What is the PageSpeed Insights Tool?
As a business owner, you know that having a website is essential for success in today’s digital age. But did you know that the speed at which your website loads can have a significant impact on your business’s bottom line? In fact, a slow-loading website can drive potential customers away, resulting in lost sales and revenue. That’s where the PageSpeed Insights tool comes in. Developed by Google, this powerful tool can help you identify and address issues that are slowing down your website, so you can improve its performance and attract more customers. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what the PageSpeed Insights tool is, how it works, and what it scans. As experts in web development and website speed, the team at Blue Whale Media is here to help you take your website to the next level. Let’s get started!
What is PageSpeed Insights?
PageSpeed Insights is a free web tool created by Google that analyses the performance of your website on desktop and mobile devices. It scans your website and generates a report that shows how fast your web pages load and provides recommendations for improving its speed and performance. This tool is essential for website owners who want to improve their website’s user experience and search engine ranking.
How does it work?
PageSpeed Insights uses a set of metrics to evaluate the speed and performance of your website. It measures the time it takes for your web pages to load, the size of your web pages, and the number of requests made to your server. The tool then generates a score that ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better performance. PageSpeed Insights also gives detailed recommendations for improving your website’s speed and performance. These recommendations are categorised into high, medium, and low priority, depending on their impact on your website’s performance. By following these recommendations, you can improve your website’s user experience, reduce bounce rates, and boost your search engine ranking.
Why should I care?
As a business owner, your website is often the first interaction that potential customers have with your brand. If your website takes too long to load or is difficult to navigate, it can leave a negative impression on visitors and drive them away. This can result in lost sales and revenue, which is why website speed and user experience should be a top priority for any business owner.
PageSpeed Insights can help you identify and address issues that are slowing down your website, so you can provide a better user experience for your visitors. By implementing the recommendations provided by the tool, you can improve your website’s speed, reduce bounce rates, and increase the likelihood of visitors staying on your site and making a purchase. Additionally, a fast-loading website can improve your search engine ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online. Overall, investing in your website’s speed and performance can have a significant impact on your bottom line, making PageSpeed Insights an essential tool for any business owner.
What does PageSpeed Insights look for?
PageSpeed Insights scans both desktop and mobile versions of your website. It analyzes various aspects of your website that affect its speed and performance, including:
- Server response time: This refers to the time it takes for your server to respond to a request from a user’s browser (also known as Time to First Byte TTFB)
- Browser caching: This refers to the ability of a user’s browser to store some of your website’s data, such as images and scripts, which reduces the number of requests made to your server.
- Image optimisation: This refers to the process of compressing your website’s images to reduce their size and improve page load times.
- Mobile-friendliness: This refers to the ability of your website to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions on mobile devices.
By scanning these aspects of your website, PageSpeed Insights provides you with a comprehensive analysis of your website’s speed and performance, and gives you actionable recommendations for improvement. Depending on your experience with websites, you may be able to
There are four main metrics to look out for when scanning your website or webpage with PageSpeed Insights. These are:
- Largest Contentful Paint
- First Contentful Paint
- Total Blocking Time
- Cumulative Layout Shift
First Contentful Paint (FCP)
First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures the time it takes for the first element on your webpage to be visible to the user. This element could be a logo, a menu, or a block of text. A good FCP score indicates that your webpage is loading quickly and providing a good user experience.
A good FCP score is 1.8 seconds or lower. If your webpage is recording a FCP higher than 1.8 seconds, you can read our full guide on optimising First Contentful Paint.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) refers to the time it takes for the largest element on your webpage to be fully visible to the user. This element could be an image, a video, or a block of text. A good LCP score indicates that your webpage is loading quickly and efficiently.
To optimise for Largest Contentful Paint, ensure that the largest element on your webpage loads within the first 2.5 seconds of page load. You can easily identify the Largest Contentful Paint through the PageSpeed Insights Tool.
A good LCP score is 2.5 seconds or lower. If your webpage is recording a LCP higher than 2.5 seconds, you can read our guide on optimising Largest Contentful Paint.
Total Blocking Time (TBT)
Total Blocking Time (TBT) measures the amount of time that a user spends waiting for the webpage to become interactive. This occurs when a user clicks on a button or tries to enter text into a form, but the webpage is still loading. A good TBT score indicates that your webpage is responsive and provides a smooth user experience.
A good TBT score is 0.2 seconds or lower. If your webpage is recording a TBT higher than 0.2 seconds, you can read our guide on optimising Total Blocking Time.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the amount of unexpected layout changes that occur on your webpage as it loads. This occurs when elements on the webpage move around or shift position, which can be confusing or frustrating for the user. A good CLS score indicates that your webpage is stable and provides a consistent user experience.
A good CLS score is 0.1 or lower. If your webpage is recording a CLS higher than 0.1, you can read our guide on optimising Cumulative Layout Shift.
What about the Core Web Vitals?
In addition to the metrics mentioned above, PageSpeed Insights also looks at Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that measure key aspects of the user experience. Core Web Vitals are important because they directly impact how users perceive and interact with your website. You can see whether your website passes or fails the Core Web Vitals with the PageSpeed Insight Tools. Whether you pass or fail is based on real-life user data (called CrUX data) as people browse and navigate your website.
The three Core Web Vitals are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Total Blocking Time (TBT), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which we have already discussed in detail. These metrics are considered the most important factors in determining the overall user experience of a website.
The Core Web Vitals metrics are specifically used for Google search rankings as part of the Page Experience update. This means that websites with good Core Web Vitals scores will be ranked higher in search results, and those with poor scores may be penalised.
It’s essential for business owners who own a website to keep an eye on their Core Web Vitals scores and make improvements where necessary. By improving these metrics, you can improve your website’s user experience, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive more traffic and revenue to your business. If you would like to learn more, you can read our guide to Google’s Core Web Vitals here.
In conclusion, PageSpeed Insights is a powerful tool that can help you identify issues with your website’s speed and user experience. By paying attention to the metrics it measures, such as LCP, TBT, and CLS, and taking steps to optimise them, you can improve your website’s performance and maximise its potential. As a web design company in London with expertise in building SEO-friendly websites with great user experience, we can help you with any speed issues you encounter.