Slow and steady doesn’t win the race in the world of web. It is ‘first come first serve’ working here. You have to be fast to come first. Website page speed is one of the 200 ranking factors listed by Backlinko. And now when Google is going to shut down Google+, Google+ circles will not be a ranking factor anymore. Anyways, let’s stick to the topic. Speed is an important ranking factor. Whatever sincere efforts you are putting in the optimization of your website, this will bear no fruit if web pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load.
If your website is slow and you don’t love being abandoned by users, it’s time to prepare page speed report and see what you can do. There is a decent number of web page metrics related to the site speed. Therefore, you might find it hard to differentiate between one from another. Which site speed metric is more important and which one needs a little less attention. The help is available.
Check Page Load Time
If you are ignoring this site metric then you are making a big mistake. It is just like stepping on banana peels. Intentionally.
Google analytics reports this default site speed metric. Admittedly, a user cares more about the experience. What if Google itself stops the user from getting the experience you are offering. Site speed is a ranking factor.
Learn About First Contentful Paint
You can also work on First Contentful Paint. This is a stage at which text, images, or other graphics are rendered by the browser. This includes text with pending web fronts but excludes content in iframes. A user in this stage begins to consume the content. If the user is getting nothing to read in a few seconds (during First Contentful Paint), the user will abandon your website. You can make use of Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see the time to First Contentful Paint.
Check Document Interactive Time
This metric represents the time when the user is first able to interact with the elements on the page. The bounce rate of your website greatly depends on First Contentful Paint and document interactive time. This is a speed metric that demands serious and sincere attention. Google Analytics reports this site speed metric for a reason. Go to the Site Speed Report to see document interactive time.
The time an HTML document takes to load and parse completely is DOMContentLoaded. However, external resources such as images () and stylesheets may not be loaded. The content on the page is loaded and visible and the user can interact.
There are some other useful metrics as well
Back in 2013, the average web page size was 1MB and now it is more than 1.7MB. Your website is likely to be slow if page size is big. And, you should work on it. Optimize images properly.
Number of HTTP Requests
In order to get fully loaded, a web page will request some files. For example, if it is required to download some file, the page will send an HTTP request to the server. The web page will make one HTTP request for one file. These requests are made sequentially for each HTTP connection. Even when it is a small web page, each request needs a minimum time and then there is a server response time. In addition to request and server response time, there is literal speed (the speed at which data is traveling from one place to another).
Minimizing the number of HTTP requests a web page is making will help. Implementing the HTTP2 protocol will enable you to make multiple HTTP requests simultaneously on one connection.
Why you should be aware of these metrics?
A better understanding of these Web Page Metrics will help you in developing an optimizable website and you can run more productive digital marketing campaigns.
Remember, slow and steady does not win the race here.