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The Importance of Speed Index and How to Improve Your Score

Brent Peterson December 30, 2021

Speed Index (SI) isn’t part of Google’s Core Web Vitals, but it’s still a crucial performance metric that can help you create a better experience for your visitors. The SI index shows you how long it takes for a page’s content to appear in the viewport in seconds. The lower your score is, the better it is for your customers and for your page’s SEO rankings. 

Speed Index, SEO, and UX

Your Speed Index score, SEO rankings, and UX are all interconnected. The Speed Index considers the user’s experience as the page loads, rather than looking at things happening behind the scenes. It will give you straightforward information about how quickly your site is loading based solely on what the user is seeing on their screen. The faster a person believes your page to be, the better your site will perform on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How to Measure SI

Speed Index is one of the 6 metrics that’s assessed when you conduct a Lighthouse report. Lighthouse measures SI by comparing your site’s speed index to other actual websites, using data from the HTTP Archive. You’ll find your SI score beneath the Performance section of the report, with the following guidelines for interpreting your results:

  • 0 to 3.4 seconds: Fast 
  • 3.4 to 5.8 seconds: Moderate
  • More than 5.8 seconds: Slow

Ways to Improve Speed Index

Generally speaking, it’s best to focus on boosting your overall Performance score rather than zeroing in on your SI score. Go to the Opportunities section of your Lighthouse report and begin with the most highly-recommended fixes before tinkering with other areas of your site.

For Speed Index best practices, there are several simple fixes you can make to your site. According to Holistic SEO, you can apply these changes to help improve your page speed:

  • Upload off-screen images with Lazyload.
  • Add placeholders for images.
  • Use new-generation visual extensions.
  • Clean up old or unused codes.
  • Compress and refactor CSS and JavaScript files.
  • Create a cache hierarchy and strategy for web page resources.
  • Optimize image files.
  • Compress, combine, and optimize font files.
  • Use a CDN.
  • Preload the Key Requests of the page.

If you need more information about improving your web metrics before the hectic holiday season, connect with a Wagento developer today!

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