Use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool To See What’s Gone Wrong!
With networks speeding up all the time and with 5G mobile data already with us, you might think that optimising your website’s loading speed is irrelevant theses days. However, that would be a bad mistake to make and there are a couple of very good reasons why.
The speed at which your web pages load is particularly important, so just opting for form over function when it comes to web design is a critical error if you are serious about presenting a great user experience and doing well in the Google search rankings.
Unfortunately not too many people realise just how important good website performance is and this leads to them accepting really rather poor new websites from their chosen designers. All too often, the designer will know that what they are delivering is substandard and well outside of Google’s requirements, but they go ahead and hand the site over anyway. Most of the time they know they can get away with it and the designer will be long gone before the website owner starts asking questions.
The key of course, is to let your designer know that you understand the issues related to website speed and that you will be testing your new website to make sure that it performs properly.
Why is page load speed so important?
We’ve touched on this a few times in our blog, but to recap, websites need to load quickly to ensure that users get a good navigation and usability experience even where network speeds are quite slow. Not everyone is blessed with fast internet or the latest mobile speeds so you need to be sure that your site is still accessible and easy to use under these circumstances.
Equally important these days is that Google wants your website to load quickly. There are numerous theories as to why this is, ranging from them trying to take responsibility for promoting a fast and efficient internet, to the more cynical suggestion that they want it to be as fast as possible to facilitate serving ads! The truth is probable some combination of a number of factors, but suffice to say that if Google desires us to comply, then comply we should! To encourage this, Google now rewards fast websites with better search rankings whilst demoting those which are less good. It should be said that this isn’t the only factor which dictates where your website will rank; however it is becoming increasingly important as time progresses. So please don’t ignore it!
Google ranking is so competitive these days, so if there is a factor within your control which you can optimise such as website loading speed, then you really should take the opportunity to do it. If your designer says it doesn’t matter, then they really aren’t doing their job properly. Incremental improvements such as this really do make a difference.
All that glitters isn’t gold!
Here at Dental Media we design hundreds of websites for dentists and as part of the process we ask potential new clients to show us examples of websites they already like. This is useful to help us gain an idea of the type of design style they prefer. When we are referred to these example sites we also take the opportunity to asses their strengths and weaknesses and discuss these with the client. Invariably we get shown some really “glitzy” websites often built using WordPress visual editing tools, or worse, tools like Squarespace, and on face value they look decent enough. However, when we dig deep into the code and evaluate the actual performance of the sites, a lot of them are real shockers! There is often quite a strong correlation with relatively poor search results too.
The moral of this story is that form doesn’t rule over function and these days, both factors are extremely important. Simply put, your website needs to look great and function extremely well too.