Page Speed Optimization:
A Brief Description of Tools and Metrics
A website with quick page load time is more likely to grab the attention of the users. Page speed has always been the center of focus of the majority of the SEO experts and is considered a crucial part of the overall optimization of any site. As more companies are becoming digital, the shifting to the online operation needs them to put exert their efforts in optimization to stand out in the competitive environment.
Page speed is usually confused with the overall site speed, which is actually the speed of a sample page that is viewed on any particular site. It has always been a complex subject to tackle and tends to be quite technical. The page speed can be evaluated by different metrics and can be optimized by using the best practices.
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You might be scavenging the ways to improve the page speed, if so, then this article will going to help you in knowing about the metrics, tools, and some of the best practices to get better results.
Page/Site Speed Metrics
First things first. Before jumping on to the tools needed to optimize the page speed or the best practices to use, it is essential to know about the metrics to analyze where the problem actually is. Here are some of the metrics:
First Paint and First Contentful Paint
It is the first non-blank paint on the screen of any page that could just be the first-pixel change. Thus, the initial change is considered as first paint. After that, when the first content appears on the screen, the search bar or the navigation pane or whatever appears next will the first contentful paint. Both play an important role in measuring page speed.
First Meaningful Paint and Time to Interact
When primary content gets visible on the screen, and you get some sort of reaction, it is considered as the first meaningful paint. When the content is engage-able and usable, it would be termed as the time to interact. All of these metrics are user-centric and are quite neat.
DOM Content Loaded
When the HTML is loaded completely and parsed, then it is termed as DOM content loaded. So, SEO experts need to keep an eye on these metrics and should be aware of in general to optimize the page speed for better user experience.
Page Speed Tools
The most commonly used tools for page speed optimization, are Google tools, along with Google suggested insights. The most exciting thing about these tools is you can see what the primary concerns are as long as page speed starts optimizing, and you will start to see a shift towards the user's experience and engagement.
Here a question arises, how is this going to affect the people who will be visiting your site? You can get the dual benefits of Google through these tools by perceiving them as higher quality tools. Google suggests any website to load between two to three seconds of the query from the users, and the faster, the better applies here perfectly. It is better to put the competitors into these tools after setting benchmarks of the speed goals to know about the best competitive options in the industry.
It is available for users right in Chrome Dev Tools and enables you to analyze the website effectively. If you are on the web page you want to analyze, then click the inspect element to open up the Chrome Dev Tools and click on the right tab that says “Audit” where you can run the lighthouse report. It can automatically be set on the simulated fast 3G, and the Lighthouse can run off that load quite efficiently.
User Experience Report of Chrome
This is the real user metrics to analyze the page speed, but only some popular websites can use it. However, one can get really useful and informative data out of it if you have some basic knowledge of SQL.
Page Speed Insights
The insights of page speed can be fascinating to analyze, and with the chrome user experience report, it has become quite handy to use. But the problem is if you aren’t a popular website, then it would be difficult to measure the page speed accurately. From the general configuration of the website to provide the feedback and scores, it provides valuable information.
Effective Ways to Optimize Page Speed
After you have a handful of information about the metrics and tools to be used to improve the page speed, here are some of the most efficient ways to get the job done.
3 P’s Approach
Preconnect, prefetch, and preload is an effective way to speed up the site without exerting many efforts. Google uses this technique on the SERPs, and you might have also seen Google prefetching some of the URLs of your queries to speed up the process of showing results to click on any of those. The user does the same thing on the website, and you can use the same technique on your website.
Enable Catching and Use CDN
Caching is an essential part of the page speed optimization process, and you should do ample research to ensure that it is set properly to get the best results. The same is the case with the content delivery network. It is quite valuable in setting up the site if the CDN is set properly.
Consider Resizing Images
Another way to speed up the site is to compress the images that are used on the website. It is an easy and quick way to optimize page speed, and you can find a plethora of free tools on the internet.
If the website is taking quite a long time to thoroughly display the content on a particular page, then viewers are more likely to close it and jump on to the next option. Thus, increasing the bounce rate of the page, and this is the least anyone would want. You should think about optimizing the page speed to get your website ready to rank in different search engine results organically.