If you want to get noticed, technical website performance matters.
A lot goes into making your site rank as high as possible in terms of search results. That includes SEO, user experience and keyword optimization. But one critical factor that often gets overlooked is speed. Specifically, how fast your pages load and how quickly visitors can engage with your site.
As of June 2021, the way every website ranks in Google search is greatly influenced by Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI) scores. The higher a site's PSI score, the more Google considers that site to be delivering a good experience, and the more likely it is to appear closer to the top of Google search results.
How does Google PageSpeed Insights work?
Google PSI is an online tool that identifies performance issues on websites. The tool collects performance data in a controlled environment via a simulation of a predefined device and network settings. This data includes:
- Loading time: How fast does a website load? How fast does the main content get in a visitor's view?
- Interactivity: How long does it take for a visitor to engage with a page?
- Visual stability: Is the page stable, or do things move around as the page is loading and create a bad user experience?
PSI analyzes a website for technical SEO issues, user experience, and accessibility, then renders a score.
- Good — your score is 90 or above (green)
- Needs improvements — your score is 50 to 89 (orange)
- Poor — your score is below 50 (red)
How do you use the PSI tool?
It’s actually quite easy. Just enter your website address into the field and click the Analyze button. After a few seconds, you’ll get test results with a general score for both mobile and desktop. If you find that your website isn’t scoring in the 90s for both mobile and desktop, don’t worry, there are ways to optimize most websites and BlackWing can help.
Mobile vs. Desktop.
The PSI tool provides separate scores for mobile and desktop. The scores are separate because the testing for mobile is based on a slower connection speed since cellular networks are usually slower than home or business broadband networks. It’s more difficult to get a score of 90 or higher on mobile vs desktop. And Google places a higher priority on your mobile score. That’s why taking a mobile-first approach to web development and optimizing both technically and visually for the mobile experience is so important.
Beyond PageSpeed Insights.
While PSI analysis is an important factor in terms of Google ranking, it’s only one part of website assessment. Using Google’s Measure tool, additional tests for accessibility, best practices and SEO are scored. Scores for these 3 metrics in the 90s are considered good.
Creativity vs technical performance — strike the right balance.
The struggle between form vs. function is nearly as old as time. If, for example, you’re a creative advertising and design firm like BlackWing, you may opt to take a small hit on website performance to allow for slick animation and flashy graphics. If you’re a company that relies heavily on SEO, then PSI performance is paramount. At BlackWing, we’ve found that with the right coding tricks and tweaks, you can create a bold, highly engaging website that performs as beautifully as it looks. For information on how we can get your websites dialed for maximum speed, hit us up.