Don’t Only Check the PageSpeed of your Home Page


Site speed has elevated to one of the most important part of Google’s ranking algorithm. As users become more sophisticated on the web, their expectations have also increased.

It’s plain and simple, if you have a slow site, you will hit a ceiling and be unable to rank your site and if you have any rankings, you are at risk at losing them. 

None of this is groundbreaking, however, there is one major mistake I often see: only checking the speed of the homepage.

In this post, I’ll explain why testing your homepage alone can trick you into thinking your site is all good. 

Don’t Get Homepage Tunnel Vision

When people discuss site speed, they often reference popular tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse. And when using these tools, it’s all too easy to simply plug in your homepage URL and call it a day.

If you’re reading this post, you probably have already done the same. 

The problem? Your homepage is not representative of your entire site. Different pages may have:

  • Varying template layouts and designs
  • Different amounts of content, images, etc.
  • Unique functionality and features

Just because your homepage loads lightning-fast doesn’t mean your blog posts, product pages, or other key pages are up to par.

But you probably guessed that already when reading the title, so let’s get to getting beyond the home page. 

Why Comprehensive Speed Testing Matters for SEO

Getting a complete picture of your site’s speed is crucial because more often than not, your home page is not what is ranking for many of your keywords. It’s often blog posts and product pages that have their own keywords they rank for. 

And this is where this conversations comes down to the brass tax. Google looks at speed on a page-by-page basis. Just having a fast homepage won’t make up for laggy internal pages.

User experience matters to Google and sees many of your pages on the site may load slow, this can not only set your rankings back, but also holistically be seen in Google’s eyes as a site that shouldn’t be ranking. 

By focusing solely on your homepage, you’re ignoring the speed metrics that often matter most for SEO success.

How to Test Site Wide Speed (Without Going Crazy)

So, how can you get a more comprehensive view of your site’s speed without manually testing every single page? 

There are a few options: 

Use Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse to test a representative sample of pages from different sections of your site

What I like to do when I don’t have much time and want to do a quick check, is to test a page from the different template categories on the site. So for example, this can be: 

    • Home Page
    • About Page 
    • Product/Service Page
    • Blog Post 
    • Contact Page

Most sites generally based their entire site off these templates, so taking one page from each template type gives me a quick look to see if there are any glaring issues. 

Utilize tools that can assess speed across your entire site in bulk

There are many tools out there that can do this. If you are not sure that a tool can, generally if the tool crawls your entire site, they typically also have the functionality to test the site speed. 

There are also API and Plugins that people have created to test site speed across an entire site and import the data automatically onto a sheet. 

All of these types of tools work and help you take a look at the site as a whole. We use these types of solutions when we want to have a holistic view of the site’s pagespeed. 

Focus on testing the specific pages you’re trying to rank in search (even if they’re not your top-level pages)

This is a must. 

When you are trying to improve your site’s rankings the pages you are trying to rank are the absolute most important to make sure their site speed and user experience is top notch. 

The goal is to strike a balance – you don’t need to test every page, but relying on your homepage alone won’t cut it.

And make sure to test those priority pages. 

Action Items to Walk Away With

If you want to truly gauge your site’s pagespeed, remember:

  • Your homepage is not representative of your entire site
  • Page speed matters for all the pages you’re trying to rank, not just your homepage
  • Testing a representative sample of pages (or focusing on specific target pages) will give you a more accurate assessment

You don’t want to overcomplicate things, but just make sure you don’t stop right at the home page.

I hope this post has shed some light on the importance of comprehensive speed audits. If you have any other site speed questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out directly.

The Talk and Tea Series ☕️

This post has been adapted from the Zupo Talk and Tea Series filmed during the pandemic. If you prefer to watch a video instead of reading, you can watch below. 

Note that this series was created during quarantine, so please excuse at home level production and lack of haircuts 🤓

About the Author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

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