Why Page Speed is blocking you from being in the top Google searches and how to improve the situation
A year ago, in July 2018, Google has updated its Page Speed regulations, including the algorithm, that ranks the websites in search results. The update especially affected the role of the mobile Page Speed indicator as probably the main thing that influences your overall result and your position in Google query results from now on. In other words, now Google changed its website ranking approach to mobile-first.
No doubt, problems with Page Speed have always been a major concern for most of the websites. The faster the site content loads, the more financial benefits it brings to the owner. There is a huge percent of internet users that leave the website just because they have waited long enough for the website to load and demonstrate its contents. So no wonder that many companies are paying lots of attention to their PageSpeed indicators as an influential marketing factor.
The main alterations that the latest Google update brought are:
1. Mobile website Page Speed rating has more importance in the overall SEO-rating than the desktop page;
2. Low Page Speed rating lowers such indicator as “ad quality score”, which means that the lower the score is, the more costly the ad campaigns will be.
If you have problems with reaching that desirable top position in the Google search results, however, you’ve always been working so hard to make your website top-notch: creating unique relevant content on a regular basis, maintaining a nice representable design, retaining an adequate backlink profile, etc., then this article may help you find the key to solving your issue and boost your website modernization!
First of all, in order to find the root cause of your website failures, you need to proceed with an analysis using the right technologies and tools. The most recommended tools are:
- Google PageSpeed Insights – evaluates the web page optimization quality and gives heuristic recommendations on how to improve the overall situation. The tool shows you the result both for desktop and mobile pages separately;
- Lighthouse – a free automated open-source web auditing instrument aimed at increasing the quality of the websites. It can be launched on any web page (if it is public and doesn’t require authorization). It executes audit of the website’s productivity, accessibility as well as other no less important indicators (Time to Interactive (TTI), First Contentful Paint (FCP), Speed Index), each one is given a point from 0 to 100. It gives you a full picture of your website’s condition and gives some recommendations based on results. Basically speaking, it assesses the website in terms of what a user sees and experiences, working with it.
- Chrome User Experience Report – shows open data on the key metrics of user behavior in popular Internet segments.
We have to point out, though, that none of these instruments listed above can distinctively indicate whether your web page results are affected by the new PageSpeed policy or not. And sometimes following the given recommendations, your ranking results don’t really change and the metrics stay the same. We, here at Smartym Pro, have been facing the same problem with our website over and over again, and now, based on our experience with the trial and error method, we can share tips on Page Speed optimization and go up in the search results.
1. Make sure that your website team has configured resource compression during the building process on the client server, and there is an additional gzip compression on the server;
2. Make sure the images on your website are optimized: get rid of sliders, that are slowing down your website dramatically; utilize different image formats, i.e. WebP or Progressive JPEG; compress and crop the images – mobile browsers won’t like having to load pics with a 1920px width while having, for example, a maximum width of 400-450 px; moreover our website has improved its metrics due to using SVG format in our infographics; use lazy loading to avoid downloading graphic elements, that are located beyond the visible part of the screen;
3. Cashing the requests on the server helps a lot in increasing the average website performance optimization. Besides, we use service-worker to cash the resources on the users’ gadgets;
4. Make sure that only the necessary styles and scripts are being loaded, e.g. only those that are needed as a result of a user’s interaction with the website;
5. We use Content Delivery Network (CDN) as the data warehouse for our company’s web page, it speeds up the TTI and FCP indicators.
At the moment we are still experimenting with various approaches in order to improve our PageSpeed indicator. One of the last things we tested was transferring our website completely from WordPress to JAM Stack. What has changed? Before the server had been working (generating pages) each time a request was executed, and with JAM Stack, already on the building stage, we generate static pages and put them in a CDN “folder”. Therefore, when a user is accessing our website, he immediately gets those static pages we have generated beforehand. In a nutshell, instead of generating 100 times the same page over and over again, wasting resources and time, we use one generated page per 100 analogous requests.
We haven’t finished transferring the whole website to JAM Stack yet, thus, we are still waiting for some nice PageSpeed results to appear. And as soon, as they show themselves up, I think, we will let you know.
We hope that the given optimization tips for Page Speed from Smartym Pro will let you make a difference for your website speed optimization. Let us know, and contact us if you have any additional questions on how to improve page load speed – our web application development experts will be happy to help. Good luck!