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Website Load Speed: Google PageSpeed Insights and More

November 20th, 2013 by Jack Waknitz

Website load speed is important to your business because it affects the two major components of internet marketing:

  1. It contributes to the value of your website to search engines
  2. It affects the quality of the visit of the internet user accessing your website

Let’s take a look at two tools that measure aspects of website load speed and how you can use them to help you improve your website’s load performance.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed InsightsGoogle PageSpeed Insights is a free tool from Google to test how well your website stacks up against Google’s ideas on what makes a website load quickly.

There’s a tab for mobile and a tab for desktop so you can see how your site does on each platform. A score of 85 or above gives you a ‘green’ rating, while a score below this is either orange or red. There are various rating items, such as if you have blocking scripts or style sheets that load before the site loads, your general server speed, if you have caching, and other items related to styling.

You can view a score of our website here: http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=www.insideout.com.  Here is a screen capture:
Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 2.57.23 PM
At the time of our test we scored 76/100 for mobile and 89/100 for desktop. This means we could use some work on our mobile, but it is not the end of the world.  Consider it a “C” or “average” grade.

How do the items Google PageSpeed Insights identifies affect page load?

This is up for debate.  The items that are marked as important on the PageSpeed tool are valuable indicators of your load times, but they do not directly affect the time it takes to load a page.  Items like image size, html size, and other factors more directly determine overall page load speed.  Google’s tool is a great first place to start, but isn’t the only utility, or metrics, to consider.

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom Website Speed TestWe recommend you get a bigger picture by adding the Pingdom Website Speed Test.  At the time of our test our website loaded in 1.38 seconds with 435kb of data.  This load time is well below the 3 second mark that the majority of websites try to attain.  Load times will vary from test to test depending on a variety of factors, so you should only be concerned if your site regularly shows a load time greater than 2.5 seconds.

How does Website page speed affect SEO/SEM ranking?

Page speed and load times are important factors in your search result rankings. For an already tough market, you should work towards optimizing your page loads along with standard copywriting and keyword methods of SEO.

My website load speed is poortly rated. How do I fix it?

Each site will be different, but the most important things are:

  • Shrink your image sizes with a photo editor
  • Defer your script calls, or put them in the footer of your site
  • Limit the amount of image calls you have your CSS files and put what CSS you can inline in the header
  • Cache your website and headers
  • Minify all your css files

Don’t know what any of these mean? Talk to your web manager or host and see what they can do for you. InsideOut Solutions offers this as a billable item to current clients. Contact us to find out how we can work with you to get your site speed where it should be.