How to Score 100% on Google’s Page Speed Test
We all want to improve the page performance of our websites, right? Improving page performance is not just a dream but it is also a necessity for the digital businesses available today online.
In fact, Google recently amended the page speed and performance metrics. Now it weighs more on Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Why? Because most people can easily conquer the performance of a website. By adding a few cache plugins, they can increase the Google page speed to 90+ on GTMetrix and Google Pagespeed Insights tool.
However, changing the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score is a lot harder. It focuses on-page experience.
What is Google Page Speed Made of?
Google measures the page speed on three different factors:
FID: First input delay (FID) measure when the first bit loads on a web page.
LCP: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading speed of any web page.
CLS: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is the page experience or what a user feels when they visit it.
Why is CLS More Important in 2021?
CLS is all about user experience. User experience is when a user visits your website and achieves a goal that you want them to achieve. If your website allows the user to easily achieve that task, then it has a better CLS score.
So, apart from the regular page performance tips, we are going to focus on how to improve the overall CLS score of the website.
Tips to Increase Google Page Speed Test
Here is a list of the best Google page speed tips that you can use to increase your Google page insights score to 100 percent.
1. Improve Page Experience
First thing you need to do is to improve your page experience. Let’s say you have a landing page with a form and a button. But there is just too much space in-between the two. So, what will the user do after filling-in the form? What if the button is after three folds. They will simply not click the button. So, make it easier for them to improve the overall page experience. The better your page experience is, the better your conversion rate would be.
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2. Increase Site Speed
Another thing you need to understand is that site speed matters the most when it comes to the Google page speed test. If your web page takes more than 3 seconds to load, it will have a bad score on Google page insights and other speed testing tools. So, fix that first. You can increase the speed through a number of factors that we have already listed below.
3. Get a Better Hosting Solution
Your hosting solution should have a server-level cache available. If it is a shared hosting that you use, move to a better hosting solution. A cloud hosting solution is the best way to improve your site performance. Like if I have a website on a shared hosting solution and it has a 3 second load time. I can easily increase the page load time by moving it to a VPS or a cloud hosting solution. These directly impact performance.
4. Reduce Image Resolution
Images of your website play a crucial role in its performance. If your website has fine images – with a very high resolution – then they are going to become a problem in site performance. What you need to do instead is to increase their overall resolution through PhotoShop or any other image editing software.
Google developers have already created a very good image resolution editing software that you can use to reduce their sizes.
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5. Defer Script Loading
Script loading can decrease your site performance by 100 percent. If you have too many scripts on your website, they are likely to reduce the overall performance. So, what you need to do is to decrease script loading on the site. You can defer the script loading by using Google tag manager. The tag manager allows users to easily select DOMContentLoad or Page Load to defer script loading. By deferring script loading, you are going to increase the overall page performance. You can even check the scripts that are leading to reduced speed on GTMetrix and Google Page Insights tools.
6. Reduce TTFB
When you load a website, it loads by sending bytes to the client’s browser. The time it takes for the first byte to be received by the client’s browser is called Time to First Byte (TTFB).
The best way to improve your site’s performance is by improving the TTFB. Here are a few tips to increase the byte rate.
Reduce the resolution of each image on the page
Defer scripts on the site that load before DOMContentLoad
Increase server response time
Add more textual content and less images
7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) & SSL
If you don’t have a CDN available on your website, then the best way to improve a few seconds of load-time is by adding a good CDN network to your website.
You can use Cloudflare CDN on your website if you are just starting out because it is completely free to use. Since Cloudflare automatically provides an SSL to the users, you can use that SSL on the site to improve overall performance.
If you are not using Cloudflare, you can use another decent SSL certificate provided for your website. This can be a Let’s Encrypt free SSL provider.
8. Minify JS, HTML, CSS
9. Improve Server Response Time
Make sure that your server is working at its peak performance. The reason I said earlier to use a decent hosting solution is because of the server response time. If a server has the bandwidth, processor, and RAM, it is more likely to have a decent response time. You can measure the server response time with Cloud Harmony. The tool provides the overall server response time of multiple public cloud servers such as Vultr, Google Cloud, AWS, and DigitalOcean. It is a great way to choose the best server for your website.
10. Run a Performance Audit
Finally, run a performance audit of the website once it is completely developed. You need to run a performance audit every month just to make sure that the site is working at its best. To start with:
Check the site performance with the best performance tools
Check for downtime
Check for top page errors on Google Search Console
Check for site redirection issues
Check for pages with the biggest page size
Check for images that are bigger than 100kbs in size
Check for scripts on the homepage and other prominent pages of the site
Check for CRO issues
Track the overall user journey and find ways to improve it
That is it. This is the complete website performance audit that you should do every month to keep your site performing at its best.
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