If you’ve ever wondered about whether or not your site’s load times impact your results, Google has some clear news for you. “A slow loading landing page not only impacts your conversion rate, but can also impact AdWords Landing Page Quality and ranking in Google search,” says Trevor Claiborne, a member of the Google Analytics team. But for many the tricky part isn’t understand Google’s stance, but optimizing for it.
How can you tell how quickly your pages are loading? There are various tools around the web that will let you see that information, but many of them are less than thorough and even the best ones have a fatal flaw: they aren’t using the same measurement tools as Google. Now there’s a solution: Google Analytics Site Speed. The “Site Speed” utility is a new tracking feature that’s part of the upcoming version of Google Analytics.
Want to access Site Speed tracking right now? It’s fairly simple. To begin, you’ll log into your Analytics as normal. In the top-right of the screen, you should see an option that says “New Version.” Clicking on this will lead you to prompts to enable the beta version of new Analytics features. Once the beta version is installed, head over to the “Site Speed” panel. It will be empty right now, and is by default set to disabled. Enable this feature and install the new code (which Google will provide) on your site in place of your previous Google Analytics code.
Google Analytics will now track your load speed on each page that has analytics installed, allowing you to find troubled landing pages, examine geographic regions that are having trouble with load times, and see if you need to optimize your site further for a specific browser. Site Speed is just one of many tools available in the “New Version” of Analytics.