June 24, 2023 Mark Acornley

10 Ways to Check Website Page Speed for Better SEO

Is your website slow?

Need to check website page speed but not sure how?

Page speed, or the time it takes for a web page to fully load, has emerged as a critical factor not only for user satisfaction but also for search engine optimisation (SEO).

In this blog post, we’ll delve into what page speed is and why it’s so important for SEO. We’ll also provide you with 10 actionable ways to test your website’s page speed and enhance your online performance.

Understanding the why you need to check website page speed

Page speed refers to how quickly a web page loads and becomes interactive for a user.

It encompasses various factors, such as server response time, browser rendering, and the size of page resources like images, CSS, and JavaScript. But why is page speed so crucial, particularly for SEO?

Let’s explore:

  • User Experience: Google and other search engines prioritise user experience. Slow-loading pages frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates, which can negatively impact your SEO rankings. To assess your website’s page speed and user experience, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This tool provides a score and actionable suggestions for improvement.
  • Mobile Friendliness: With the majority of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, your website’s mobile-friendliness is a key factor in SEO. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test helps you evaluate your site’s mobile performance, including page speed. It provides insights and recommendations for optimisation.
  • Core Web Vitals: Google introduced Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor, focusing on page loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Tools like Google Search Console offer Core Web Vitals reports, enabling you to monitor and improve these aspects of your website’s performance.
  • Reduced Bounce Rate: Slow-loading pages often result in high bounce rates, which signal to search engines that your content may not be relevant or valuable. Lower bounce rates correlate with better SEO. Google Analytics provides data on your website’s bounce rate, helping you identify problem areas.
  • Crawl Budget: Search engines allocate a limited amount of resources (crawl budget) to each website for indexing. Slow-loading pages can consume more crawl budget, potentially causing search engines to overlook important content. Regularly check your website’s crawl stats in Google Search Console to ensure efficient crawling.

Now that we’ve established the importance of page speed for SEO, let’s dive into the 10 ways you can test and optimise your website’s page speed:

1. Google PageSpeed Insights

How to Test: Visit Google PageSpeed Insights, enter your website URL, and click “Analyse.” You’ll receive a score and a list of opportunities and diagnostics. Follow the recommendations to enhance your page speed.

2. GTmetrix

How to Test: Go to GTmetrix, input your URL, and click “Test your site.” GTmetrix provides a detailed report, including PageSpeed and YSlow scores, loading times, and optimisation tips.

3. Pingdom Website Speed Test

How to Test: Use Pingdom’s Website Speed Test by entering your URL and choosing a test location. It presents a waterfall chart, showing resource loading times and performance grade.

4. WebPageTest

How to Test: Head to WebPageTest, enter your URL, and select a test location and browser. After the test, you’ll receive a comprehensive report with performance metrics and recommendations.

5. Lighthouse (Built into Google Chrome)

How to Test: Open your website in Google Chrome, right-click, select “Inspect,” and go to the “Lighthouse” tab. Run an audit to assess your website’s performance, accessibility, and more.

6. Chrome DevTools

How to Test: In Chrome, press F12 to open DevTools. Go to the “Network” tab and reload your webpage. You’ll see a waterfall chart displaying resource loading times.

7. Google Search Console

How to Test: Log in to Google Search Console, select your property, and navigate to the “Core Web Vitals” report. This report provides insights into your website’s performance in terms of Core Web Vitals.

8. YSlow (Browser Extension)

How to Test: Install the YSlow browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari). Browse your website, click the extension icon, and review the performance analysis.

9. PageSpeed Module for Apache or Nginx

How to Test: If you’re running an Apache or Nginx web server, you can install the PageSpeed module. It automatically optimises your website’s resources for faster loading.

10. Third-Party SEO Tools

How to Test: Various SEO tools, such as Moz and Ahrefs, offer page speed analysis as part of their feature set. Subscribe to one of these tools, enter your URL, and review the performance insights.

By utilising these 10 methods to test your website’s page speed, you can gain valuable insights into your site’s performance and take actionable steps to optimise it.

Remember that improving page speed is an ongoing process, as websites evolve and new content is added. Regular testing and optimisation are essential for maintaining a fast and user-friendly website that ranks well in search engine results.

In conclusion, page speed is an integral component of SEO, impacting user experience, mobile-friendliness, Core Web Vitals, bounce rates, and crawl budget.

To succeed in the competitive digital landscape, you must prioritise page speed optimisation.

Use the methods outlined in this article to regularly test and enhance your website’s page speed, ensuring that your online presence remains strong and SEO-friendly.

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