What is Page speed/Time to first byte?

page speed guide

What is page speed?

Page speed measures how fast your page loads. This is largely a vague concept, since there are many different ways to measure it. This post covers 2 types of page speed:

1. Time to first byte 

The more conventional way to measure page speed — time to first byte — measures the time it takes for your page to begin loading. It is the time between the browser requesting a resource and the first byte of that resource arriving.

2. Fully loading a page

This metric measures how long it takes for your page to load fully. So every resource on the page has to be fully loaded and rendered for the time to stop. This metric is crucial for user experience since a slow page can lead to a high bounce rate.

How important is page speed for SEO?

Page speed is very important for search engine optimization (SEO) because Google uses page speed as a ranking factor. However, they have made no statements regarding how they are measuring it. They could be measuring time to first byte or the fully loaded page time — or some other measurement. 

How can you improve page speed?

To improve your page load speed, follow these best practices:

  • Optimize your images for speed. Try using WebP format.
  • Enable file compression for your CSS, JavaScript and HTML files (if they are over 150 bytes).
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML.
  • Remove/reduce redirects.
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript or CSS.
  • Reduce server response time.

If you want to run a full SEO audit to make sure your website is properly optimized for Google search, be sure to book an SEO audit consultation with us or go through our audit checklist.

Momin Shahab

Momin Shahab

Momin Shahab is an SEO consultant at Productive Shop. He has worked in SEO on an international level for upwards of three years at various companies. He has gained training in content marketing, project management and data analysis. When he's not working or researching SEO, he is reading and collecting books.

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