April 23, 2019 ByCheryl Dykstra
The web is moving faster than ever – literally, according to
Google announced that it would be releasing its official
Google Speed Update back in July 2018, and since then they’ve seen some drastic
changes. After Google gave site owners notice of the update in January of 2018,
Google saw that that the slowest one-third of traffic had performance metrics
improve by 15% to 20% in 2018. In contrast, it saw zero improvements in 2017.
That’s a pretty vast improvement for a lot of low preforming
websites. But why does it matter?
What is Page Speed?
Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your
Page speed can be described in either "page load
time" (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page)
or "time to first byte" (how long it takes for your browser to
receive the first byte of information from the web server).
Page speed is a huge part of the user experience of your
website. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and
lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively
Page speed is also one of the many, many signals that Google
uses in its algorithm to rank pages in its search results.
What was the Speed
The Google Speed Update was first announced in January 2018
as a way to reduce the rankings of very slow mobile pages in the search
results. Website owners then had several months to react and improve their site’s
performance before the algorithm update rolled out in July 2018.
If your page speed time was too slow, it’s possible that
this would have negatively impacted your mobile organic traffic through Google.
Have a Need for Speed?
If you’ve never thought about the speed in which your website loads, now is the time to utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see where you stand and start working to improve your score. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the better you’re able to optimize your site, the better it will be for search engines as well as your customers.
If you find that your score is too slow, we can help! Give us a call at (407) 682-2222.
If you have more technical experience, and are looking for ways to increase your page speed, read ahead.
How Do You Improve
Your Page Speed?There are many ways to increase your page speed.
Here is a list of best practices provided by Moz.com, a great resource for search engine
Use Gzip, a software application for file
are larger than 150 bytes.
Do not use gzip on image files. Instead, compress
these in a program like Photoshop where you can retain control over the quality
of the image. See "Optimize images" below.
By optimizing your code (including removing spaces, commas, and other
unnecessary characters), you can dramatically increase your page speed. Also
remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Google recommends using
CSSNano and UglifyJS.
Each time a page redirects to another page, your visitor faces additional time
waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. For example, if your
mobile redirect pattern looks like this: "example.com ->
www.example.com -> m.example.com -> m.example.com/home," each of
those two additional redirects makes your page load slower.
Browsers have to build a DOM tree by parsing
HTML before they can render a page. If your browser encounters a script during
this process, it has to stop and execute it before it can continue.
Google suggests avoiding and minimizing the use of
Browsers cache a lot of information
back to your site, the browser doesn't have to reload the entire page. Use a
tool like YSlow to see if you already have an expiration date set for your
cache. Then set your "expires" header for how long you want that
information to be cached. In many cases, unless your site design changes
frequently, a year is a reasonable time period.
server response time
Your server response time is affected by the amount of traffic you receive, the
resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting
solution you use. 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.
- Use a
content distribution network
Content distribution networks (CDNs), also called content delivery networks,
are networks of servers that are used to distribute the load of delivering
content. Essentially, copies of your site are stored at multiple,
geographically diverse data centers so that users have faster and more reliable
access to your site.
Be sure that your images are no larger than
they need to be, that they are in the right file format (PNGs are generally
better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEGs are generally better
for photographs) and that they are compressed for the web.
Use CSS sprites to create a template for images that
you use frequently on your site like buttons and icons. CSS sprites combine
your images into one large image that loads all at once (which means fewer HTTP
requests) and then display only the sections that you want to show. This means
that you are saving load time by not making users wait for multiple images to
If you’re interested in learning more about the ways your
website could be better optimized, call
Sales & Marketing Technologies today at (407) 682-2222.