Why PageSpeed Insights are important for Search Marketers
As a search marketer, I’m always looking for a way to improve my account performance and get ahead of the competition. One area that is often overlooked by my clients is the landing page.
Clients often provide me with the landing pages they would like their accounts to use, and often I have to provide recommendations to improve the page before taking campaigns live. But without extensive CRO testing it’s difficult to tell what changes would actually make improvements to the user experience and conversion rates.
Many businesses still overlook the importance of landing pages, choosing instead to send traffic to a weak page like a homepage, or a non-mobile friendly page that isn’t optimized for paid search traffic. When this happens, performance suffers, but it’s hard to say what specifically about the page is causing problems. Often times, landing page CVR issues occur simply because the page is slow to load or not optimized for the device.
How can I confirm this? Simple: Google’s Page Speed Insights.
This tool focuses on page speed and outlines issues with a page that are resulting in high load-times and if those issues are specific to the desktop or mobile version of the website.
To start using this tool, simply paste a Final URL you use on your ads into the URL field. You should always use the most direct URL possible (ideally not one that relies on redirects):
Click “ANALYZE” and Google will crawl your page, running a series of checks on both Mobile and Desktop versions of the page. The final output of which is a nice checklist of issues to be fixed/improved to speed up your site.
So what is this important? Google has continued to make page speed a major factor in site ranking on organic listings but also a factor in quality score on Google Ads campaigns. In addition to ranking on Google, a slow site is death for conversion rate. When was the last time you bought something from a slow loading site? With slow sites, even tenths of a second can result in some serious losses to sales, just ask folks like Amazon and Walmart. Intuit saw improvements in CVR for every second they shaved off of load times, up 3% for every second reduced from 15 to 7 seconds, +2% for every second reduced from 7 to 5 seconds and +1% for every second reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.
Net-net your site doesn’t have to be a rocket ship, but every second you can shave off of load times will have a positive impact on conversion rate.
Back to the PageSpeed Insights. After the checks are complete, Google will provide the URL with a score out of 100.
In addition to the grade, Google will provide a list of Opportunities and Diagnostics results from the Audit.
I like to think of these as a cheat-sheet of what Google has identified as reasons for a slow load-time and even includes methods for fixing them.
One tactic I often use when a site has a low grade is to send this list along with the link to developers working on the site. This gives them a nice check-list of fixes that can be made to improve site speed and get your landing page score up! Remember, every second (even thenths of a second!) can make a difference.