It just takes one panda update for webmasters to realize that there is something wrong with their site provided they are religiously following Google TOS and have quality content on their sites. Site speed it seems has become an important factor for webmaster and bloggers, however for Google this is just a small factor that they consider when pushing a page higher up in SERP (Search engine results page). UPDATE: Google has now enabled the Site Speed feature by default and there is no need to update your Google analytics code.
Should you be worried about the page speed on your website, well forget about Google but from the visitors perspective this is an important step. The faster the site the better, and remember visitors hate waiting for the page to load and not everyone may be using a broadband connection.
How can I check my Site Speed?
If you are not using Google Analytics (GA) on your site, you should, but I am sure most of you have already added the code on your site. The newer version of Google Analytics comes with the site speed feature which by default is disabled and can be activated by simply modifying the Analytic code.
The Google Analytics has gone through a series of changes from a new design to new features such as customizable dashboards and real time stats (beta). Today Google Analytics has become a powerful tool in fact a must have tool with lots of features, especially the real time stats (Check my post on how to use the real time stats). There are many Analytics software available in the market but what makes Google Analytics so special is because it’s free.
How to enable site speed in Google Analytics
All you need to do is update your Google Analytics tracking code. Here is what you need to do.
- In the Analytics tracking code check of the line
- Add trackPageLoadTime after that code. So the updated code will be
- Only alter the above part and update/save the code on your site.
The Site Speed is now enabled. It will take few minutes before the reports are updated. It might take few days, weeks or months depending on the traffic before you start seeing some stable results.
To check the site speed results click the standard reporting tab on top and on the left side click Content and then click Site Speed. You will still see 0 results just change the date on top right to today’s date.
Why the loading time is is so high? Does this mean my site is too slow?
As I mentioned before you will need to wait for few weeks to get a clear average picture. What you should be looking for is the overall average speed and if maximum numbers of your visitors are able to view your page in less than 7 to 8 seconds.
By (Updated: April 13, 2012)
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