It should come as no surprise that most website operators, and, for that matter, most webmasters, don’t feel confident with being tasked to optimize the sites that they are responsible for, for search engine placement.
Truly, the realm of being ranked well in search engines is mired mist and fog — an occasional beacon of warning to stay away from the rocks over there, and some bearing from the possibly visible stars to head due west to make it to eventually arrive at the land of plenty.
But it can be a long, and often frustrating, journey. One fraught with poorly written maps, and a lot of hearsay.
One of the most important metrics that website operators overlook is the speed that their web pages load. Most figure that if their content is solid, that they have great incoming links, and that their internal linking structure is good, then it’s all a matter of waiting.
Oh, of course the latest big push has been to make sure your web pages are mobile friendly, using a mobile-responsive framework that renders your website for all devices, large or small.
But it all of that doesn’t matter if your web pages load slowly.
And it’s this metric that gets overlooked time and time again.
Because, if the search engines can’t get to you, or it takes forever for the page load, you’re going to get a failing grade in their algorithm. Google is in the business of delivering an exceptionally good User Experience (UX). They’re not just in the ‘search’ business, they’re are in the UX business.
Everybody hates waiting for a web page to load.
And if Google didn’t filter its results to get rid of the slow loading pages, you yourself would be frustrated with the whole experience of using Google.
So why would you think that your own website speed isn’t important?
But how good or bad is it? Well, you can test it by going to Google PageSpeed Insights.
Google PageSpeed Insights was developed to help web developers determine what could be done to speed up their web pages.
But, the trouble with many of the suggestions from Insights is that, in order to implement the recommendations, you need to be a bit of a web guru.
But even if you are a web guru, much of the information out there to “help” you implement these tasks suggested by Insights can be both overwhelming and contradictory. It can be outright frustrating and time consuming to get your web pages to score well.
Let’s break it down as to the most important aspects Google PageSpeed Insights recommends:
- GZIP compression enabled
- Browser caching of resources enabled
- All images optimized
- All render-blocking resources deferred
- Prioritization of Visible Content
- All HTML, JS, and CSS minified
That’s a lot of tasks to accomplish to score above 85% (which is recommended). But every single one of those are critical to the performance of your web pages, and how well they rank for speed.
All of those tasks can be done methodically over time.
There a couple of solutions out there that can help you though.
There is the “PageSpeed Module” by Google, that you could install to your Apache or Nginx web server, if you have a dedicated server with root access. It’s a experienced webmaster level task, and even then it doesn’t deliver all of the requirements of Google PageSpeed.
However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to learn how to optimize your site for Google PageSpeed, and don’t have server root access, try Accelerator.
Accelerator is a website add-on that you easily install to your website, that automatically optimizes the entire site for Google PageSpeed for you in just a matter of minutes.