googlespeedinsights

Google Speed Insights – Get it right!

Google Speed Insights is one of the most famous tools out there to measure your website’s performance. It checks what experience your site delivers to both mobile and desktop users. There are three marks that you can get – green, yellow and red. Green colour means that your website is friendly to its users. Yellow colour indicates you need to do some work to improve your site’s performance and the red one informs you that your website needs optimization.

Google Speed Insights for SEO – does it matter?

I have come across many articles saying that Google Speed Insights results do not matter that much and that we should not be worried about them. It is true to some extent. Did you know that Google Speed Insights does not measure your website’s loading speed? It checks the overall performance of the site and gives you some good suggestions on what can be improved. What matters the most for Google is not the grade that you get from Google Speed Insights but how fast your site loads. You can measure this on GTmetrix or Pingdom.

What are Google Speed Insights recommendations?

One of the most crucial ones is to optimize images. If images are too big, they take longer to load. It affects your website’s loading speed and respectively user’s experience. Ideally, your images should be resized as much as possible without compromising too much on the image quality. For this, you can use TinyPNG or CompressJPG. Also, remember to use file name related to your entire blog post (it makes it easier for search engines to find your picture) and implement alt tags. After you optimize all your images (the ones embedded in the content, your logo, footer and header icons and other), you should notice a significant improvement in Google Speed Insights score.

Another popular recommendation is to minify CSS and JavaScript files. What does that mean? It is simply removing unnecessary spaces from your JavaScript and CSS files. You can do it manually (not recommended), use third-party websites or implement a plugin if you are WordPress user. You can use JSCompress for JavaScript and CSS Minifier for CSS. I recommend WP Fastest Cache Plugin for WordPress users. Again, after you cleaned the files up, you should see an increase in your performance score.

Last but not least is to remove render-blocking JavaScript and CSS. It means that some JavaScript and CSS files block your page from rendering before they are fully loaded. There are two solutions to this – the good one and the bad one. The bad one is to put CSS and JavaScript at the bottom of your HTML. What it does, it allows a browser to load HTML first (unstyled HTML) and then it loads other resources (CSS styles plus JavaScript). It creates bad user experience because a user can see the flash of unstyled content. Here is a great guide on how to eliminate render blocking CSS.

What is CDN and how does it affect speed?

Finally, CDN is an abbreviation for Content Delivery Network. If your business is operating on a global scale, you may consider using CDN. It will improve your website’s performance and speed for your customers located overseas. How does it work? CDN stores cached version of your website’s content in multiple locations allowing users of particular region access your resources faster.

Google Speed Insights & Leverage Browser Caching

Personally, I am not a fan of implementing plugins to make things work. They are great, but if there is another available solution – I will go for it. Leveraging browser caching is necessary as it makes your website load faster for repeat visitors. Simply, some CSS and JavaScript files are stored in a customer’s browser once they ended up on your page. It improves loading speed because when they visit your page, again and again, the resources are being loaded directly from the browser, not the server.

CONCLUSION:

All in all, Google Speed Insights is a great tool from Google that shows you where your website lacks when it comes to performance. It can be used as a recommendation to improve some significant aspects of your site such as image optimization. Remember to back up files before you manually make any changes. It allows you to restore them anytime something goes wrong. Let me know what other tools you use to check or improve your website’s loading speed? And, is Google Speed Insights useful to you at all? I am happy to hear your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *