Highway signs state that speed kills, and that is certainly true on the roadways, but on the Web, speed will save you. Your website speed is one of the key ways Google measures you and ranks you. If your site is slow, you get penalized.
Google is all about how well you serve your customers. You might not think that’s true, but that is a big piece of how they build and manage their search algorithms. One thing many business owners don’t think about is the way their site performs, as in how long a user has to wait for a page to load.
The good news is that Google gives you an entire suite of tools to analyze and optimize your website page speed. You can visit the PageSpeed Tools on the Google Developer site.
DIY Speed Analysis
You can get to some of the tools from your Google Webmaster page, too, or from your Analytics dashboard if you are using their package. You can use the online tool to test for desktop browsers and then click from there to analyze how a mobile browser will see your page. It is as simple as entering your website URL. It generates a score, plus it gives you suggestions to fix problems that it finds.
Testing Website Speed
There are a bunch of tools that can help you with this, not just Google.
Pingdom is one of my favorites. You have to remember to put in the full URL, including the http:// part or it gives you an error. They have a free plan if you only have one website; otherwise, plans start at $9.95/month. You can test from the web.
The Gomez Website Performance test lets you specify your test from a specific location. You get instant performance results and tips on how to improve your web performance, but you have to give your e-mail to get it.
If performance is something you haven’t considered or thought about in terms of your site, you may want to start thinking about it. Because it may be true that speed kills on the web. After all, Google decides where you sit in the results based on your website speed. That might mean the difference between your site coming up as number one instead of your competitors.
Learn more about optimizing your small business' website.
Photo: Pingdom / Gomez