Sometimes, in the SEO world, it can feel like you are bumping around in the dark. You take all the steps: Read all the right blogs, do trial and error, gain experience, talk to others and put a plan together…. But at the end of the day; some aspects of SEO remain very difficult to discern just what it is that Google wants. It can still feel like a high stakes guessing game.
That is why it is such a treat when they ( Google ) serve up a softball like the update to its PageSpeed Insights tool this week! This is one of the few times when Google is saying exactly what they want, how they want it, and what is important.
About the Update
This tool has always been useful and familiar to most good SEOs. From the tangible side, the new changes basically make it easier see exactly what is important. Here are a few highlights:
- Simplified Rule Icons: The updated icons make it about as simple as possible to know how the site is doing, and what the problem areas are. Google is going with a red, yellow, and green light system, making it very easy to find issues:
- Mobile Site Speed: This is a big one. We know that building smartphone-optimized websites are important, and the new tool now has analysis for both mobile and desktop site versions.
- Mobile Load Times: Another important update. Google is making a bigger push for faster mobile load times. This has recently been updated to 1 seconds with the roll out of new mobile speed guidelines.
- Updated Interface: Finally, just the overall layout and look to the tool is update. As with most things Google, it has a clean and simple look, making it that much easier to get to the important stuff.
Why It is Important
Google has made it known for a long while that site speed is important. However, this new series of updates highlights that even further. Ultimately, Google feels that site speed matters because it matters to a user. If a site is taking an inordinate amount of time to load, users are more likely to exit.
With that in mind, keeping the site free from long load times is vital. Not only is this a better user experience, but in today’s brave new world of internet marketing, it is also vital for the success of your SEO.
So, What Exactly Is Important?
The best place to see what has been highlighted is simply by running the tool itself. Each item is neatly listed as to what Google is looking for, and how your site performs accordingly. Most of the list are some old favorites, including things like:
- Browser caching
- Optimized Images
- Minified CSS
- Avoiding Excessive Redirects
- Server Time Issues
- Minified Java Script
In conclusion, the best way to see how you are doing with some of these is just to hop on and give it a go. As I started off saying in this post, it is rare to get such a straightforward and tangible way to make immediate, meaningful changes to the site. So, check it out. Or let us check it out for you and help improve your site’s performance.