People want everything quick! They want to find answers to all their questions in a snap. Thus, when they are on Google, they want the speed of the search engine, and the websites to be really fast. We all know about this, but up till now, speed as the ranking factor was focused on desktop searches. But now, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too, as announced by Google on 9th July 2018. Thus, site speed is becoming an even more important area of website optimization t hat SEOs are becoming increasingly concerned about. You need to now audit your site speed at the earliest. There are various site speed metrics that you must definitely consider and care about. Here are the most important and effective ones.
Page load time
This is the default site speed metric that is paid attention to. It is the time for loading to finish completely. But, it isn’t as important as a page can be useful, even before it has technically finished loading. Even before the page finishes loading, if users can view what they want to, or take up an action they are willing to, they wouldn’t care much for the loading speed. However, you can’t completely ignore this metric either.
Obviously, if the size of your page is big, it will take time to load. Things like big images or unoptimized images are generally the reasons behind this issue.
First Contentful Paint
Yes, this is what is important! This is the stage at which the browser first renders any text or image, making it the first time users can start consuming page content. Thus, this is a very important engagement metric, as it is the first time when users see something actually happening. If this takes even a few more seconds than 3-5, you are sure to have users bouncing away from your page. You can see the time to First Contentful Paint in Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. However, this metric is unavailable in Google Analytics.
Document Interactive Time
This is when the user can first start interacting with elements on a Web page; making it one of the most important elements. This metric is reported in Google Analytics in the Site Speed Report within the Explorer menu for Page Timings, having an option to view DOM Timings.
This is the time taken for the HTML document to be completely loaded and parsed, without waiting got any stylesheets, images, and subframes to complete loading. Thus, the users can see and interact with your page, but the page doesn’t actually appear like it should when completely loaded.
Number of HTTP Requests
As a page loads, the browser sends multiple HTTP requests to the server, to download a file to the browser. Every file on a page requires its own request. And, each request occurs sequentially, one after the other, for each HTTP connection. There is a minimum time that each request makes due to server response times. Thus, you must minimize the number of requests per page. Or, you can implement the HTTP2 protocol that allows multiple requests to be made simultaneously on a single connection.