If the site is slow, you are losing customers. It’s very simple and there are no kinder ways to say the same thing. The speed of a site is directly proportional to the desire of a user to visit it. To measure your portal you can use a tool made available by Google: PageSpeed Insight. You can access this service from the Plesk control panel offered by SOD, simply by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the site panel.
Today we try to understand how this tool can help us improve the user experience on our site and also the positioning for search engines (SEO). In this regard, I recommend checking the data of a research carried out by Backlinko in which they tested how different on-site and off-site parameters affect positioning, the search is in English but has also been translated into Italian.
Why is speed important?
The speed of your website has a direct impact on SEO and conversion rates. Not taking the time to make improvements can be a costly mistake. Users are much more likely to leave a slow website without even visiting it, and the likelihood of this happening increases by over 100% if a page’s load time goes from 1s to 6s. In particular, the bouncing rate (percentage of users who leave without visiting other pages) is in the following parameters:
– Loading up to 3 seconds: bouncing rate + 32%
– Loading up to 5 seconds: bouncing rate + 90%
– Up to 6 seconds: bouncing rate + 106%
There is a real need for speed, and Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool is a fantastic resource to help you find and fix problems that could slow down your site.
What is PageSpeed Insight
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google to help analyze the performance of a website and receive suggestions on how to improve it. In fact, it’s probably the most popular page speed analysis tool out there, so it’s worth learning how to use.
PageSpeed provides a speed index in cents, the maximum of which is obviously 100/100. Before you rush to figure out how to get that score, you need to know how to use the tool correctly and implement the suggestions it provides. In fact, not only is a score produced, but also the weak points that affect the score, loading times and suggestions for improving it are shown.
Let’s see some useful information to better understand how PageSpeed Insight works.
PageSpeed and loading time
The PageSpeed Insight tool does not measure the loading time of your site. Despite what people think. To understand what that means, let’s see the difference between PageSpeed and page load time.
PageSpeed is the score given by Google with its PageSpeed Insights tool. This tool takes the raw performance metrics and converts them to a score between 1 and 100. While it will offer diagnostic reporting and opportunities as part of the report, they do not directly contribute to the performance score.
This means that PageSpeed Insight alone is not actually a real indicator of a site’s loading time.
So what is loading time compared to PageSpeed? It is the average time it takes a page to be loaded by a user. It is not a calculated score, it is the actual loading time of a page, in seconds or milliseconds, between the beginning and the end of the content loading.
Of course, the loading time alone does not give an idea of what is causing speed problems or how to fix them.
How does the tool work?
Once you have accessed the tool from the hosting control panel, you will find us in front of a lot of information.
The Google PagesSpeed Insights tool provides both lab data and field data for each page. Lab data is collected in a controlled environment when a page is scanned and is a great way to identify performance problems and find solutions to solve them. Field data, on the other hand, is collected from real-world performance data when users load the page. Some of the problems and obvious bottlenecks that make conversion more difficult for real visitors may arise here.
In short: the tool shows a performance score out of a total of 100. However, the performance metric results used to calculate it are not weighted equally. Things like “first contentful paint” (the first time you see something on the screen) have a greater effect.
There are particular data that have different influences on the final score shown in hundredths. To find out what to improve to increase your PageSpeed score, you need to analyze the sections that contain page-specific data.
In practice, the screen displayed in the control panel first of all shows a table showing the loaded resources and their size. Next there are the “Lab Data”, “Load Opportunities” and “Diagnostic” sections.
Each section lists all the tests that have been passed, those that need to be improved and those that show problems. It is all shown with a color-code which helps to immediately pinpoint where the problems are.
The tool is offered free of charge and provides important data for webmasters who want to monetize the site and pay attention to conversions. Each item on the list is accompanied by a link that provides further information on that specific topic.
Improving a certain aspect of your site will be much easier, having clues on how to proceed. Especially if you make sales on the site, if you try to convert your visitors, the speed of the pages is a parameter to work on carefully to optimize it as much as possible.
The control panel of the SOD web hosting service natively offers this opportunity to analyze the site, conveniently without having to go to other pages. Try the service before purchasing and personally check the convenience of the hosting control panel.
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