Are you looking for a guide to help you score 100 on the Google PageSpeed Insights tool? Well, this article will help you achieve just that in six easy-to-follow steps.
A fast-loading website is vital for user experience, conversions, and rankings. No one likes a slow-loading website, as it looks unprofessional and can lead to higher bounce rates.
Webpages that load in 2-seconds have bounce rates of 9%, compared to 38% bounce rates for a 5-second load time. With every second longer that your website takes to load, it costs you hundreds/thousands of visitors a month.
Before we get started on the six steps, I’ll quickly explain the Google PageSpeed lab data, as well as the importance of page speed. You can also skip straight to the six steps here if you’d like.
What is Google PageSpeed Insights?
Google PageSpeed Insights is a practical tool that analyzes the performance of your website or blog and gives suggestions on how to improve page speed.
The tool provides users with a performance score from 0 – 100 on both mobile and desktop. A score of 90 – 100 is considered fast and should be where you want to sit.
Why Do You Need a Fast Page Speed?
A fast page speed is vital for user experience. A fast-loading webpage leads to a lower bounce rate, increased page views, and overall happier users.
Page speed is also a ranking factor, especially now with the Core Web Vitals update. This update measures LCP, FID, and CLS (explained further below), directly correlating with user experience. If a website takes extensive time to load, then it may lose serious rankings.
Which website would you pick out of the two options below?
Option A: Takes 14 seconds to load with a lot of content stability issues.
Option B: Takes 1.5 seconds to load.
Notice how you instantly chose Option B. A fast-loading website also shows the user that the owner cares about user experience and wants the load time to be as smooth and quick as possible.
Lab Data Explained
Now, if you’ve ever tested your page speed before, Google has six pieces of lab data that it examines. Here’s what all that lab data means and how Google ultimately determines the page speed score.
First Contentful Paint (FCP)
Measures how long it takes for the first bit of content (text or images) to get displayed on the screen.
Any score from 0 – 1.8 seconds is considered fast; the lower score, the better.
Time to Interactive (TTI)
The total time it takes for your web page to become fully interactive, meaning the user can scroll around and also click on links.
Any score from 0 – 3.8 seconds is deemed fast. Again, you want these scores to be as low as possible.
Speed index measures how quickly content (text or images) is displayed during page loading.
Any score from 0 – 3.4 seconds is considered fast.
Total Blocking Time (TBT)
TBT is the amount of time your web page was blocked, preventing users from interacting with the page.
Any score from 0 – 200 milliseconds is deemed fast.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP measures the time it takes for the most significant piece of content (typically images) to load and be interactive. This doesn’t account for content below the fold, meaning it’s only the content users see before scrolling.
Any score from 0 – 2.5 seconds is considered fast.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures the content stability of a web page during loading. This data accounts for the elements of a page that are constantly moving during the loading process. Example: A sidebar visibly moving from the left side to the right during loading.
Any score from 0 – 0.1 is considered good.
How to Get 100% on Google PageSpeed Insights
Here are all the steps I’ve implemented to get the perfect Google PageSpeed score. Skipping over the technical side of things, I’ll try to explain this as simply as possible.
Remember that you might never reach a 100/100 score on Google Pagespeed Insights, but as long as your score is over 85, you should be in good standing with the Core Web Vitals.
Tip: Make sure to do a Google PageSpeed test and screenshot the results before implementing my six steps. It’ll be good to compare the results at the end.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, where I may earn a small commission on purchases at no cost to you. These tools are ones that I highly recommend if you want a fast page speed. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
1. Choose a fast web hosting
A fast web host will ensure that you have a solid foundation for the speed of your blog.
With cheap hosting comes limitations of speed and bandwidth. Yes, you might be getting a good deal at $1.99 a month, but you’re also sacrificing your website speed.
I switched my web hosting from Bluehost to Cloudways and noticed a dramatic increase in speed. I went from a 57 Google PageSpeed score to an 80 without really doing anything.
The reason it’s quicker is due to Cloudways being cloud hosting instead of shared hosting.
Cloud hosting: When your data is spread across multiple connected servers worldwide, leading to faster speeds and more potential.
Shared hosting: When your data is on the same physical server as one or more sites, leading to slower speeds and more security issues.
Start your blog with Cloudways and receive a $15 credit (1.5 months FREE) when using my link.
GET STARTED WITH CLOUDWAYS
This table shows the loading times for popular web hosting plans. Cloudways Digital Ocean server has the lowest median load time amongst all other plans.
Source: Online Media Masters
2. Use a CDN
The second step to achieving a perfect Google PageSpeed score is to connect a CDN with your web hosting.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a platform of servers that are worldwide. So, instead of your web hosting being located in one country and on one server, it’s distributed amongst dozens of servers worldwide.
What does this mean?
It means that your blog speed will experience fewer delays due to the decreased physical distance from a user’s device to your web servers. This allows users worldwide to get fast loading page speeds, no matter their location.
Cloudways has a dedicated CDN with the switch of a button, but if you run on a different web host, you could join Cloudflare or ArvanCloud for free.
3. Install a lightweight theme
Now that you’ve got your web hosting and CDN sorted out, the next step is to install a lightweight theme. Remember that all of these steps rely on each other, and it’s best to implement all of them together.
A lightweight theme is a WordPress theme that isn’t large in file or code size and will lead to a quicker blog speed overall.
I’ve made lists of lightweight free and paid WordPress themes, so be sure to check them out.
I use Salient – Responsive Multipurpose Theme and have found it quick and responsive for all my needs.
4. Uninstall unused plugins
Did you know that having too many plugins can actually slow down your site?
I know downloading new plugins is fun, but it can also bloat and slow down your site.
Make sure to be particular with the plugins you download, and ensure that they’re lightweight, reputable, and updated frequently.
I currently have 18 plugins downloaded, with seven being directly related to my theme.
Any number over 20 is probably too many plugins to have downloaded and may be slowing down your site without you knowing. So go to your plugins page, and uninstall ones that you don’t use.
5. Resize and compress images
A good habit to follow for a speedy website is to resize and compress your images. Doing so will make your images smaller and load a lot quicker.
Think of it like this; a 36KB compressed photo will load a lot quicker than the original 1.9MB photo.
I make sure never to upload images above 100KB and aim for them to be under 50KB.
You could use a plugin to do this automatically for you, like ShortPixel or WPSmush. Or, you could do it manually (like I do) with BulkResize and Compressor.
I follow a good habit of resizing my images to 900 x 600 and then compressing them. They aren’t as high-resolution as they originally were, but they load a lot quicker.
6. Use a caching plugin
The last of the steps to get a 100 score on Google PageSpeed Insights is to use a caching plugin.
A caching plugin helps your website work more efficiently by storing a cached version of your pages to your audience. This basically skips many steps that WordPress usually does and makes for a way faster load time.
I use WPRocket (10% off through my link) as my main caching plugin, but there are other free caching plugins like W3 Total Cache that can still speed up your site a lot.
So there we have the six steps of how I managed to achieve a score of 100 on Google PageSpeed Insights.
If you follow the steps above, your page speed score should improve dramatically. These steps have been five months in the making for me, so hopefully, you’re able to achieve it quicker with this guide.
Every website owner strives for the 100/100-page speed score, but it’s vital to know that your blog may never reach the perfect score. As long as it’s above 85, then it’s good enough in Google’s eyes.
Have you managed to score 100 on Google PageSpeed Insights yet?