Every blogger wants people to read their posts. Whether that is because you have lots of useful information to share, or whether you want readers to sign up for your latest product launch or simply because you want to attract good quality advertisers to your site, visitors are key. And keeping Google happy is the best way to attract high levels of traffic to your blog.
Writing good content; making sure you have a well planned SEO strategy; and ensuring you update your social media sites regularly are all key to ensuring Google ranks you highly in the search results.
But did you know that site speed is also a vital component of Google’s algorithm? If your site is bulky, overloaded with big images or slow to load because of out of date code, you will get bumped down the rankings.
Don’t panic though, as ever Google makes it super easy for you to test and improve your site’s chance of ranking highly.
Go to PageSpeed Insights pop your site’s link in and click “analyze“.
In a few seconds, you will receive 2 reports, one for mobile devices and one for desktop computers. These will tell you how well your site performs and will give you an idea if you are being penalised for being slow.
When I ran my first report, my scores were shocking! Bright red and in the 30s for both mobile and desktop.
But within an hour I had improved them dramatically to be in the high 60s.
How did I do this? Simply by optimising images. It’s rather dull to do but very easy and made such a huge difference to my scores.
Here’s what I did.
How to use PageSpeed Insights to make Google happy
- I clicked on the tab that said desktop and at the top it said “possible optimisations”.
- Under Optimize images, I clicked on the link that said “show how to fix”, which told me that properly formatting and compressing images can save many bytes of data and gave a list of images that needed work.
- I went to the media library in the back end of my blog and found the first image. (If you are struggling to find the image, you can follow the link given by PageSpeed).
- I saved a copy of the image to my computer’s hard drive.
- I opened up Pic Monkey and clicked “Open New” and uploaded the photo from my hard drive.
Then I clicked on “Export”. I changed the quality to Roger and reduced the image size if possible (there’s no point saving an image as 1000px if you are going to restrict it to 600px on your site) and the file size reduced dramatically.
- When I was happy with all the settings, I clicked on “Export to Computer” and saved it over the file I created at 4 above.
- I went back to the media library for my site and added the new image, taking the time to add SEO etc as I went.
- I navigated to the post or page of my site with the original image on it (the one flagged up by PageSpeed) and swapped the image there for the new file I’d just created and updated the site.
- If I knew the original image had only ever been used in this one place, I deleted it to free up server space. Otherwise I just left it there so I didn’t get the red cross of doom later on.
Then repeated for each of the images flagged up by PageSpeed.
See? It’s easy if rather time consuming but an hour later I had improved my score by over 30 for both mobile and desktop.
I’ll start working on the other optimizations suggested by PageSpeed next week but I was over the moon with how easy it was to get such an quick improvement on my site.
So now you know how to use PageSpeed Insights to make Google happy – let me know your results too!