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Website Speed Has Never Been More Important

2 Mins read

The page speed of every business website is a crucial Google search ranking factor, both across the whole website and also for important individual landing pages. One of the reasons search engines are placing so much emphasis on speed is that how fast a website loads and can be used is a major part of a good user experience and the aim of search engines like Google is to provide a great user experience. So, now is the time to get your website as fast as possible. Often a few quick fixes can have enough impact to boost your site’s speed, such as using smaller images or hosting your website with a faster hosting provider. 

Pro Tip: If you have a WordPress website you can’t go far wrong with choosing either WPEngine or SiteGround as your hosting provider.

Know Your Page Speed Values

Before you can think about improving page speed you need to find out what it is for your business website and how it compares with your competitors (as any SEO consultant will tell you, ranking factors and positions in the search listings are all about how well your website compares with your competitors). 

To see what speed levels your own (or anyone else’s) website is getting right now, Google has given us all a useful, free tool to help out. It’s called Google Page Speed Insights and all you have to do is simply enter the URL you want to check and wait for the score to appear. Page Speed is a value between 0 and 100 and there is a simple red-amber-green traffic light system to show you how fast your site is on a desktop and on a mobile phone, and whether it falls within the categories “poor” (red), “needs improvement” (amber) or “good” (green).

Different pages on a website can have different speeds so make sure you check all of your important landing pages, especially those that already are – or that you hope soon will be – ranking in the organic search listings.

Important New Page Speed Metrics

Better still Page Speed Insights even provides suggestions on how to make your website faster. It also provides a breakdown of some of the most important metrics that are used to determine the overall Page Speed score. These include the metrics: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which combined form an important new group of speed metrics for 2021 know as “Core Web Vitals”. You can find a guide about Core Web Vitals here.

WordPress Websites

For businesses with WordPress websites there are a number of useful plugins that can help you implement some of the page speed improvements that might be identified. For instance, the plugins Imagify or ShortPixel can compress existing images without loss of resolution, making them smaller and, therefore, faster to load. For an even faster website try the WordPress plugin Autoptimize to optimise the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on your website or the caching plugin WP Rocket for an all-round faster user experience.