What does Google PageSpeed really say?

16.10.2020
by Meike Müller
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When a user comes to your website, one of the first things they notice is the loading time. People are impatient and will quickly become dissatisfied if your website is slow to load. So the faster the loading time, the happier the user. Ideally, your website should load completely within a maximum of 3 seconds. This factor is easy to measure and can then be optimized. Why should you do this? Optimizing your page speed not only helps to improve your user's website experience, but also helps to improve your Google rankings. You can find out exactly how to optimize the loading time and what Google PageSpeed actually is in our article:

What to expect
  1. What is Google PageSpeed?
  2. What exactly does Google PageSpeed actually measure?
  3. User experience with the perfect score
  4. How you can really optimize the loading time

Reading time 5 min

What is Google PageSpeed?

Google PageSpeed Insights is a free service offered by Google. The tool can be used to examine the loading time of a website and optimize it in the next step. In addition to the structure of JavaScript files, HTML and CSS files, PageSpeed Insights also examines the integration of images or the cache settings of the website. But what exactly does Google PageSpeed tell us?

PageSpeed Insights

The speed of a website is an important factor in SEO. A low loading time gives you and your website a better search engine ranking. However, you should be aware that loading time is just one of many factors that influence your ranking in Google search results. Google PageSpeed is often touted as THE tool for optimizing loading time. However, the tool is often misinterpreted and is not the Holy Grail that will catapult your website to the first page of the search engine. The tool is not decisive for the ranking of your website, because Google's algorithms take numerous factors into account for the SEO ranking. At EXWE, we deal with the support of individual online stores, e-commerce and SEO optimization on a daily basis. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us!

What exactly does Google PageSpeed actually measure?

The technical structure of a page is analyzed and evaluated. Google PageSpeed assumes that certain structures of a website should be built quickly and only accepts this one structure as the only correct one. However, it is clear that there is no one optimal structure for websites and that some page elements were built this way for a specific reason (e.g. user-friendliness). However, Google PageSpeed penalizes this structure because it does not match the specifications. This is an important reason why you can use the tool as an incentive for improvements on a technical level, but should not blindly trust it or even worsen the user-friendliness.

Labdaten PageSpeed

The inclusion of blocking JavaScript and CSS is often criticized. Google PageSpeed assumes that these must be fully loaded so that the browser can display the page in full on the screen. The tool also measures how long it takes the browser to process the website. However, the processing of websites in the browser is not the same as the loading time of the website, so this can only be estimated as a theoretical value. The file size of a website, which is one of the most important factors for the loading time, is also not included in the analysis. In addition, some of the technical aspects displayed in the Insights have no effect on the loading time perceived by the user. And very importantly, the user's internet connection is of course also involved in how quickly a website loads. Google PageSpeed is often oversensitive and rates aspects that are rated as good or sufficient in practice as poor and warns users about them. The tool tests technical aspects of the loading process or programming and the structure of the page and shows you which details you should improve on your website. And even Gary Illyes, who calls himself the Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, admits that a score in the green zone is absolutely sufficient (source: http://www.thesempost.com/next-mobile-friendly-update-includes-page-speed-coming-in-months/).

Empfehlungen PageSpeed

User experience before the perfect score

The question you should ask yourself is quite clear - should Google Pagespeed be made happy or is the user experience the priority? Why are you optimizing your website in the first place? Probably to attract the attention of potential customers. That's exactly why you want to be at the top of Google searches - to draw attention to yourself. But what if someone actually gets to your site, clicks on it and ends up on a website that doesn't offer them a good browsing or shopping experience? Too bad - for you and the user. Online stores whose pages load slowly are giving away a large part of their sales. Many of your visitors don't want to wait a long time for a website to load and bounce before making a purchase. These are customers that you are losing to your competitors through your own fault.

Another Google ranking factor is how long the user stays on your site. Making the user happy and getting them to stay on the site for as long as possible is therefore an advantage. A website with intelligent texts, beautiful and appropriately tailored images and a uniform, convincing design that is easy for the user to use is more important than a Google PageSpeed score of 100. Of course, you should optimize the page speed - this influences the user experience and conversion and is therefore relevant for the Google ranking. But not by hook or by crook. Google PageSpeed is a good tool to give you an overview. Nevertheless, you should critically question the many tools for optimizing a website and not blindly trust them. In summary, a good Google PageSpeed result is not everything.

How you can really optimize the loading time of your website

The longer your website takes to load, the lower it ranks on Google - decreasing traffic will prevent your business from growing in the long term. Here are a few tips on how you can really optimize your loading time. Important: A loading time of 2-3 seconds is optimal. It is important that you optimize your page structure for mobile devices and desktop computers. There are many factors that affect both device types, but other factors such as image size can affect the page load when opening the website on a smartphone.

Optimize images - Image files are often responsible for a long loading time. It is therefore important to size images correctly, choose the right file format (JPG, quality 10 - very high - 80 %, PNG for transparent backgrounds) and make sure that the images still look high quality. A CDN can also help you to optimize your media.

Reduce or merge CSS - with CSS you design font sizes, colors and design elements on your website. You should avoid using "@import" in CSS files, as the imported files can only be loaded once the first one has finished loading and has been processed by the browser, which makes the loading time even slower. It is better to specify these directly in the HTML header or to combine them in a CSS file.

Browser caching - activate this option so that a browser can temporarily store data on your visitor's device and thus reduce the loading time of your website.

Javascript - your Javascript files should be loaded last. You can merge them like the CSS files.

If you need further help and information in the area of online e-commerce, we will be happy to assist you. Individual online store & e-commerce support including optimization and SEO is the cornerstone for successful performance and increased sales. Contact us and together we will develop a strategy for your website!

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Meike
Meike
from 16.10.2020

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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