On the fifth day of Christmas, the Whitefish Team gave me –the key to testing site load speed.

Site load speed is a pretty significant ranking factor. Google uses this indicator as a way of determining which sites should rank highest. Fast pages rank better and convert better than slow pages. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, users will often return to the results page, which increases your bounce rate.

Ways of improving site speed include minifying Javascript, CSS and HTML, enabling compression, improving server response time, reducing redirects and optimising images. But how do you know if your site speed is slow?

Probably the trustiest way is to use Google PageSpeed Tools. Using the PageSpeed Insights function, you can analyse your site’s speed, identify key things that slow down your sites and get recommendations on how to improve these. If you have a Google account and use Google Analytics, PageSpeed will be available to you.

Alternatively, you can use a range of independent websites to test site load speed. Some of the ones we recommend include Webpagetest and Pingdom. They’re free to use and your site will be given a performance score, performance summary and list of recommended fixes.