What is Page Speed?

Site speed and page speed are two terms that are often confused, so we thought that we’d sort out that confusion once and for all and write a blog distinguishing the two. Whereas, site speed is the page speed for a sample of page views on a site, page speed is the time it takes for the browser to receive the first ‘byte’ of information from the server.

You can check your page speed with tools such as gtmetrix. The beauty of this tool is that it gives information such as page speed score in a percentage as well as the loading time, total page size and the requests, allowing you to discover ways to improve it.

 

Page Speed in SEO

Google has indicated for some time that site speed is a factor in their ranking algorithm. We can prove that it works by improving the site speed a significant amount and seeing the effects that it has on your ranking for key terms. As we’ve found before, page speed does have an effect and it’s something we always look to improve when we bring a new client onboard.

Although it is a part of the Google algorithm, page speed also helps with the user experience.  Pages with higher than a 3 seconds loading time, have higher bounce rates than the quicker sites, as well as negative conversions.

 

How to Improve Your Page Speed

Image Compression

Regardless of the website you go on, there is likely going to be a high number of images within it. These images carry weight and size (in kilobytes). The benchmark that a good dev/seo would use is 50-100kb, but if the images are over this then it may cause damage to the page speed. No image is worth a thousand words.

 

Redirect Reduction

Having a large amount of redirects on your site is damaging to the page speed.Each time your page redirects the longer the visitor will have to wait to get to their desired page. Here is an example of a redirect chain that is potentially slowing your page down.

http//:www.example.co.uk/  -> https//:www.example.co.uk/  -> https//:example.co.uk/home

As you can see a certain amount of time is added to the loading time when going through 2 re-directs. It could add 0.2 seconds on or 2 seconds on depending on the site size as well.

 

CSS & Javascript Minification

By clearing up and optimising your code, you need to remove spacing, commas and potential code comments for example, and this can dramatically improve your page speed. Google would suggest using CSSNano and/or UglifyJS to help with this.

 

Leverage Browser Caching

Browsers cache quite a lot of information, including stylesheets, javascript files and images. There is a positive of caching: when a browser caches a site it doesn’t need to reload the page again when you go back on it. If your browser does not have caching headers or a resource to cache information then the page will load slower as the browser will need to reload the page fully again.

 

The Result

One of the best ways to improve SEO straight off the back is to improve your website’s page speed. A great place to start is with image compression, browser caching and minification of JavaScript and CSS files.

Google continues to favour faster sites, so it’s imperative that SEO experts take the steps to improve their page speed and meet the expectations that Google sets.

Callum Morris

Callum is Embryo’s SEO Executive who loves keeping our clients up-to-date with the latest SEO trends. When he’s not in the office, he’s pursuing his passion of boxing in the ring.