Over a year ago Google rolled out the “Speed Update” where pagespeed 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 expereince, and Google will now reward you for it. Their data showed an estimated 53% of users abandoned websites that took longer than 3 seconds to load. That’s right! 1…2…I’m gone because your website took too long to load on my smartphone.
As web developers, we implemented the necessary technologies to improve our websites, and Google saw the abandonment rate decrease by 20%. So, how do you increase pagespeed 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 a 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.
Once you have an understanding of how your web pages are performing, you can take the necessary steps to improving them.