- This topic has 40 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 1 month ago by Leo.
July 16, 2019 at 5:23 am #959091George
Hi Allan. Just to add yo your comment, if your host told you to use Litespeed Cache plugin, then your server might be Litespeed, which is a good thing. I have LiteSpeed server on my site as well (shared hosting) and I have been able to speed it up using the plugin (which means autoptimize will have to go too) since it works at the server level. First, check if your server is using LiteSpeed (use this tool https://securityheaders.com/ and see if you will see “litespeed” occurring several times). If so, then download the plugin and deactivate autoptimize and any other cache plugin you have. This plugin is good coz it has lazyloading too and can also optimize your images and serve them in webp format. Just make sure you read each guideline carefully and check your site when optimizing.July 16, 2019 at 6:30 am #959114Maarten
@ Tom Always happy to help 🙂
These numbers look VERY good!
You can see the correlation right?
If the following is your top competitor:
First Byte (TTFB) 1.093 sec
Start Render (First Paint) 3.600 sec
Load time 7.516 sec
You see why he is on top right?
Yes, I know some below him have also fast TTFB and paint… (First paint of 3.3 sec on place 3)
But look again:
First Byte (TTFB) 5.552 sec
Start Render (First Paint) 10.70 sec
Load time 14.585 sec
First Byte (TTFB) 2.591 sec
Start Render (First Paint) 3.3 sec
Load time 8.047 sec
Number 2 is WAY to slow!
More than 10 seconds First Paint?!
That takes to long.. now you might ask why is he than on position 2 in Google?
Simple -> Because his conversions might be better than one below him.
Meaning, his CRO is better and Google has ‘seen’ the traffic using a query clicking on THAT site has good CRO and the terminated the query in Google… This is proven to keep your spot in that place for very long.
His Paint is more than 10 seconds that could mean he uses to many images, to much unneeded HTML code… or a to heavy page builder or anything like that.
Of course he could also have a host that is not that fast as the on in place 1.
5 Seconds TTFB is also slow…
But his final Load time is 14.5 seconds, that is amazingly slow
He needs better webdesign and better on-page tech optimization or he is loading 20 different fonts and slow Google Fonts … maybe 20 different CSS files.
You start to see a picture here? I hope so as what this is what the pro’s look at and because I share this with you, you now do not have to pay 1200+ dollars on Upwork for this work ; )
Because it will cost you that amount of money at least for anyone that knows how to look at the numbers the correct way.
Now your website here:
First Byte (TTFB) 0.471 sec
Start Render (First Paint) 0.800 sec
Load time 1.205 sec
Now we must be fair and see the competitor on position 1 and have a look at his ranking page.
What do you see?
Does he use images and how many?
Does he use a lot of HTML code?
If you are really clever have a look at the source code of this page and check the amount of CSS / Script and JS loaded
Now ask you self this:
1) How could I build the same kind of page for my website and keep my numbers as low as possible and ideally be lower then him? (lower numbers = faster load)
That is the only question you need to ask yourself and if you understand what I just told you and you start playing with
You will soon be a better speed analyst than anyone you find online AND know how to at least Rank on speed !!!
You do not have to trust anything what I say… just test it out and you will see that I am correct.
So ok, I did not want to confuse you with the other speed test site by Google… that just gives you some idea what to fix.
And you see something interesting there right?
IF TTFB was NOT important than why would Google measure that and make notices about it on there OWN speed test Lighthouse etc tool?
Indeed! it IS 100% important.. That is real proof right there.
But please learn 1 tool…. you only need to look at the numbers at https://www.webpagetest.org/
Do NOT look at the grades ! Study the numbers and demand from yourself to become better.
I am no good at math at all… but I know were to look.
1) TTFB as low as possible for any keyword for any page you need to rank for
2) Start Render (First Paint) as low as possible, same story as number 1
3) Load time. Same as point 1 and point 2
Keep using these numbers… do your search in google for your keywords per page..
Check his speed
Check his site build and layout
Get faster speed
Make your site build or layout the same as he has…
Why? -> Because that is what google rewards in search for that keyword… otherwise this web-page would not be in that top position in Google. Yes, back-links play a roll but he is there because of his speed and on-page and his CRO! (90% of the time.)
Way to many SEO’s over complicate stuff…. what I tell you above is all you need to know to really rank and now you also know why paying for expensive hosting is not really a bad thing.
Only when you did understand this all and you will stay with the site I recommend and will study these 3 numbers… once you understand that… you can make up your own mind IF paying for better hosting is good.
And you know what you also have your answers for?
1) What plugins to use for cache and speed
2) If for your website some free or maybe paid plugins work better
As every keyword, page and site is different only you can determine that.
So again, be faster than your competition for every page you make and do a google keyword search for and after checking their numbers using only https://www.webpagetest.org/
Then have a look at this competitor and study his page…
How can I make something that looks like this but still has my angle?
How many images does he use?
Does he use video on his page or not?
What call to actions does he use?
Does he use social buttons?
Yes, that is all you need to look for…
Once you have a faster page… a page that looks like the biggest competition AND you have a better ‘angle’ YOU will see results I will 100% promise you… please do not build back-links like in week 1 hehe… and do not worry about Googles so called ‘sandbox’ you are just in the A/B split test in Google for that keyword… and if you keep cool… they will put you soon on page 1!
Maybe not for long…. maybe for long… If not long and your speed and page is good… than fix you conversions…
Have traffic take the right action on your page as soon as possible. and you WILL keep your place in Google.
Read that all again…. and you now know the so called real secrets of Speed and SEO hehe 🙂
Good luck!July 17, 2019 at 1:17 am #959939Alan
Hi Maarten 🙂
I’ve been trying to improve my site for quite a while and I’m really grateful for all of your help. I’ve done quite a bit of keyword research and read a lot online about SEO but after a while it starts to get to the point where you are just going around in circles so I really appreciate this.
I must admit that I looked at the numbers for the top 3 and then I compared that to my numbers and I came away from it feeling quite confused. The numbers for my page are already quite a bit quicker than the top 3 so I was left wondering if speed wasnt the problem and maybe I had to improve elsewhere on other things like SEO, and maybe redesigning my meta description so I can convert those page views into clicks. You mentioned CRO so I looked that up to see what it meant and I found this on Moz.
Its said “Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise”
That is also something I will have to improve. I need to improve the number of people that actualy click through to my page and than make an enquiry. Its not much point having them view my meta description if they dont click it.
So I did as your suggested and I went and had a closer look at the top 3 pages.
The first one has
160 kb of images
1.3 mb of scripts
99 kb of css
15 kb HTML
The second one has
320 kb of images
980 kb of scripts
1.5 mb of css
98 kb HTML
The third one has
2.6mb of images
Lots of big images
170 kb of scripts
82 kb of css
11 kb HTML
My page has
124 kb of images
74 kb of scripts
44 kb of css
13 kb HTML
As of a month ago my page looked like this.
235 kb of fonts
215 kb of images
186 kb of scripts
119 kb of css
22 kb HTML
Total page size was 882kb
I also had a pretty bulky theme at the time too.
Anyway I will look over these numbers and have a really close look at the top 3.
Alan 🙂July 17, 2019 at 2:37 am #959979Alan
I think Im going to be looking for a better host anyway but when I do I will make sure I ask what sort of servers they have too. At the moment Ive got the plugin deactivated while I do some testing
AlanJuly 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm #960545George
That makes sense. If you can, opt for LiteSpeed or Nginx server (they are fast and popular). Apache is slow compared to these two.July 17, 2019 at 1:29 pm #960582Maarten
Alan, you are doing great… keep going like this.
The amount of KB in image size does not really matter that much….
It was just to show you how many images these pages in the top in Google have and to make sure your page has also that amount.
You can have 1 or 2 more but not 12 more images than they have.
You can now see that the GP theme is fast.. that is very good….
Yes, CRO is very very important… have users do on your page what you want them to do as fast as possible.
Keep all your call to actions above the fold.
Just think about closing the loop – Searcher -> clicks on your page -> makes the conversion -> is happy and leaves the website
That is what Google likes to see… and also what every searcher wants to have… find what they were looking for fast.
For hosting make sure they support the latest PHP as WP works very fast on the latest version and this helps also with your overall speed.
If more than 80% of internet uses Apache you can be sure it is good enough for your goal… if you need to have WordPress Multi setup than the other servers might have a benefit.
Just be confident that your website is faster then your biggest competitor… then work on your page and optimize it for the keyword and focus on CRO.
Your Meta should include your Keyword and sales proposition words to have them click on your title… make it interesting and clickable.
Good luck : )July 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm #960600Alan
Thanks Maarten 🙂
For quite some time I have been baffled as to how many of the websites in the top 5 had very slow load times and yet they ranked really well on Google. I had no idea about CRO so thats something new for me to think about.
My average CTR in Google console is only 0.7% which seems very low. I seem to get a lot of impressions but not so many clicks so that is going to be something I need to fix.
Yes this theme is really fast and I’m really glad that I decided to make the switch. I switched back to my old theme and ran some tests and they were all considerably worse. The support here has also been outstanding.
Thank you!July 28, 2019 at 9:24 pm #969702Alan
I’ve spent quite a bit of time testing and retesting my website using webpagetest and web.dev and I’ve fixed almost all of the suggestions that web.dev came up with.
I’ve also spent a lot of time researching various Web Hosts and I’ve finally found one that seems like a good fit for me.
They are going to transfer everything across from my existing host to them. Is there a way that I can make a backup of my theme settings just as a precaution?
ThanksJuly 29, 2019 at 8:24 am #970214LeoStaffCustomer Support
Our import/export feature can backup the customizer settings for you:
https://docs.generatepress.com/article/import-export-overview/July 29, 2019 at 3:25 pm #970513Alan
Thanks LEOJuly 29, 2019 at 4:45 pm #970559
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