Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool built by Google to measure and to help you improve your site’s performance on mobile and desktop devices.
Since the scoring is based on predefined conditions, the results that you see for your own website won’t necessarily reflect real, everyday user experience. Instead, the score provides metrics for the three "Core Web Vitals" measured by the tool, including:
- Largest Contentful Paint measures how much time it takes to load the largest content area on your site.
- First Input Delay measures how much time is needed before someone can interact with your site.
- Cumulative Layout Shift measures how much time it takes for your content to completely finish loading.
These three Core Web Vitals focus on user experience and how users interact with your site, and they account for 70% of the overall PageSpeed score weight.
Why is it important?
Your results from Google PageSpeed Insights matter, because poor scores are indicative of low quality SEO, impacting your ability to effectively reach and engage supporters.
Your website's SEO ranking is impacted by mobile speed and user experience, two areas that are measured through your Google Pagespeed scores. Mobile page speed has been a ranking factor with SEO for quite some time, and Google PageSpeed makes it easy for you to measure this and identify any problem areas.
However, it's important to note that your overall Google PageSpeed score is not a ranking factor for SEO. Instead, the score is merely an indication of how well your site performs in these areas and helps you identify ways to improve your overall site performance.
How should you use it?
While your PageSpeed score can be an indication of your site's performance and is a factor in SEO, the more valuable aspects of the test’s results are the recommendations.
The Google PageSpeed Insights tool is meant to be used as a diagnostic tool so that you can assess and apply targeted fixes to specific pain points. While you should certainly strive to improve your website’s loading times as much as possible, getting a 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t actually that important. Instead, this tool is best used as a guide to help you improve your site's usability and performance. The score is best paired with a specific user test of how fast your page is loading on a specific device, because the scores can actually fluctuate because of different factors such as a webserver's response time in a specific moment.
What really matters?
What really matters is the actual speed that it takes for a website to load! When all is said and done, visitors don’t care what your Google PageSpeed Insights score is, they just want to be able to read your content and check out your site as quickly as possible. The primary purpose for testing your site’s performance with Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t to achieve a perfect, high score, but to identify problem areas that can be improved upon.