How to Use the Google Speed Test to Reduce Site Load Times

Written By SEO Team

Everyone wants a well-performing website. In fact, many businesses and web marketers understand that even a simple 1-second delay in a page’s response can yield a 7% reduction in sales conversions.

Ensuring you have a well-performing website requires you understand which “pain points” exist


that are ripe for speed optimization. Towards the end, there’s a fantastic tool that often goes unnoticed: Google PageSpeed Insights.

Stick with us as we discuss what PageSpeed Insights does and how you can use it to reduce site load times and boost business profits.

How the Google Speed Test Works

Once you navigate to the PageSpeed Insights site, you need only to insert the web address of your choice into the form that reads, “Enter a web page URL”. (Note: You may also install the WordPress plugin if you prefer this over the web implementation.)

Upon clicking the blue “Analyze” button, you will receive a PageSpeed score and recommendation. There are separate scores for desktop and mobile optimization that reflect how your website performs on each display. Scores run from 0 to 100 points, and the higher the score, the better. 

The most important aspect is the “Suggestions Summary” presented directly underneath your score. These are prioritized recommendations for how you may optimize the specific site you analyzed.

Below, we’re going to take a look at several of the most common optimization recommendations, what they mean, and how you can implement them to increase website speed.

Image Optimization

One of the quickest, easiest, and most widely recommended Google speed test optimizations is image optimization.
Image optimization refers to the reduction of image file sizes site-wide. A fantastic way to achieve this is to automatically optimize images before uploading to your server via TinyPNG, which offers both a web version and a WordPress plugin.
Improved Browser Caching

If your website’s assets are served to viewers at a far-off location, it makes sense that this can result in page loading delays.

Fortunately, improved browser caching is possible through content delivery networks (CDNs). CDNs work in conjunction with your existing web host by hosting copies of important site content (static files such as CSS, images, JavaScript files, etc.) before serving them from a location that is regional to where a user hails from. This allows users to access your files faster, boosting site load times.

Notable CDN options include Amazon Cloudfront, Max CDN, and CloudFlare.

Server Response Time Reduction

Google’s speed test provides your server response time in milliseconds (the time it takes to load HTML before your page can be rendered). PageSpeed Insights notes that server response time should be kept under 200ms, but admits this is a complex factor that includes a menagerie of variables.

Here is Google’s guide on reducing server response time. Looking for a couple quick-and-easy hints, though? Here’s two: Deactivate any old WordPress plugins on your site that are no longer useful, and consider upgrading your hosting provider.

If you’re unsure which plugins may be causing an issue, you can always leverage the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to sniff out the culprits.

Finally, if you desire more assistance with site speed optimization and/or need sophisticated website hosting, contact us at Paton Internet Marketing today!