Google PageSpeed for SEO

PageSpeed is a measurement of the factors of a web site that result in it loading quickly, effectively and with the ability to display on both mobile and desktop platforms.

It is a bit of a misnomer because it doesn’t solely measure the loading speed of a page.

Page speed sometimes gets confused with site speed.  But for our purposes, page speed is the time it takes to fully load the page to its fully interactive.  

Google's PageSpeed insights integrates the data from CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report) and reports on two key metrics:  First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOMContentLoaded (DCL).

Google PageSpeed isn't just about the speed.  Instead it performs several tests on a page to make sure that it is coded correctly, laid out correctly and the server is correctly configured.

First Contentful Paint marks the time at which the first text or image is painted. 

First Meaningful Paint measures when the primary content of a page is visible. 

Speed Index shows how quickly the contents of a page are visible. 

First CPU Idle marks the first time at which the page's main thread is quiet enough to handle input.

Time to Interactive marks the time at which the page is fully interactive.

Estimated Input Latency is an estimate of how long your page takes to respond to user input, in milliseconds, during the busiest 5s window of page load. If your latency is higher than 50 ms, users may perceive your page as laggy. 

If your page scores too low then Google will lower its search ranking because their algorithm will determine that your page does not meet the criteria of being able to effectively and quickly deliver relevant content to their customers.

Using PageSpeed Insights it is very easy for even an average user to determine the score of their site. The optimizations recommended may not make sense, but that really doesn’t matter. The scores tell the story.  Businesses on our platform don't need to worry about page load time, because we guarantee a PageSpeed score of 90+, in writing!

Beginning this year Google determined that most searches are being performed via mobile devices and are changing their search algorithm to use the Mobile PageSpeed score as the primary ranking factor.

Google PageSpeed for Website Visitors

While Google has said site speed and by extension, PageSpeed is one of the signals their algorithm uses to rank pages and therefore where you place on the search page. PageSpeed just isn't important for organic ranking on Google and research has shown that Google may be focusing on the time to first byte measurement when it is assigning a PageSpeed Score to your site.  PageSpeed is also very important to the overall user experience that a client receives when visiting your site.  Pages with longer load times may cause a client to bounce before your page loads and also lower the average time spent on page.  Long load times can also frustrate potential clients and lead to lower conversion rates.  

PageSpeed and your Pay Per Click (PPC) Budget

We know users don't wait for slow sites.  We know slow sites cause users to "Bounce" from your site.  53 percent of users bounce at 3 seconds.  Bounce means they hit the back button before your page is even visible.  Google charges on a per click basis, not on a fully loaded page basis.  If your website loads in 3 seconds, over half of the potential clients visiting the site are leaving before the site loads, however, you are still paying for that "click".  

In laymen terms, if your site is loading in 3 seconds or more, over half of your PPC budget is being flushed down the toilet because your site is too slow. 

What does all this mean, in the real world for you?

We all know Google's Algorithm is running around indexing content that it then makes available for search.  However, Google's algorithm is also checking the PageSpeed as its indexing content to see how long it takes that content to load on devices.  Put Simply. Google is crawling your website for content and at the same time measuring and storing the data on your web site PageSpeed and caching those results.  When a user Google's a search related query related to your content, and you have a mobile score of 28 and a competitor has a score of 53, that competitor is going to rank above you on that search.  We guarantee a score of 90+.

Ways To Increase your PageSpeed

The number one way is to get on our platform.  You will receive more benefits than just a high PageSpeed score. 

Enable Compression

On the server side you can use Gzip, a server application that that uses file compression to reduce the size of you CSS, HTML and JavaScript files larger than 150 bytes.  See below for Image Optimization.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

When you minify your code, you basically remove spaces, commas and all unnecessary characters.  This will dramatically increase your PageSpeed score.  PageSpeed isn't all about the size in bytes.  Its about the percentages you can save.  Also remove code comments, formatting and unused code.  Google recommends using CSSNano and UglifyJS

Reduce Redirects

Every time a page redirects to another page, your website visitor has to wait for the HTTP request and response time to complete.  

Remove Render Blacking JavaScript

Browsers build a DOM tree by parsing the HTML before they can render or load a page.  If the browser tries to load a script during this process, it stops and has to execute that script before it can finish the DOM tree.  Google recommends avoiding and minimizing the use of blocking scripts

Leverage Browser Caching

Browser Caching is used to store website stylesheets, images and JavaScript files on the visitors computer so when that visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn't have to load the entire page from the source again.  It simply grabs most of the files from the visitors computer that were previously cached. When you clear your "Temporary Internet Files" you are deleting these cached results and subsequent trips to those sites will require the browser to reload that entire page from the source all over again.  You can use a tool like YSlow to see what your expiration date is set too for your cache. You can control the set your expires header for how long you want that information to be cached.   A year is recommended, unless you update content frequently.  Google has more recommendations

You can also just run your site through GTMetrix to check your YSlow score. 

Improve Server Response Time

The server response time is affected by the amount of data traffic you receive, the amount of resources that called page uses, the software you use and the hosting you use including their hardware and network backbone speed.  The optimal server response time is less than 200ms.  If rs is greater than 200ms, look for bottlenecks with the database, slow routing or lack of ram. 

Use a Content Distribution Network

Digital Transformation Systems uses a CDN or Content Delivery Network where we use Amazon AWS to distribute the load of delivered content to the clients web browser.  Basically, copies of the stored in Amazons servers around the USA and around the world so that data centers closest to the computer requesting the data are the servers that push that data, as its geographically closer to your computer, it will be faster.  For example, a computer in Dallas, with a host in Baltimore, that's far away.  Instead, in the case of a CDN, the Dallas request would be pushed from the server in Dallas. Amazon AWS has data centers throughout the United States.  

Optimize Images

This is huge!!  We see many sites with just huge image files and this affects the download speed of your content to your users.  There are Google specifications for images, images should be lossless compressed, especially if they are .jpeg's and should be bigger than they really need to be to get your visual point across.   

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