How fast does your website load?
This question is becoming more and more important to the online marketer as attention spans decrease and the number of distractions increase. But page load speed doesn’t just impact marketing from the User Experience perspective, it also factors into the SEO of your website and its ability to rank. After all, when you break it down, SEO objectives are an extension of marketing into the online goals of your business.
The impact of page load speed on Search Engine Optimization and ranking isn’t breaking news. In fact, Google has stated many times throughout the years that it uses site speed as a search ranking factor. What you may not know is that Google has created a handy little tool in Google Webmaster Tools to give you insight into how fast Google can crawl / load your page.
So let’s get to it.
How to test your page load speed in Google Webmaster Tools
- Log in to Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT)
- Verify your website in GWMT (if you haven’t already)
- Click on your site name to view the Site Dashboard
- Click Crawl from the left side Menu
- Click Fetch as Google
- Enter the page you wish to test and click the red Fetch button
- To test your homepage, you can leave the text box empty
- Let the Fetch as Google churn and the URL will update from Pending to Complete
- Click on the Complete status to view the details of the crawl
- View the Download Time field (at the bottom of the page) for your page load speed, in seconds, according to the Google crawler