Hello Friends! Today we are going to deep dive into something that is near and dear to Googles’ heart (and web users’ world wide), page speed.

By the time you have finished reading you will know exactly what page speed is, how to measure it, and how to make your site faster.

Page Speed is simply how fast the content on your page loads.

Site Speed, which is often confused with page speed, is the collective speed of several page views on a site. There is no need to split hairs here, the faster the better. In this case users and google are in agreement all around, speed wins. Fast sites rank better and convert site visitors to site buyers better.

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Google, like any business, wants to provide great service to its users. Google’s main job is to provide the most relevant pages related to what the user searched for. So if all things all are equal, the page that loads the fastest will rank higher on the Search Results page. This totally makes sense right, as web users we don’t like to wait. In fact. We don’t wait. On average if a site is not loaded in 3 seconds, statistics say that we move on.   

On the other hand, if the site is loaded quickly users tend to stay longer, buy more and return to sites that are fast. According to SEO Powersuite  users don’t like slow sites.

  • 40% of your visitors will abandon a site if loading takes longer than 3 seconds

  • Half of your visitors expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less

  • 1 second in loading time decreases conversion by 7%

Google is busy.

The number of web pages is literally growing by the second according this live stat.  Google only has so much time to crawl and index your site. Slow loading pages waste your site’s allotted crawl-time budget. Google”s bot won’t stay on your website longer than it’s permitted to, so for large, slow sites less pages will indexed by Google. This means all of your awesome blog posts will not be read and indexed by google. 

Think of it like this. The googlebot (the little thing that reads your site) is a shopper and your website is the list of things that the bot has to buy. Well, the google bot is in a big hurry to get through the store. If you have a few huge super heavy items (really large images) on your list then the bot can’t make it through your list (all of your awesome blog posts) because it is trying to get these huge items into a tiny cart. So it is super likely that you  will get to dinnertime and not have all the ingredients you need to make the meal. Does that make sense? It is the same for heavy sites. The googlebot runs out of time and doesn’t make it through your site and quality content doesn’t get read.

site speed seo

It all comes down to User Experience. Google is focusing on it big time.  Over the past 9 months Google has cracked down on small text, links that are too close together, and intrusive app download ads. Google does look for quality content and expert links. And they take page speed very seriously.

How do you measure page speed?

My favorite free online tester is Google PageSpeed Insight tool.

This is a simple, straight forward tool that grades your site on a scale from 1-100, the higher the number the better optimized your site is. If your site scores above 85–claps to you. I also like this tool because it looks at both the mobile and the desktop version of your site and offers suggestions.

Now before you click away, let me warn you. You will likely see words like CSS Minifcation.  Render Blocking Javascript and other words that may cause you to sweat profusely and cause your tongue to swell. Ignore these words for now.

All you need to know is that these things slow down your site and I am going to suggest a plugin later that will hopefully fix most of these heavy items. Also know that there are plenty of things that you can fix, right now. No plugin needed.

The slowest things on your shopping list, err your web page are all things that you can fix. They are simple to DIY.  So do me a fav, if you haven’t already,  and test your page speed with Googles fancy tool.

Write down your result.

And remember this fact.

Slow sites reduce conversions and traffic. Faster sites increase them.Click To TweetSlow sites reduce conversions and traffic. Faster sites increase them.

site speed clapping dog media

What causes pages to load slowly?

Cheap Hosting (cheap hosts cram zillions of sites on one server, lowering the price to you, but the cost of security and speed is high) for hosting I would highly recommend Flywheel.

  • Ads
  • Unused Plugins
  • Unused Images in the media library
  • Images
  • Unused Pages (the bot still reads them)

How do you fix a page with slow page speed?

  • Clean up the admin of your site. This is super important. Delete unused and old plugins, images and pages. The google bot still has to wade through these even if they are not being used.

  • Optimize Images

    When you move an image from your DSLR or a fancy stock photo that you just grabbed from Stock that Rocks, it is likely way HUUUUUGGE for the web. The image is print site not web size. WordPress and Squarespace will try to fake it and resize the image, but it doesn’t really work. It’s a fake resize — you need to use a photo program to save the image to proper dimensions. Once you downsize the images to the pixel widths that accommodate your site design I suggest that you run the images through compressior.io. You can upload JPEG, PNG, GIF, and SVG image files, and the tool will then strip out unnecessary elements from the image file.

    I use this tool all the time and it typically reduces file size by more than 50% with no perceptible difference in quality.

    Another good option is TinyPNG.

    Once you’ve compressed your correctly sized image, upload it to WordPress and use it in your post. This little extra step will pay off dramatically in the long run for your site speed.

  • Don’t use a free theme. Use a good Host.

  • Install WP Rocket

    Remember those words that caused us to sweat earlier? Well this plugin helps, “WP Rocket reduces the weight of your HTML, JavaScript and CSS files through minification. Lighter files means faster load time!”  

    This plugin is $39 a year, but does increase site speed dramatically. There are others but the setup is complicated, I like simple. I stick with the default settings and have enjoyed good results.

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