great way to improve your page speed.
2. Eliminate all post-click landing page redirects
When there’s a lot of unresponsive pages on your website, there’ll be a lot of redirects to responsive pages. For every redirect on your page, additional seconds are added to the load time. And the goal is to cut down the load time to 3 seconds not add to it.
The only way to avoid all these multiple round trips that’ll penalize your page speed is by building only responsive pages. This includes webpages, landing pages, and post-click landing pages. You don’t want it to take forever for a form to be submitted.
Fortunately, all pages built using Funneljoy are optimized and responsive on all devices. So to avoid slow page speed, use building tools that’ll assure you of landing pages that won’t redirect your visitors. That’s creating a better user experience.
3. Improve your server response time
Your server response time is what goes on behind the query your user makes. It is the amount of time used to begin loading a result for your visitor. Now due to a number of factors, this response time could be slowed down. One of which is poor hosting.
When you use hosting on a shared server, the downside is that during high traffic, it tends to slow down your page speed and load time. So to avoid downtime amongst other negative user experience, try to invest in proper hosting packages that can load your entire content as fast as possible.
Other causes of a slow server response time could include; numerous database query especially big data, poor memory or resource CPU, frameworks and routing.
4. Compress all your images
Usually, the graphics of a site takes up a large percentage of its weight. When you combine the size of headers, logos, favicons, and images, it easily sums up a significant amount of page size. If these images are all let’s say roughly 2MB each, it adds up to the time a page has to load. Because all these elements have to load as well.
To save data, you might want to cut down on the number of images present on your page. Ensure that all those graphic elements are necessary for converting your visitors. When you’ve ascertained this, start cutting down on the sizes. A page with optimized images has been said to improve page speed by 50%.
Optimize each image present on your page. An example is swapping a PNG file for a JPEG. This is because JPEG’s are usually smaller in size and hold the same quality. If you can’t find an alternative JPEG, you can use a number of image compressors to reduce the size of your file. Google’s Guetzli is a great image compressor to try out.
5. Use Browser Caching
On the backend, a lot of requests goes to the server before a browser can fully load a page. From getting the requests to loading every image, code and content on your site. Within this period, time, of course, passes by. And for every time that page is visited, it goes over the same process again.
Through caching, you’re reminding the browser to keep certain elements of a page that have been loaded recently. These elements could be images, logo, a navigation option and the rest. So the next time that browser tries to load the page, it takes a lesser time because it automatically recognizes the cache elements and moves on to load other elements on your page.
To use browser caching, there are several available plugins for that. Simply, install them on your content management system and that’s all there is to it. One of the most popular cache plugins available is the W3 Total Cache.
Now that you know what to do to improve your page speed, let me know what your insight scores are in the comment section below. Remember the diagnostics you get are suggestions on what you can do to improve your current score. Keep implementing them and see the difference with each test.