In 2018 Google rolled out the “Speed Update” where page speed was included as a ranking factor for mobile searches. This was an effort to help its users find answers faster. Essentially, faster websites provide a better user experience, and Google will now reward you for it.
Google’s data showed an estimated 53% of users abandoned websites that took longer than 3 seconds to load. That’s right! 1…2…I’m swiping for a faster website because your website took too long to load.
Page Speed Tools & Guides
As web developers, we implemented the necessary technologies to improve our websites, and Google saw the abandonment rate decreased by 20%. So, how do you increase page speed and improve website performance for your eager users? Start by understanding how your web pages are performing with Google’s first-party tools and documentation:
- PageSpeed Insights provides analysis and optimization recommendations for your website.
- Chrome User Experience Report provides user experience metrics for how real-world Chrome users experience popular destinations on the web.
- Chrome Lighthouse extension is a Chrome browser extension that’s an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages.
- Why Performance Matters documents great insight into why your website performance matters and could have a direct impact on your annual revenue.
- Steps to a Google-friendly site includes an SEO starter guide, webmaster guidelines, and steps to enabling other features for your website within Google Search.
BONUS: Do you use WordPress as your CMS? Check out the Google Site Kit plugin. It brings Google PageSpeed, Analytics, Search Console, Optimize and so much more to your dashboard.
Technologies to Improve Page Speed
Once you know how your web pages are performing, you can take the necessary steps to improving them. Before you do, it is extremely important to understand the technologies that bring your website to life. Does your server utilize 2 CPUs with 8GiB of RAM or 4 CPUs with 16GiB of RAM? Are you sharing that power with someone else? You will also need to know things like what web server, e.g., Apache 2.4, is running your website.
It is not as easy as installing an extension or plugin that sells you on how great it is at speeding up your website. If you are trying to take this short route, each extension or plugin is writing code that could be detrimental. For instance, they are most likely writing code to .htaccess on top of code that already exists generating unforeseen issues.
If you are maintaining an open-source ecosystem, these are the technologies you will need to implement to increase your page speed almost immediately:
- Apache Caching Guide (version 2.4)
- ETag (time-based strategy)
- Last-Modified (content-based strategy)
Professional Page Speed Mechanic for Hire
Do you require a professional page speed mechanic? Call us today at 727.820.1988 to schedule one of our professional mechanics to look under the hood. I think we may have some extra NOS lying around here somewhere…