Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Use PageSpeed Insights, part of Learning SEO Tools.
Focusing on improving your site's technical infrastructure along with your user experience will impact your SEO positively and that's because Google wants to drive traffic to sites that visitors will stay on and engage with. Visitors tend to appreciate websites that are built around their needs and how they want to navigate the web. The better you can make it for your users, the better it is for Google and the better you can expect the outcomes to be. Fortunately, Google has created a tool to help you evaluate the performance of your site as it relates to technical structure and usability.
This resource called PageSpeed Insights can be found at developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed. This tool works by measuring the performance of a page from mobile devices and desktop devices. It works by crawling a URL that you provide twice. The first time, it's going to use a bot configured to interpret the results just like they would appear for a mobile device and the second fetch is going to be done as things might appear to a desktop user.
At this point, PageSpeed is going to output a score and you can see an example of this report here on the right hand side of the screen. The score ranges from zero to 100. The closer to 100, the better. We'll look at reviewing the results of a PageSpeed test in the next movie but you're aiming for a score of 85 or above. This indicates that the page is performing well. Google is always evolving their PageSpeed tool so I recommend that you review your page speed on a monthly basis.
You can also automate your PageSpeed crawls by reviewing some more technical resources by selecting Automate Tests here on the left hand side or reviewing some of the links below on this page. You can also see your PageSpeed scores in Google Analytics so take a look at Google Analytics Fundamentals for more details on that. Now, I always like to know a little bit more about what's going on under the hood before I just drop a URL into a test. I find that automated tools such as this can lead you astray if you're not fully aware of exactly what Google is measuring and how.
So when you enter a URL into Google PageSpeed Insights, Google is going to measure how the page can improve based on two primary factors, time to above the fold load and time to the full page load. When we talk about above the fold content, we're really talking about the content that is immediately visible without a user needing to scroll down on their mobile or desktop device. You'll see here on this page that our fold ends right here towards the bottom of the screen where it says congratulations, no issues found.
That would indicate that everything that we see on the page right now is above the fold and when I scroll down, everything else is below the fold. The full page load means everything below the fold has to be loaded as well. The goal of your site is to keep the user engaged with the page while delivering the optimal experience. Google wants your content to render in under a second especially if the user is on a mobile network and this can be tricky but fortunately, you only really need your above the fold content to render in under one second.
This is because a user can start interacting with your site right away and while they begin to read or interact with this content, the rest of your site is loading as quickly as possible. A good site will load progressively in the background and you might want to talk to your web developer about how to make that possible. Now that we understand how Google is interpreting these results and the methodology behind improving your site at a high level, let's take a look at how to run an audit and how to interpret the results.
- Setting SEO goals
- Configuring Google Search Console
- Evaluating the Google index
- Using PageSpeed Insights
- Interpreting results and leveraging reports
- Using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Generating a site map
- Getting started with Keyword Planner
- Multiplying keyword lists
- Structuring data
- Using SEMrush
- Conducting keyword research