Page Speed Online: How Fast Is Your Site?

Just when you finished optimising your content, finished modifying your site for mobile, and wrapped up your latest blog posts; just when you thought you’d covered your SEO bases – Google introduces  the Page Speed Online tool. SEO is never really “done”! This latest advance helps marketers take a look at their site speed, and more importantly, take steps to improve it

According to Google guru, Matt Cutts, speed should be a top priority for SEO. The Page Speed Online tool analyzes your site and provides instant feedback. All you need to do is enter your site’s URL; Google gives you a score up to 100 and prioritises a list of suggestions, which includes mobile-specific recommendations. This is important because the smartphone market is exploding, and mobile users aren’t going to wait for their on-the-go information.

According to Google, “Reducing page load times can reduce bound rates and increase conversion rates.” How much difference can a few microseconds make? Yahoo found out when they improved their speed by 400ms and saw a 9 percent increase in their pageviews. Firefox worked to reduce page load times by an average of 2.2 seconds, and download conversions were boosted by over 15 percent.

Google gives itself a score of 100/100. Yahoo earned a score of 89, and Google suggests some of the following:

  • Combine images into CSS sprites.

  • Specify a cache validator.

  • Optimize images.

  • Minify HTML.

  • Minify JavaScript.

  • Put CSS in the document head.

But, Google acknowledges, Yahoo gets it right in the areas that matter; those that will increase conversion rates. The Page Speed Online tool won’t fix the issues, but they can lead you in the right direction.

The benefit of the Page Speed Online tool is that it is now available on any browser and is quick and easy. Matt Cutts named page speed as one of the top three SEO priorities. The other two are incorporating social media into marketing and SEO campaigns and moving past article marketing. By “article marketing,” Cutts is referring to low quality content; instead focusing on high quality, natural content, including editorial pieces, is more effective.

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