Website speed (the time it takes for the pages of your site to load) is getting more and more important in today’s fast paced internet world.
A few days ago I noticed something about the website speed of one of my websites whilst I was logged into my Google Adsense account that made me stop and think, and then investigate! Usually I just stop by my Adsense account to check on my earnings (greed!) – which have been steadily going down in accordance with my inactivity on all my blogs, unfortunately -, but this time I had a proper look at the “Scorecard” Google displays to the right of your earnings. This “Scorecard” is a quick overview of how Google sees the performance of your site, and where you can improve on.
Google scores on
Sure, while it is good to have your site optimized for revenue, it is not essential for the value Search Engines place on your site. It is more a score for yourself to see if your site could earn more revenue from Adsense ads 😉 But: you can have a site that’s totally optimized for revenue but hasn’t got much content, and the search engines won’t like it. Or, you can have a site with no revenue optimization whatsoever, but brilliant content, and your site will rank high in the eyes of the SE. So, whilst it is certainly something you can work on if your score is not good, revenue optimization is not critical.
Now that’s a biggie, and that’s what I wanted to talk about in this post. Your site needs to have good health to perform in the search engines, otherwise you won’t rank well. One big part of your site’s health is website speed, or page speed performance. The faster your site loads when people click on it the better – because everybody is getting more impatient and has less time, so for a website and webpages to load fast (and that means on the computer and on mobile devices these days) is essential for a good browsing experience. Google (and all other search engines!) wants to satisfy its customers, so they want pages and sites that load fast, haven’t got broken links, for example, and are not too clogged up or stale in general.
This is the easiest to fix of all of them – you just need to be on Google + and add the “Plus One” Button to your website so visitors of your site can “+1” you! And, of course, interact in Google+ once in a while!
All 3 items are scored out of 5 (dots), where 1 (dot) means lousy – I mean, not good – and 5 (dots) means great.
Ok, here is what I saw on my Scorecard:
Well, I think you agree that I have some work to do on my site health for my main website, My Beach Decor! I would actually appreciate if some of you could just head over there right now and then leave a comment about the website speed and load performance …
So, I do admit that I am not a technical person, but I know that the loading time of webpages can be highly impacted by how many and what size pictures are displayed, what kind of scripts are running in the background, how many plugins are active etc. I started clicking around on the links to my analyzed pages to see if I could get tips on what to do to improve my website speed.
Clicking on the analyzed websites brought me to the Google Developers website and a list of suggestions on what I should do to improve my site’s health. I have to be honest, I think its a good idea to do what Google says since they are the one’s you want to impress, right? Here is a snapshot of the suggestions summary on page speed performance (I had a few green ticks, too, but didn’t include them here):
Now, I really am not technical minded, and this list really scared me! I started searching for “How to….” and looking around all over different websites on the internet to find out how to …. well, do what Google told me to do to increase my website speed!
I found some very good resources, but what I really wanted to tell you about is the Page Speed Service (beta) from Google itself that I stumbled upon (can’t go better than having your website optimized by the big G!). They offer a service to improve your website speed, and it’s currently free! Have a look at their short video intro:
I think it looks like an interesting service for people like me and is certainly worth having a look into. It seems to “speed up your webpages by putting a Google Page Speed server between your webpage and the Internet. It caches and rewrites the page on the fly to make it faster. Simulated tests speed up the webpages significantly. The setup is also not too complicated, but requires a little bit of technical know how (changes to the DNS entry).” (quote from a user in a forum).
As I stated before, currently the service is free, but Google might change it into a paid service some time down the track. I have signed up because I really want to do something to make my sites load faster and more streamlined, and I do not want to have to hire an expert to tweak my sites background scripts.
I have to admit that I currently do find it a bit challenging to set it up. I currently have a support ticket going with my hosting provider (D9 Hosting) (they are fantastic and really quick in responding, always!) about a problem I had with one of the steps and am waiting for a reply. Which means my site is not running through Page Speed Service yet, but when it is, I will let you know what happens to my score!
So by all means, if you need to improve your website speed, simply go and try this new service from Google. Of course there are other options out there, too, but for me it’s first now the “All in one” solution from Google.
Please leave a comment here if you decide to use Google’s service and how you find it!
Here are another few helpful links that you might find interesting in regards to improving website speed:
GTMetrix.com – Analyze the performance of your website
Gray Wolf Seo – How to speed up your WordPress website