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New Speed Reports in Google Search Console

SEO

Yesterday, Google announced the introduction of new speed reports within Search Console.

It’s an experimental feature that provides great insight into the overall speed of a website, including a breakdown of the speed of individual pages and their FCP (first contentful paint). There are 3 speed filters for pages – Slow, Moderate and Fast.

Here’s a Mobile speed snapshot:

Mobile Speed

Here’s a Desktop speed snapshot:

Desktop Speed

These speed snapshots are the first thing you see when you enter the Speed page in Search Console.

It provides you with enough insight at a glance to see how your website is generally performing on both Desktop and Mobile devices. If it doesn’t look great (like the above) then you can drill down further into a complete report for each.

Here’s the Mobile speed report:

Mobile Speed Report

Here’s the Desktop speed report:

Desktop Speed Report

As you can see, each report has a ‘details’ area where each speed issue is identified along with the number of pages affected.

By clicking through any of these you can see an example list of affected pages, along with their individual first contentful paint time (FCP). This is the time it takes the browser to render the first visible element for a user.

How to Increase Your Speed Scores

According to Pingdom, sites that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9% whilst those that load in 3 to 5 seconds can have a bounce rate as high as 38% which really shows the importance of reducing loading times.

“53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load,” states Google.

Some easy ways to improve website speed:

  • Host on a quality server in the country you service
  • Defer render-blocking JS and CSS so they’re called later on
  • Utilise lazy-loading so out of view don’t load until you reach them
  • Reduce image sizes and serve in next-gen formats
  • Use a fast caching engine to store static versions of your pages and posts

If you use a CMS such as WordPress, you can use plugins to easily decrease loading times.

WP Fastest Cache, Autoptimize and W3 Total Cache are some of our favourites, and we usually implement one of these on our client websites. They frequently provide instant loading time reductions right out of the box with very little fiddling.

Need Help Increasing Your Website Speed?

If you’re seeing slow loading times for your website and want to improve it please feel free to reach out to us.

One of our experts will run your website through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and, dependant upon the platform you’re on, will put together a plan that will improve your website in all of the relevant areas in order to reduce loading times.

Got something to add? Drop it in the comments below.

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