First off, there are three ways to measure page speed. Let’s walk through all three page speed measurements.
Fully Loaded Page
This is exactly what its name states. This is how long it takes 100% of the resources to load on the page.
Time to First Byte
Time to first byte is how long it takes for the website page to start loading the resources. If you can recall the white screen before a page loads, that is time to first byte in progress.
First Meaningful Paint
The first meaningful paint is the time it takes for the page to load enough of the resources to interact or read the content of the page.
Is Page Speed Important for SEO?
The short answer is, absolutely! Since 2010, Google has been analyzing page speed as a signal in their search algorithm. Page speed is a contributing factor to a website’s keyword ranking. Google understands that page speed is important for user experience and the faster a website, the better the experience the user will have.
How to Optimize for Page Speed
Unfortunately, many page speed issues are typically out of our control if you use a CMS like WordPress or Shopify but, we can still make a few optimizations to the site to help improve page speed.
When adding new images to a website, ensure you save the image in the smallest dimensions or exact dimensions you need.
For example, say you take a product photo with a digital camera, then you upload the image to your website. This image will be extremely unoptimized. The dimensions will not only be 1000+ px by 1000+ px but it will also include unneeded metadata.
It is best practice to save the image as the dimensions you will need. So, if the image will appear in a 100px-by-100px box, save the images as 100px by 100px instead of 1000px-by-1000px. This way, the image loads quicker than if the browser has to resize the image on the fly.
In addition to resizing the image, you should also compress the image to a smaller file size. To do this, there are endless plugins and apps you can add to your CMS to automatically compress images as you add them to your website, or you can use a tool like TinyPNG.com before you upload the image to your website.
In addition to resizing and compressing the images, you should also save the image as a WebP filetype if possible. WebP is a modern filetype that provides superior compression compared to alternative filetypes. On average, WebP files are about 26% smaller than comparable filetypes like PNGs.
To Sum It All Up
Page speed is an important metric to monitor and optimize when working on your website’s SEO and keyword rankings. But, in addition to improving your keyword ranking, improving page speed will also help improve your conversion rate. For these reasons, we 100% recommend optimizing your site for page speed.
Do you have a question that wasn’t answered above? Or would you like to speak with our SEO team about your website’s page speed? Feel free to reach out by filling out a free consultation form!