Performance is one of the buzzwords in 2019. It affects both your Google ranking and the conversion rate. In this article, we will focus on the performance of the interface and how you can improve the speed of your website, whether you are a webmaster or a digital marketing professional.
Tools to Measure the Loading Speed
There are several services and tools to check the performance of your website, including Pingdom, Matrix, Page Speed Insights and Google Lighthouse. For this post, we have used the latter to test the mobile performance.
In Google Lighthouse, there are five areas you can try: Performance, progressive web applications, accessibility, best practices and SEO.
This article focuses on performance, but if you’re testing, take a look at the results from the other areas; There are probably some quick elements that can be improved. Especially during Accessibility and Best Practices, where there are often good conclusions.
When optimizing, the first step is to find out where there are problems. You can start by trying a few pages manually and get an idea of what can be improved. Another way is to use Google Analytics to find, for example, the ten most visited pages.
It is also a good idea to configure monitoring so you can control performance over time: Has anything changed that has affected performance? There are several tools for this, including Caliber and Speed Curve.
Keep in mind that many of the basic (and often easy) optimizations go through the site (for example, loading fonts) and will affect many pages – so you should just start.
Better Performance gives you a better SEO Range
In July 2018, Google announced that the speed of the page would be a ranking factor in mobile searches. However, the speed of the page is not the only factor, so slow pages can have a high rank if, for example, there is only content, although it is clearly in a priority area.
A fast loading time not only influences your positioning in Google, but also in the users of your mobile devices. According to a Google study, the bounce rate increases by 90% when the load time increases from 1 second to 5 seconds.
Performance and speed are, of course, just some of the factors you must take into account to achieve a high ranking of Google and ensure that your users do not leave. It is also important that you have a general control of SEO. If you need help, talk to one of our SEO experts.
Positive Influence on the Conversion Rate
Performance also influences conversion rates. In the following example, the Google Analytics data from one of our customers shows how the improvement of the page load time positively affected its conversion rate (there were no other activities during this period).
Check the Performance
Here is a quick guide so you can do a performance check of your website yourself. You also need to have a list of the URLs you want to try. For example, the ten most visited pages of your website. There are several options for testing with Google Lighthouse. In this guide, we use the built-in tools for Google Chrome developers, but you can also download a Lighthouse Chrome extension.
How to Perform the load Speed Test
To Perform a test, you can follow the Google Guide, or these Steps:
- Download Google Chrome for Desktop
- Go to the URL you want to try
- Open Chrome DevTools (right click on the page and select ‘Inspect’)
- Select the ‘Audit’ tab
- In the ‘Audits’ tab, select the audits you wish to perform, then click ‘Run audits.
Try with Google Lighthouse
The test takes 60 to 90 seconds to complete. We recommend that you complete the test before navigating to other pages, as it may affect the results.
Results and Recommendations
The report provides an explanation of the different results and recommendations of solutions. Most require some technical knowledge and changes to the code or server configuration. A score higher than 75 is rated by Google as good, but you can easily get a better score and we recommend that you aim a little higher.