How fast is your website? The answer to this question determines which of these two would be higher - your conversion rate or your bounce rate. In other words, whether people stick around your site long enough to perform further actions (add an item to their carts or place an order, comment on your blog posts, etc.) or whether they exit shortly after they arrive largely depends on how fast your site pages load.
Slow-loading sites are a turn-off for many internet users, if not all. And except one has had previous experience with your brand and is determined to perform an action on your site, the reaction of many to a slow site is to leave right away in search of another site that offers the same services. This would reduce the number of unique visitors that your site receives, as well as the number of its conversions. In addition, it increases your site's bounce rate and attracts a penalty from Google, which keeps you farther from the high ranks of its SERPs. And none of these is good for the growth of your business or brand.
To avoid the dangers that come with slow site speed, you will find site speed checkers very useful. And what better tools would you require to rank high on Google SERPs than those developed by Google? Google PageSpeed Insights and Test My Site by Google are some very helpful tools in this regard. Let us now examine these tools for the Google site speed test.
Test My Site
Test My Site with Google is more than the simple tool that it appears to be. It is a powerful service that comes in handy when you want to check your site speed and performance across mobile devices. It is an updated and more specific version of the mobile site segment of the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, which this article would discuss later. The easy-to-use platform also suggests fixes, thus, proving to be an effective aid for businesses seeking to improve their site performance.
How Test My Site by Google Works
With a simple and direct interface, Test My Site provides site owners with their site speed score in a short while. All they need to do is to input their site URL in the search box provided. It takes only a matter of seconds after submission for you to complete the site speed test. The tool considers a "standard" 4G connection in conducting the test.
Besides measuring your general site speed, Google's Test My Site has page speed tools that help you to optimize the speed of your individual pages. You can get custom fixes to improve the speed of each page on your site. This Google site speed test tool also comes with a report that contains the results that you get from each corrective step you take. It even provides additional tools that allow you to benchmark your competitors or leaders of your industry and to evaluate how a faster site can impact your business.
Test My Site uses the IP address of the search to determine the location of the user and then choose the test location for optimum and relevant results. The Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) provides the site speed data that Test My Site uses for its test. Factors such as device, site design, implementation, third-party apps, server, browser, and network are considerations in determining the loading time of your site. Loading time, which is the time it takes for your site page's visible content to appear, is the Speed Index. This speed index is a basic metric for ascertaining your site speed performance.
There are three categories of both site and page speeds. These are slow, average, and fast. According to the metrics of this tool, site speed and page loading time of more than 2.5 seconds are slow. Average speed falls between 1 to 2.5 seconds, while loading time and speed of less than 1 second are fast.
Pros and Cons of Test My Site
Test My Site is, without doubts, a helpful tool for testing your site speed. However, it has its pros and cons.
Speed- This is no surprise since it is a speed test tool developed by Google. After all, Google itself is the search engine on whose result pages the tested sites are to appear. The performance report that Test My Site generates is fast, making the entire site speed test quick.
Ease of use- Test My Site is hassle-free and does not require excessive navigation. The first thing you see when you open the tool is the search box where you have to input your URL. After that, all you need for you to find out the speed of your site is one click.
No money required - There is no required payment to access either your site speed or the complete report.
Test My Site has limited metrics, compared to PageSpeed Insights.
It is only helpful for mobile sites.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Here is another speed tool from Google, yet more in-depth than Test My Site. It is a great resource for developers as it contains more information about your site's performance - measures that are not in Test My Site. PageSpeed Insights provides a score for your page, revealing how well it performs on mobile and desktop devices. Slow site speed is often a result of underlying issues. Therefore, getting to know those issues is a vital step in resolving problems with your site speed. Google PageSpeed Insights helps with that by offering suggestions along with your site's score. Its features make it a go-to tool for premium Google site speed test. PageSpeed Insights allows you to conduct a separate test for your mobile site. You may switch to the mobile site tester on the PageSpeed Insights tool, or use the Test My Site tool discussed above for an updated mobile-friendly test.
How Google PageSpeed Insights Works
What appears to be a speedy generation of your site's score takes a lot of background analyses of several datasets. These datasets originate from CrUX. The sameness in source and the benchmarking thresholds are some of the similarities between Test My Site and Google PageSpeed Insights.
Since Google PageSpeed Insights is another straightforward tool from Google, the steps on how to use it are quite basic. Note that even if you are not a professional web developer and you manage your site yourself, you are not likely to break a sweat, trying to figure out what exactly you need to do to rectify the problems with your site's performance. Here is how to do a site speed test with Google PageSpeed Insights:
Input your URL in the provided bar and then click "Analyze".
Get your performance score and suggestions, then make the necessary adjustments on your site.
Enjoy the benefits of faster page speed on your site.
Now, here is how the tool works. It runs a test on your site within seconds. Yet, the test is in-depth in nature and the outcome is an insight into your site's page speed. The generated report contains a list of found "optimizations" (items already optimized in your site) and "possible optimizations" (issues you need to fix to improve your site). You may be unsure of what process to take to resolve the issues highlighted, but the good news is that Google PageSpeed Insights offers further helps with a feature that tells you how to fix each issue and expatiates on each suggestion. Address each item suggested for optimization and you could score as great as 100%.
The basis of the performance scores on this Google site speed test is an analysis of both lab and real-world field data. The scores base on these three categories - good, needs improvement, and poor. A site score of less than 50 is poor, any score from 50 to 89 needs improvement, and 90 or above is good. Scored metrics also have distinguishing color icons. A red warning triangle indicates a poor score, an information circle in orange color indicates a score that needs improvement, and a green tick indicates a good score.
Pros and Cons of Google PageSpeed Insights
Like every other tool that exists in the realm of SEO and web performance, Google PageSpeed Insights is characterized by its pros and cons. Below are some of them.
Besides being free and easy-to-use, the pros of this tool include:
Versatility - Google PageSpeed Insights performs assessments for desktop and mobile devices alike and provides relevant insights accordingly. It is also helpful for various projects - blogs, website landing pages, e-commerce, and so on.
Valuable feedback - With Google PageSpeed Insights, you get feedback that is valuable to improving your site performance. The insights it provides help to increase traffic in the long run by reducing the bounce rate, as well as improving accessibility and user experience
Despite the help that PageSpeed Insights provide, non-developers may find the suggestions technical.
The mobile analysis feature is defective. However, as seen, Test My Site offsets this deficiency.
Your site's speed is important. Regardless of all the good content within the pages of the site, if the loading time of the site's landing page is slow, then the site stands a lot to lose. Google's benchmark for fast loading pages, which are more likely to take a pride place on the top of its SERPs, is for the page to load in 2.5 seconds or less. To achieve this, your page weight or size should be no more than 500KB. The majority of the sites on the internet obviously miss the mark in this regard. However, continuously striving to meet the mark will go a long way in improving your site performance. So, if your aim is for your site to attain high rankings on Google's SERPs, as well as the resultant traffic and conversions, then you should conduct a site speed test with any or all of Google's tools for the purpose.