A faster web is better for both users and businesses - faster pages lead to better user experience and improved conversions. In order to optimizing the user experience on the web, one need to measure the speed of a page as seen by real users: users network, device type and speed, geographic location, cache sizes, and a dozen other factors all come into play.
Luckily, the "Site Speed" reports in Google Analytics provide most of this data already. "The new Web Timing standard, which is already implemented by most modern browsers, allows Google Analytics to gather detailed latency data for a sample of requests across a dozen different dimensions," explains Mustafa Tikir and Ilya Grigorik, Google Analytics team.
The Site Speed reports measure two aspects of latency:
- "Page load time (latency) for a sample of pageviews on your website pages. This allows you to examine how quickly your pages load in different browsers, geographic areas, etc. No setup is required and you can see your data in the Overview and Page Timings reports.
- Execution speed or load time of any discrete hit, event, or user interaction that you want to track. This can include measuring how quickly specific images load, how long it takes for your site to respond to specific button clicks, etc. To collect this data, you'll need to add custom timing code to the interactions you want to track. Data is displayed in the User Timings report," informs Google.
"To see this data for your site, navigate to your Google Analytics account and look for the new "Site Speed" reports under the "Content" section of the Standard Reporting tab," explains Anaytics team.
"The Overview report provides an at-a-glance view of essential information: Avg. Page Load Time by Browser, Country/Territory, and Page. You can also use the Overview to graph latency metric averages over time.
Both the Page Timings and the User Timings reports allow you to view data in three ways: use the Explorer tab to explore timings across dimensions, use the Performance tab to see how timings break down by speed ranges, or use the Map Overlay tab to see how the timings break down by geography," the team explains.
Here are a couple of pcitures of some aggregated speed data for the web as seen by Google Analytics and shared by opted-in web publishers:
You can learn more about Site Speed report here.