Website Speed Test is a powerful website auditing tool for busy marketing and SEO professionals. Available on the Semrush App Center, Website Speed Test helps you analyze and fine-tune your website’s key performance metrics for better SEO and search engine ranking.
How Can the Website Speed Test App Help Me?
This app checks the performance, accessibility, and user experience (UX) of websites across different types of devices.
Website Speed Test will help you maintain optimal site performance and good SEO by:
- Checking site speed and which factors are slowing it down (your web developer can use this app to make site updates easier)
- Assessing whether your site has intuitive navigation, rich alt text for images, and optimal color contrast to ensure the experience of your website is inclusive for users of all types
- Giving optimization recommendations to help you perform better in the search engine results
Neglecting UX can result in low rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs), frustrated users, high bounce rates, and lost opportunities for engagement or sales.
Pricing and Limits
The app is free to users.
How To Get Started
Website Speed Test uses data from the popular PageSpeed Insights to build a performance and UX profile for any website.
1. You can find Website Speed Test in the Semrush App Center.
2. From the app’s homepage, enter the website URL you would like to check and click the “Check” button.
3. A pop-up window will appear explaining that your results may take up to 2 minutes to generate.
4. Once the app is finished with its analysis, you will be returned to the home screen where a list of your searched websites will appear. Click on the blue page URL to be taken to the advanced view. On the homepage you will also be able to see several metrics at a glance that will be available with more detailed information on the next page.
5. The next page will show you a detailed view of your website’s performance. From here, we will discuss the various data points used.
At the top of the results page, you will get a quick-glance overview of your site’s overall performance.
This is an excellent summary for busy marketers and business owners who just want to get a 36,000-foot view of how their site is doing.
Your website will receive a total score in the form of a letter grade from A to F. “A” denotes an incredibly polished website with excellent performance and experience. An “F” suggests multiple areas of your site need improvement. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the grades:
- A+ 90-100 Exceptional Performance: Your website is lightning-fast, providing an exceptional user experience. Keep up the excellent work!
- A 80-89 Excellent Performance: Your website performs exceptionally well, ensuring a smooth and seamless user experience. Great job!
- B 70-79 Above Average Performance: Your website’s performance is above average, with minor areas for improvement. Keep optimizing for an even better experience!
- C 60-69 Average Performance: Your website’s performance is average, neither exceptional nor poor. Consider optimizing certain areas for better speed.
- D 50-59 Below Average Performance: Your website’s performance falls below average, impacting user experience. Identify and address performance bottlenecks.
- F 0-49 Poor Performance: Your website’s performance is significantly lacking, resulting in a subpar user experience. Take immediate action to improve speed and optimize your website.
The Total Score appears twice on this page—once in the left-hand corner of the Overview bar and again with a more detailed analysis of how the app calculated your grade.
The Total Score is calculated based on the weighted average of the performance segments. The metrics used for this grade are split into desktop and mobile users. Two small icons above the data denote which is which.
A visual example of your website for mobile and desktop experiences gives you a sense of what users are experiencing.
Total Score Metrics
Several metrics in this box are used to calculate your site grade:
- First Contentful Paint: This shows how long it takes your site to render any piece of content for a user from the time they begin loading the site.
- Largest Contentful Paint: The amount of time it takes for the largest piece of content to render above the fold (the top portion of a webpage).
- Total Blocking Time: The amount of time Long Tasks (tasks 50 ms or longer) block the main thread. This can impact the usability of the page.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: A Core Web Vitals metric that, according to Web.dev, “Measures the instability of content by summing shift scores across layout shifts that don’t occur within 500 milliseconds of user input.”
- Speed Index: The time it takes from the start of loading to a fully rendered page.
Note: “s” denotes seconds and “ms” denotes milliseconds.
The next segment of data you will see is your site’s performance metrics. This appears in both the quick summary of each segment and in the detailed view below.
The first section is Performance Opportunities. Performance opportunities are where you could reduce load time by completing/updating certain tasks.
As the image above shows, the app breaks down performance opportunities into different tasks and then gives you the estimated time it saves a user in page loading speed (in seconds).
These are great metrics to give your web developer or the website guru for your business.
The next performance section shows what Performance Checks were run. You can click the little arrow or anywhere on the check bar to unfurl a detailed view.
The folded menu will show:
- Failed Checks
- Passed Checks
- Not Applicable Checks
- Manual Checks
When you click anywhere on the check bar, more details will appear.
Clicking on a check will reveal the affected site pages (URLs) and other measurement explanations. You will also get helpful links explaining the meaning behind the different types of checks.
A Note About “Manual Checks”
Manual checks are those tasks that can’t be performed automatically due to the nature of the issues being checked. Therefore, we encourage users to check these elements manually.
The Accessibility score of your site and which checks it passed or failed will determine whether your website is friendly to users with disabilities. That is — can users with hearing loss or low vision access all elements of your site in a manner a non-disabled user can?
As in the Performance section, the cascading drop-down shows Failed, Passed, Not Applicable, and Manual Checks. Each successive check bar you click will give you more detailed information on why your site did or did not pass a specific check.
You can also click the provided link to learn more about that check.
Many of these checks have straightforward instructions on how to fix the issue.
Best Practice checks help improve the quality of your site so it will rank better in search. These tasks should be completed frequently to keep your site links working and fresh. Just as the sections before it, Best Practices are broken down into Failed, Passed, Not Applicable, and Manual Checks.
The cascading drop-down menu will explain each check.
The example above shows that five checks were run on desktop performance and five on mobile performance. These checks have failed. If we drop the menu down again, we can see which URLs use deprecated APIs and where, down to the line and column.
The app will also tell you if this is a failed check for a mobile experience or desktop by including the mobile and desktop icons.
The final section breaks down how your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) is performing. You can navigate here by clicking on the quick summary tab for “SEO” or scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Not Applicable Checks mean that the tool has run its usual checks but found specific ones that cannot be applied to your site for one reason or another.
Those checks will be listed in this section so you or your web developer can determine if they are necessary or wanted.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have other questions about the App Center or the Website Speed Test app, please email us directly at email@example.com.