If you are looking to increase and retain readers to your site, Page Speed and every second counts when it comes to your site loading in an efficient way.
Page Speed is a critical component of a site’s ability to load in as timely a manner as possible. It’s a tool developed by Google to track a site’s loading capabilities and is utilized by many developers looking to get content to readers faster.
Page Speed To Improve Readership
The Way We Read Has Changed
Things were simpler and more direct in the golden age of the newspaper. Headlines were important, as was the first section of content, but the format was standard and very little else was tied to an article’s performance.
Not so today. We have changed dramatically as readers, becoming primarily skimmers by nature. This is an age of Tweets and status updates, not to mention no end of content to read in any fashion the reader chooses.
No bit of writing or news online is too important that it can’t be skipped if it doesn’t capture your attention immediately. More likely than not, another more efficient source of information will come along soon that will present the same information, but in a manner that gets them the information efficiently.
How Do Sites Need to Change?
All content generation issues aside, page speed is a critical factor in whether or not a reader spends the time necessary to get to the content you’ve generated, whether that be a video, photos, or written text. In any case, if the content doesn’t load by the time the reader’s attention has wandered, that represents a lost opportunity.
Both sites as well as B2B website designers need to change. It’s increasingly important, at least from a site design perspective, that pages are as small as possible, file size-wise, and that they’re not pulling content from multiple different sites. It’s also important that site content loads in the order most appropriate to the designer’s priorities; it wouldn’t do to have the content delayed while images and advertisements are being imported.
Designers, on the other hand, need to keep these changes in how we read content at top-of-mind as they alter and upgrade sites. One of the most useful tools for a designer’s toolbox is Google Page Speed, an extension designed with increasing page loading times in mind.
What is Page Speed and How Should It Be Used?
A complementary tool provided by Google, Page Speed accompanies some of its Analytics suite of services. Both Page Speed and Analytics take a look at the traffic coming into your site, where that traffic goes, how long it stays, and how long pages load when they’re accessed by visitors.
Using Page Speed in particular is exceedingly important as you assess your readers’ willingness to stick around and view your content once it’s loaded. It’s the most accessible tool on the market for designers to use as they tune up their sites for loadability.
Page Speed not only gives site designers data related to loading and access speeds during any specified time period, but the Page Speed Insights feature also provides suggestions as to how to improve a site to make it load more quickly. Suggestions from Page Speed aren’t just related to hard coding information into a site, either. Depending on what it finds, the tool may also suggest image compression, file size reductions, or different loading priorities.
Reading patterns are changing to a more high-demand, quick-turnaround model of skimming and moving on. It’s the responsibility of designers to design according to what they know about how readers read the content, and Page Speed is a great way to go about tracking the results of their efforts.