IntroductionToday, there is an endless wave of technical concordance around the performance of the site and that’s fair. But it is hard to talk about the site’s performance without bringing page speed into the fold. After all, the speed of the page is integral to ensure the top-notch performance of the site. Research confirms that improve the loading speed of the page by 0.1 seconds boosts the conversion rate by 9%. But failure to understand “how” the metrics work and “what” factors can influence those factors makes it harder to improve the page speed. In fact, it takes a lot of consistency to make sure your site pages load up in the blink of an eye. The good news is that there is a wide range of proven solutions that can significantly improve overall page loading speed. Remember, an optimized site is bound to improve user experience as well as step up ranking on the search results. Keeping that in mind, the focus of this article is to dive into fundamentals, mechanics, technicalities, and recommended practices to maintain ideal workflows for page speed performance.
What Exactly Makes Up the Page Speed
In layman’s terms, page speed pinpoints towards the speed at which the content can load when a visitor checks out a site’s page. It is, however, normal to confuse page speed with site speed. Site speed, on the other hand, refers to the average of multiple pages of a site.
But page speed refers to the loading time of a particular page and how long does it to see and consume content on a specific page. There is a long list of elements that can impact page speed such as videos, images, and social media content on the page.
Other factors that can influence the speed of the page include installed plugins and themes on the website. On the other hand, server-side scripts and coding of the site’s specific page can also tie together with the page loading speed.
A combination of elements impacts the page loading speed, which, in turn, impacts the user experience of the site. The slower the page speed – the more visitors would drift away from the site. When it comes loading speed of the page, every second matters.
Google affirms that if the loading speed of a page increases from 1 to 3 seconds, the bounce rate jumps to 32%. And if the loading speed of a page is 5 seconds, the bounce rate is bound to hit 90%. When pages don’t load in a few seconds, it impacts conversion rate, user engagement, and users would don’t think twice before leaving the site.
Again, page speed is essential to technical SEO. Typically, Google focuses on specific parameters to rank different web pages and speed is at the center for mobile and desktop searches. You may not be aware of it but swift page speed can instill positive brand perception in the digital space.
Measure the Speed of Your PageBefore you decide to make changes to your website, it is critical to gauge the performance of web pages. And this is where various tools come into play to measure and test the speed of the page. Competitively, two of the most used and famous tools are GTmetrix and Pingdom speed test. Both are ideal for beginner users and come with straightforward features. If you’re new, then use Google PageSpeed insights to test and measure the speed of web pages on mobile and desktop devices. You can also use the same tool to make sure whether or not you’re hitting the optimal performance mark reach a top-tier position in the search results. Google states that anything from 50-89 requires improvement or comes across as barely good. In a practical sense, before you dive into optimization, you will need to create a solid baseline. You can use GTMetrix, Pingdom, or PageSpeed Insights to measure the performance of the pages. Just make sure that the speed score on the mobile is over 90 and indexing is flawless.
Focus On Key Metrics of Page Speed
On the surface, page speed may look straightforward to achieve but it takes a lot of effort to overcome common obstacles. Since a wide range of metrics can have an impact on the page speed, make sure to focus on essential metrics.
CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift
CLS represents the unexpected layout shift of the page and signifies visual stability. For instance, In the case of a shift, users might click on a wrong page button accidentally.
FIP –First Input Delay
FIP refers to the level of interactivity on a page and signifies the starting and ending time for a user. FIP is about ensuring the browser is responsive enough for the user to interact on the site.
LCP – Largest Contentful Paint
LCP is associated with the loading time of the page and makes sure the main content loads seamlessly.
Opt for the Best Tools
When it comes to testing and measuring the loading speed of the web pages, you can use various free tools. Although the best pagespeed analytics solutions are free, you can get their paid versions. Predominantly, it makes sense to opt for Pingdom Site Speed Test, Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, GTMetrix, WebPageTest, and BrowserStack SpeedLab.
Of course, the quest to improve visitor engagement and reduce bounce rate never ends. Nonetheless,
with a faster loading speed of the page, you can reap the benefits like improved site performance. And that means a high conversion rate, more revenue, and increased page views.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to use a dedicated web hosting solution to further optimize the site performance. On top of performance, one of the perks of improving page loading speed is that it improves site UX and makes it easier to meet SEO guidelines. In a tech-driven age, you can leverage various tools and methods to reduce page loading time.
Apart from caching pages, you can utilize plugins to minify the files, delay loading scripts and optimize images of the site. In retrospect, slow page speed impacts search performance, revenue generation, bounce rate, and user experience. On the other hand, whether it’s organic search results, conversion rate, abandonment rate, bounce rate, or site engagement, websites that load pages quickly perform better in terms of SEO metrics.