How to Score for Google Page Speed Insights

Google Speed Insights

Having an online presence is essential in Singapore. It is one of the ways to take your brand or business to a higher level. The only challenge is, while having a website is a big leap, the site needs to be well ranked by Google to be noticeable. That is where the Google Page Speed Insights come in.

There are many factors that Google uses when ranking pages in its index. One of those is how fast your page loads. What is more, your users and readers will tend to stick around longer if the page loads faster.

Even with a good design, you might notice that your page is still not as fast as you would like it to be. Since speed is critical not only in ranking but also user-retention, you cannot afford to ignore this aspect. Luckily, you can fix it.

Compress your images

The leading cause of slow loading speeds for websites is the large images. Pictures are essential to the survival of your site and visitors love them. But, they could also be the reason why your website is too slow.

Instead of doing away with the images altogether, you can compress them. By compressing images using simple image compression tools, you can save up to 50% of image size without noticeable effect on the photos. In most cases, you will see an uptick in page speeds after this exercise.

If your website is WordPress based, you can make the task even easier by using a plugin that compresses the images automatically every time you upload a new one.

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Apply browser caching

In the few seconds that it takes to load a website, the number of resources used to load the pages is significant. Without browser cache, every time a new user loads a page on your site, in the background, each image and element of the page has to be loaded along with the massive coding that goes with it.

With browser caching, your website can remember the processes that had been previously loaded. When a new user attempts to load the same page, the elements and images don’t need to load a fresh. As a result, your page can load faster which improves your Google page speed insights.

For WordPress based websites, you do not have to deal with the coding. Implementing browser caching on your website is as simple as installing a plugin.

Restructure your HTML coding

Disorganized HTML coding is another big impediment to your page loading speed. If image compression and browser caching do not get you a perfect Google page speed insight score, then you should try cleaning up your code.

This process is better known as Minification and involves removing unnecessary and duplicated data, formatting and removing code that is not used and where applicable, you could also shorten the code. You have to make sure that the changes and modifications do not affect how the browser processes the code as this could damage the performance of the site.

There are different plugin options that you can use for WordPress based websites. For PHP websites, you would have to access the backend and go through the code making changes where necessary.

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Start using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a project that was started by Google to offer mobile users a better browsing experience. When focusing on improving page load speeds, you can never forget the mobile users. As of 2014, there were over 5.5 million Singaporeans who used the internet and over 85% of those employed their mobile devices to access the internet.

Given the rate of internet penetration in the country, the numbers are significantly higher which currently is why you need to make your website mobile-friendly.

With AMP, most of the content that is not necessary and does not work well on mobile is stripped away. This makes it easier and faster to load pages. Consequently, it also gets you closer to getting a perfect score on Google page speed insights.

With these simple tips, you can significantly improve the page loading speed and user experience on your website. What is more, implementing any of these suggestions is not financially laborious especially for WordPress sites, which are quite common these days.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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