A website’s page speed is a very important aspect when it comes to how it’s going to perform in the search engines. You can test how a site is performing by using the Google Page Speed tool, this will analyse a web page and give you a score out of 100 for mobile and for desktop as well. A score of over 85 is considered good, anything under 50 is pretty bad and you can expect a site to be penalised in the rankings because of this.
I used to be able to get sites into the 70s and 80s by enabling things like Gzip compression and minifying the CSS and JS, but I used to always fall down when the mobile score wanted me to defer any CSS that wasn’t critical. This is when Google wants your website when viewed on a mobile device to only load the critical CSS styles first of all and defer all the other non-critical CSS until the rest of the page has loaded. I could never get my head around how you are meant to know which lines of your 1000s of CSS is considered critical. Enter the fantastic Critical Path CSS Generator by Jonas Ohlsson. This tool is amazing and you can enter your website address, all your CSS and it will whirr away for 10 seconds and then return your critical CSS. Whack this inline at the top of the page, defer the rest and Bob’s your uncle, you will pass that test on Google’s Page Speed and zoom up the rankings (disclaimer – you may not actually ‘zoom’ up the rankings, but it should definitely help!).
I’ve worked on two of my own little SEO project sites this morning and have both of them in the mid 90s for both mobile and desktop scores. Very happy bunny here.
If anyone would like me to improve their page speed, then just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sort your site out.