So you’ve created a great website. You’ve put a lot of time and effort to perfect it but the site appears to be too slow.
Nowadays website speed is one of the crucial aspects since it affects conversion and bounce rates greatly. If your website isn’t fast enough, a lot of visitors will just bounce it immediately.
The solution should be found quickly, however, it’s unlikely to be easy.
Usually the reason that slows your site down is not obvious. It can be code issues, multimedia elements or anything else.
The faster your website is the more privilege Google grants you. If you make your site load faster, your bounce rate will drop down and you will rank higher in Google.
But how to know, whether your site is fast enough? Fortunately, you can use a free Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool that will estimate your website speed and indicate problems if any.
In this article you will learn how to get the highest rate on PageSpeed Insights and why is it so important.
Why you should care about page speed
Your page loading time affects the position of your website on the Google search results list.
Unless your site is on a level with the 10 most popular results, it won’t show up on the first search results page.
Obviously the top 10 websites receive most of the clicks as by far the majority of users won’t even go beyond the first page of Google search.
That is why page speed is a vital aspect for your website’s conversion rate.
Not long ago Backlinko carried out a research based on one million Google search results. The research was aimed at defining the features peculiar to the first-page results.
According to Google results, page speed proved to be a crucial ranking factor:
All websites from the first page of Google search had a number of common peculiarities:
- High page load speed.
- Websites layout and optimization are aimed purposely at high speed.
Bounce rates are way lower than those even of second-page sites.
The strong connection between speed and bounce rates of websites has recently been confirmed by Google in its New industry benchmarks.
According to Google, with each second of page load time its bounce rate rises greatly:
The best practice mark is less than 3 seconds while the average page load time usually exceeds 8 seconds. Consequently, vast majority of websites don’t meet the best practice mark.
If you really want your website to go up to the first page, it should load in less than 3 seconds.
According to the research by BigCommerce, the average conversion rate of commercial websites varies in the range of 1-2%.
Portent carried out their own study based on the research mentioned above. Portent experts found out that decreasing your website loading time from 2 to 1 second will result in the 100-percent increase of your income per page view.
If you lower the load time to less than 2 seconds, your website income will double.
What factors affect the load speed? Usually it is poor coding and unjustifiably large images.
Nowadays the majority of websites are literally flooded with images which take up much space unless they are optimized.
The common measurement unit for website pages is page weight byte. Roughly speaking, this unit indicates the size of all page elements combined.
According to Google, the optimum page weight shouldn’t exceed 500 KB.
As for this issue, the majority of sites still aren’t even getting close to the optimum benchmark.
In their report Google state firmly that the faster and the more “lightweight” your website is the better.
Indeed, statistics show that 70% of web pages exceed 1 MB, the weight of 36% of pages is 2 MB or more and 12% exceed a 4 MB mark.
And what about the load time figures? It was measured that a 1.49 MB page takes as much as 7 seconds to load. Meanwhile some website pages include images that weight 16 MB each.
All in all, Google brings us to the point: there are definitely plenty of things on our websites to be improved and optimized.
How to diagnose your desktop and mobile site
Besides knowing how your website speed affects its conversion rate you need to be aware of hidden issues that slow your website down.
In most cases the slowness is caused by bulky images. However it is not the only possible reason.
If you want to reach the perfect speed score on Google PageSpeed Insights, you should know what exactly makes your web pages load so slowly.
So, how to use Google Insights? First of all, type your site URL in the PageSpeed Insights search bar:
Then press the “Analyze” button so that Google can test your website. When the checkup is over, the website analyzer will estimate your site and create a list of things that reduce your site speed, for example:
87 of 100 is a rather high score, yet it’s obviously not perfect.
Of course, you are unlikely to have no things to perfect on your website. Let’s find out how to make a website run faster.
To begin with, here are the elements that have been optimized:
Here Google PageSpeed suggests optimizing images, minifying your HTML and some other actions. As we can see, the list of possible optimizations includes much more elements than the optimizations found list:
According to this report, already optimized elements appear to be more important than those from the possible optimizations list.
Needless to say, if you want to score 100% on Google’s PageSpeed Insights service, every speed-influencing drawback of your website should be eliminated, beginning with the ones of high priority.
Then, you should test the mobile version of your website with Google’s page speed test for mobile sites.
Go to Test My Site, type the URL and press the arrow button:
In a couple of minutes you will get a report with all the required data compared with recent industry benchmarks.
What is more, you can also view the percent of visitors you lose due to the lack of site speed, for instance:
In this example loading time turned out to be 4 seconds which is 1 second slower than the optimum value. Even with such a slight lack of speed site owner will lose as much as 10% of site visitors!
On this graph you can see the results of the online speed test in comparison with modern industry benchmarks:
Although the site is still among top performers, its effectiveness and, consequently, the conversion rate still can be increased.
Below you will see how your site loading speed can increase when you fix the abovementioned issues:
Solving a few imperfections can decrease the page loading time by 3 seconds, the report says. This way loading can take only 1 second.
Optimizing your website to maximize its performance and revenue is really worth it and what will help you get the highest mobile efficiency score is the mobile speed test.
The next part of this article is devoted to resolving 4 main website speed issues to help you get the highest score on Google PageSpeed Insights.
4 ways to land a perfect PageSpeed score
If you do want to score 100% on PageSpeed Insights, get ready to put a lot of time and effort into your goal.
In case you are willing to increase your conversion rate and your website income, maximizing your site speed is a vitally important step.
Although this work is usually monotonous and exhausting, you definitely don’t want to miss your chance to save traffic and increase your profits!
Now, you can learn the top 4 useful tips on how to get the highest site speed score with the PageSpeed tool.
1. Compress your images
The most common issue that makes a site run too slow is bulky images. One of the easiest and most widely used solutions is image compression.
Using basic tools for image compression can possibly save over 50% on the size of the images.
In case you work with WordPress, probably the quickest way to compress images is with the help of a plugin, for example Smush Image Compression and Optimization:
Smush offers a lot of various functions. For instance, you can install a special plugin that analyzes your WordPress image library and smushes the found images automatically:
Upload several images for your website into this plugin at once, so that it can smush the whole bunch of them (as much as 50 files) in no time:
With this feature you won’t have to bother yourself with manual image compression anymore. In addition, by compressing all of your website images you will handle this issue first, last and all the time.
Undoubtedly, the free WordPress Smush tool is a great choice for all active WordPress users.
But what shall you do if you are not a WP user?
Luckily, there’re many convenient plugins for other websites. If you want to compress images for the sake of speed optimization with Shopify, it would be a good idea to employ the Crush.pics tool:
Crush.pics claims that with this tool Google’s page speed online test will record a significant improvement – for example, after compression PageSpeed mark has changed from 75% to 87%.
Use this Shopify plugin to optimize your images and max out your website speed!
If you are not a fan of plugins, fix upon some online free tools like Optimizilla, Compress JPEG etc. With either of these two you can quickly compress as much as 20 images at a time.
Only in a couple of seconds Optimizilla reduced the image size by 68% without any visible quality loss!
These tools are a great alternative to image compression plugins if you don’t use the latter.
2. Use browser caching
Another easy yet important solution to the insufficient page speed is browser caching.
Whenever your site is loading, it takes a lot of time and effort to load each element of the page, not to mention coding and HTML. This process is repeating itself each time users enter your website.
Browser caching can make this process way faster – basically, it “remembers” the elements that have already been loaded on the previous site visit.
All page data will also be preserved when a user goes to another page of your website, so it won’t have to be loaded anew. As a result site speed will be increased.
The good thing about browser caching is that you don’t need to have any special knowledge in coding. All you need to do is to install a plugin.
With more than a million users, W3 Total Cache is the most popular plugin for WordPress websites:
According to the W3 Total Cache developers, the plugin will make your website work 10 times more efficiently. This will result in getting a higher score on PageSpeed Insights.
W3 Total Cache is definitely a great tool for speeding up your site available for everyone.
3. Minify your HTML
If you want to score 100% on PageSpeed Insights, you should definitely minify the HTML coding of your website.
What does minification mean? It is the process of eliminating unneeded data elements that doesn’t affect the HTML file functionality.
WordPress users have a wide variety of specialized plugins to choose from. Among the top most popular tools is a free HTML Minify plugin:
In just a couple of seconds you may download HTML Minify either from the official website or from the WordPress plugin page.
After the installation is over, you will need only a few more things to do, so that you can fulfill your website’s speed potential.
Go to the settings section on your Minify HTML dashboard and mark the following points as enabled:
If you are not sure whether to enable or to disable a certain option, you can follow the tips below each option, so that you can safely adjust all your settings even if you are not an expert in HTML issues.
The sooner you minify your HTML the faster you can achieve your Pagespeed perfect score goal.
4. Implement AMP
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages – Google’s project developed to speed up mobile websites.
AMP creates open-source pages without any unnecessary website elements, so that your website mobile pages become capable of loading in no time.
If your website is not overloaded with bulky elements and runs in a more efficient way, it will provide your visitors with better user experience.
If you are an active smartphone Internet user, most probably you must have followed AMP links. Such links are marked as on the picture below:
You are likely to see them among the “Top Stories” in Google search. Such pages do not have any bulky formatting so that their viewers can get the required content immediately.
If a user follows the AMP link in the Google search, here’s what he/she will see:
Generally, it can be regarded as a simplified mobile analog of the full-size website. Here users don’t have to leave the page in order to view the next article. All they need to do is to swipe through the articles without waiting for the next page to load, for instance:
With this feature users can browse your website quickly and smoothly.
Nowadays you don’t have to waste 10 seconds waiting to link to a website, return to the search results and repeat the time-consuming process with another link. Thanks to AMP you can read a large number of articles without even leaving the page.
This feature is an excellent way to increase your website speed and to decrease the bounce rate greatly.
Today a lot of companies are using AMP service. One of these companies is WIRED which has recently become a new AMP user.
Previously, the mobile website of the company was loading too slowly and this issue prevented site conversions.
The implementation of AMP turned out an extremely successful step for the company.
They managed to achieve a 25% increase in the number of organic search clicks; the clickthrough rate on their AMP pages rocketed by 63%. The number of AMP versions of WIRED’s articles totaled as many as 100,000.
Another company that appraised AMP at its true value and was rewarded with great results is Gizmodo.
The company scored more than 100k visits of their AMP pages. Mobile page loading time now takes only a third compared to a standard one. These changes resulted into a 50% increase of the conversion rate.
If you decided to boost your website with AMP and you know how to work with HTML, there’s a manual on AMP official website.
In case you are not familiar with coding, there’s an easier solution for you – you can simply install a plugin for your WordPress. A good example of an AMP plugin is AMP for WP.
The plugin is used by more than 80,000 customers and the developers release regular updates. AMP for WP features a page builder with a simple and user friendly interface:
It is really simple. First, you need to install the AMP plugin. Then you can access it from the WP dashboard where you can upload your posts to the AMP page builder.
With the use of this plugin you can produce AMP versions of pages that will be displayed on mobile devices.
If you are using AMP, you are potentially able to reduce your mobile website load time to less than 1 second. No wonder a lot of successful companies employ this service.
You’ve done your best working on your website and bringing every aspect of it to perfection. However, like many other people you might have forgotten to take into consideration your site speed compared to Google’s top performers.
Site speed has a considerable impact on the conversion rate: if it takes too long for the page to load, most of users will just return to the search results page and follow another link.
If your bounce rate is too high because of your slow website, Google will reduce your rank in search results.
That is why getting a perfect score on PageSpeed Insights is a matter of top priority. Unless you can score 100%, try to reach the highest result you can.
First and foremost, you should diagnose your website to locate the problems. Then, define how to fix the issues with the help of PageSpeed Insights.
As a rule, optimizing images should impact your PageSpeed Insights score greatly. For this purpose, use plugins or image compression websites.
Use browser caching to reduce your site loading time with the help of a corresponding plugin.
What you also need to do is to minify the HTML coding of your site. This way you will remove unneeded data elements that overload your website.
Finally, you can use AMP for reducing your page loading time to a minimum.
These methods have already helped numerous companies make great strides with their websites.
Speed up your website and score highest points on Google’s PageSpeed Insights to achieve brilliant success!
What Is Google Page Speed Insights?
Google Page Speed Insights is a tool that estimates the speed of your website and indicates problems if any. What does Google Insights show you is the list of issues that slow your website down as well as recommendations how to resolve each of them. In addition, you can view Google’s estimation of your site speed on a scale from 1 to 100, so that you can compare it with the performance of other websites on the Internet.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed shows how much time your website takes to load. This factor affects such parameters as conversion and bounce rates. If your website isn’t fast enough, a lot of visitors will just bounce it immediately. That is why it is so important to max out your site speed.
How to Score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with WordPress?
Firstly, compress your images with Smush Image or some other plugin. Secondly, implement browser caching with the help of W3 Total Cache plugin. Also, you should minify your HTML with the HTML Minify plugin. Finally, you may use the AMP for WP plugin to create AMP pages.
What Is a Good Google Page Speed Score?
Google Page Speed Score is an estimation based on the website load time. According to Google, the best practice mark is under 3 seconds, while 4 seconds is still a good figure. Your loading time shouldn’t exceed 3 seconds for your site to get on the first page of Google search.
How Do Google Page Speed Scores Impact SEO?
Page speed scores indicate your website speed. The higher it is the lower your bounce rate will be and the more likely you are to be on the first page of Google search. If your page speed is on a level with the 10 most popular results, your site is likely to show up on the first search results page.
What You Need to Know about Your Web Page Speed Score
Page speed impacts your site conversions and bounce rate greatly. Even a slight lack of speed will cause a huge loss of site visitors and, consequently, your site revenue. Use PageSpeed Insights to find out what your speed score is and what do you need to fix in order to increase it.
How to Use Google PageSpeed Insights
Input your site URL in the PageSpeed Insights search bar and press “Analyze”. You will see a report with your speed score figure and the list of optimizations needed to increase it. At Test My Site you can also test the mobile version of your website.
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