Site speed is of great importance to satisfy users, bring them to your page, have Google to like you, and thus boost your ranking. But how does that work? Let us see how Google understands speed metrics. We will also see why all of this actually matters, and how we can visualize some of the performance metrics so that we can use them to benefit our SEO and UX, and thus ultimately generate more revenue.
How does Google understand speed?
A fast site can satisfy users better. But, Google cannot understand this relationship directly. It hasn’t been designed to understand this and incorporate it into its algorithms. Only since last July has Google been looking at speed, ever since the mobile speed update had come up. It is a mix of lab and field data, wherein lab data is being brought in, which is mixed with data from anonymous users. This data includes five different metrics.
- First paint – When anything loads on the page
- First contentful paint – When a text or image loads
- DOM content loaded – When the DOM is loaded
- Onload – When additional scripts have loaded, like a full page load
- First input delay – The time between when a user interacts with a site, to when the server responds to it
How can you access this data?
- With PageSpeed Insights – Plug in the page you are interested in, and it will return some of the above metrics along with a bunch of recommendation about how the site performance can be improved.
- With CrUX dashboard – This helps to analyze all the five metrics. This is possible because it looks at the percentage of page loads, splitting them into slow, average, and fast loads. You can track this from month to month to see if your site is improving or worsening.
- By accessing raw data – This is a freely available database, which can be queried by creating a SQL query and putting it into BigQuery, and running it against the CrUX database. Exporting this to Google Sheets, and pulling it into Data Studio can create graphs which can help you visualize how the speed is performing.
What to do after achieving the data?
- Get buy-in – You can get buy-in from management, clients, or whoever you report to for various optimization work.
- Inform developers – After getting the buy-in, you can inform the developers and show them where your site is failing.
- Communicate impact – You can then communicate the impacts on performance every month, and then overlay various business metrics. Elements like conversion rates and bounce rates can help you understand whether you are improving on performance or not.
To avoid all hassles, you can hire an SEO company in India to take care of all of the above. After all, they are in the business, and while nobody knows how Google may change its algorithms, but they being in the business can handle all sorts of pressures and changes. And, if you have understood why site speed matters, you should also know how to have a lightning fast loading website.