What Are PageSpeed Insights?
PageSpeed insights are a score Google gives your site based on a few factors that are and relate to site speed. To find your score you will go through a Google speed test on the PageSpeed Insights page. The score doesn’t represent the speed of your site necessarily but fixing the issues that the Google speed test shows you would likely improve your site speed.
Why Does It Matter?
The PageSpeed score matters because it is another ranking factor that you can capitalize on to appeal to Google. Site speed is a core piece of PageSpeed and site speed matters because a slow site will deter users from it. On top of the user experience, PageSpeed Insights score is directly a ranking factor. Google wants to rank sites that provide the user a good experience and if users are leaving the site that indicates a bad experience.
PageSpeed Insights Tool
Enter your website into the PageSpeed Insights page to run a Google speed test. Once the Google speed test is complete, you will see your PageSpeed score for desktop and mobile. You will also see different speeds for different aspects of your site. The results will show you where you can improve your speeds and overall improve the speed of your site. Towards the bottom of the page you can see all of the aspects of your site that are good.
The lab data is what your score is based on, different categories of the lab data are weighted differently. As you improve your site’s speed, your speeds for the categories of lab data should improve and you will end up with an improved score. The Google speed test through the PageSpeed Insights page allows you to test your site unlimited times so you can check your progress as you go.
5 Techniques To Improve PageSpeed Score
Images are a common factor in high site speeds because they are so much larger than any text. Compressing an image means minimizing the file size of an image without decreasing the quality of the image to a level deemed unacceptable. Compressing an image can remove unnecessary data and/or moving the original to a different location and creating a copy with a smaller file size that doesn’t lose any of the quality. Image compression can be a part of optimizing your images.
A compression plugin called Smush can be used, as an easy way of achieving image compression. Using a plugin brings some flexibility in what and how you want images compressed. Time is a valuable resource and using a compression plugin will save you a significant amount of time, over compressing each image individually through much longer processes.
Cache is the image of a site’s page that Google creates and stores. Caching your site means keeping an image of your site into temporary storage, so when a user returns to your site the look of your site doesn’t need to be fully loaded again. You can use plugins with customizable cache settings to improve your site’s speed, prior to taking another Google speed test. Caching plugins usually give you the option to go beyond just caching by offering to minify files.
You may notice, after running a Google speed test, that css files might be bogging down your site’s speed because the files are too large. Minifying a CSS file means you are removing the unnecessary characters in the code, like some spaces, comments or line breaks. You can use plugins like Hummingbird or WP Fastest Cache to minify your CSS files.
Keep your homepage clean, provide users with the ability to go further into your site and entice them to do so, without overloading your homepage. If you put too much content on your homepage, you not only decrease your load time but you can run into the issue of overwhelming users to the point that they leave your site. Going to a professional web designer can make necessary changes, if you lack the design experience.
Google Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), is a program to help create mobile optimized content, which is focused on loading speed. You may have been on an AMP page, it is noticeable because to go to a different AMP page, related to your search query, you can swipe left or right to it. AMP pages are significantly faster than regular mobile pages and conversions increase, from the increased load times along with the ease of access.
What Is a Good Google Speed Test PageSpeed Score?
PageSpeed scores range from 0 to 100 and there are 3 sub performance ranges. The 3 sub ranges for PageSpeed are 0-49 which is poor, 50-89 that needs improvement and 90-100 being good. To achieve a good score is very challenging, so your expectations for your score should vary depending on your site and how much effort you want to put into this aspect of your site.