What does Google PageSpeed really say?

by Meike Müller
Tipps & Tricks

When a user comes to your website, one of the first things they notice is the loading time. People are impatient and so they will quickly become dissatisfied if your website loads slowly. So the faster the loading time, the happier the user. Optimally, your website should be fully loaded within a maximum of 3 seconds. This factor is easy to measure and can be optimized afterwards. Why should you do this? Optimizing your pagespeed not only helps increase your user's website experience, but also helps improve your Google rankings. How exactly you optimize the time of loading and what Google PageSpeed actually is - you can find out in our article:

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

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 an internet presence and optimize it in the next step. PageSpeed Insights examines not only the structure of JavaScript files, HTML and CSS files, but also the integration of images or the cache settings of the website. But what exactly does Google PageSpeed say?

PageSpeed Insights

The speed of a website is an important factor in SEO. A low loading time gives you and your site a better ranking in the search engine rankings. However, you should keep in mind that the loading time is only one factor among many that influences the ranking in Google search results. Google PageSpeed is often touted as THE tool for load time optimization. But the tool is often misinterpreted and is not the Holy Grail that will catapult your website to the first page in the search engine. The tool is not decisive for the ranking of your website, because Google's algorithms take into account numerous factors for the SEO ranking. We at EXWE 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 measure?

The technical structure of a page is analyzed and evaluated. Google PageSpeed assumes that certain structures of a website should be built fast and accepts only 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 (for example, user-friendliness). However, Google PageSpeed penalizes this structure because it does not resemble the specifications. This is an important reason why, although the tool can be used as an incentive for improvements on a technical level, it should not be blindly trusted, or even degrade the user experience.

Labdaten PageSpeed

Frequently criticized is the inclusion of blocking JavaScript and CSS. Google PageSpeed assumes that these must be fully loaded so that the browser can fully display the page on the screen. In addition, the tool measures how long the browser takes to process the website. However, the processing of the 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 here. 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 whatsoever on the loading time perceived by the user. And very importantly, the user's internet connection is of course also involved in how fast a website loads. Google PageSpeed is often oversensitive and rates aspects that are rated as good or sufficient in practice as bad and admonishes them. The tool tests technical aspects of the page's loading or programming and structure, and tells you what details you should improve on your site. And even Gary Illyes, who titles himself 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 - is Google Pagespeed to be made happy or is the user experience in the foreground. What are you optimizing your website for anyway? 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, and lands on a site that doesn't give them a good page 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 for a long time for a website to load and will bail out before making a purchase. These are customers that you lose to your competitors through your own fault.

Another ranking factor on Google is how long the user stays on your site. So making the user happy and getting them to stay on the site as long as possible is an advantage. A website with intelligent texts, beautiful and appropriately tailored images and a consistent, compelling design that is easy to use for the user 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 trust them blindly. In summary, a good result on Google PageSpeed is not everything.

How to really optimize the loading time

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

Optimize images - Image files are often responsible for long loading time. Therefore it is 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. Also a CDN can help you to play out your media optimally.

Reduce or merge CSS - with CSS you design font sizes, colors and design elements on your website. In CSS files you should avoid using "@import", because the files imported there can only be loaded when the first one has finished loading and has been processed by the browser, which again worsens the loading time by quite a bit. It is better to specify them directly in the HTML header, or to combine them in a CSS file.

Browser caching - enable this option, so a browser can temporarily store data on your visitor's device and thus reduce loading time.

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

If you need more help and information in the field of online e-commerce we are at your side. The individual online store & e-commerce support including optimization and SEO is the cornerstone for successful performance and sales increase. Contact us and together we will develop a strategy for your website!

Was ist dein Projekt? Wenn du uns darüber erzählen möchtest, rufen wir dich zurück!

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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