How To Track PageSpeed Insights History

Posted on Aug 01, 2022

PageSpeed Insights history for a URL can be tracked by using PageSpeedPlus.com.

It's a tool specifically designed around the Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights APIs that measures the PageSpeed and Web Vitals score of URLs on a recurring basis and builds a picture over time of how the grades are evolving. This is essential data for SEOs and marketers when trying to optimize a site and accelerate its performance.

Collecting the data is only one part. Viewing it at scale in a digestible manner is equally important and that's where PageSpeedPlus shines. Read on to find out more.

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Contents

What is PageSpeedPlus

You most likely landed on this article because you realise the importance of Pagespeed data but got tired of trying to manually run PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse scans and keep track of the scores over time. That's the exact position we were in and the problem(frustration) PageSpeed Plus was built to solve.

It automatically measures PageSpeed Insights scores for URLs at user defined intervals and reports this in charts for website owners to view. The feature set has expanded over time to include, Web Vitals, alerts, full site scans, comparisons, on demand scans, global load times and data exporting to offer a full service pagespeed monitoring solution.

How To Track PageSpeed Insights History

The good news is PageSpeed and Web Vitals History can be tracked right here on this website:

  • Visit the homepage
  • Enter your website URL

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  • Click Start Monitoring
  • Enter your details to sign up
  • The URL will be queued for scanning
  • Sit back and let automated daily scans run

Over the next few days, data will start to build and if you check back in a week, you'll see a fully populated chart like this:

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Acessing The Underlying Data

In addition to the nice charts that are visible in the UI, all scan data is also exported to a Google Sheet for the site. From here, it can be ingested into other tools for various reporting purposes.

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Additional Data

On top of the base PageSpeed Insights score, you'll also see history for additional metrics like the all important Web Vitals:

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CRuX data is on display also. This is a measurement of real user experiences as they browse your site

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Rounding things off is global load time history, which is a PageSpeedPlus bespoke metric that measures loading time from various locations around the world:

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Why track PageSpeed Insights scores

There are a variety of reasons why PageSpeed Insights History should be tracked.

1. Websites Change
Over time, the content and structure of a webpage will change.

This can be for a variety of well intended reasons. A website admin may upload a huge uncompressed image, a marketer may insert a new JavaScript tracking tag, a code change could have been released, a video may have been embedded on a page or an external script may be slow. The list goes on.

All of these things can harm performance and the PageSpeed Insights score. Just because a page is fast now, doesn't mean it will stay that way forever so keeping a close eye on the scores will allow you to react fast when changes do occur.

2. Impact on Search Rankings
Google publish clear guidance on the importance of pagespeed and the correlation between good scores and higher search rankings prove that it carries sizable weight in their algorithm. Tracking the PageSpeed Insights and Web Vitals History ensures a close eye is kept on a key ranking factor that you have full control over so if your score drops, you can fix it before your website is placed lower in the SERPs.

3. Debugging Ranking Changes
Website's search rankings go up and down. Trying to determine why this is the case can consume days for even the most experienced SEOs because Google uses so many signals in their algorithm to determine where a website will be placed which all have to be investigated. Having the PageSpeed and Web Vitals history readily available will allow them to be quickly ruled in or out as the cause of a ranking shift and allow SEOs to move on to other areas when investigating.

4. User experience and revenue
Speed is enormous in the overall user experience of a page. Users expect a fast site because they get it everywhere else. The well known Amazon stat that every 100ms latency causes 1% revenue loss is objective but the underlying message is the same for all websites - if your site is slow, users will leave and that has a direct impact on revenue.

Monitoring your PageSpeed Insights history will firstly allow you to spot changes before it causes financial impact and secondly, if you didn't respond fast enough, allow you to look back and see if pagespeed drops align with revenue changes or if the cause of decline is elsewhere in your business.

5. Assessing improvements
A developer working to improve PageSpeed Insights scores has a lot on their hands just trying to handle the technical aspects of the job. Having to manually run scans after each change goes live is an added task that consumes precious engineering time. Some changes may also need a few days of analysis to get a better view of the impact.

And that's only for one URL. Trying to do it across many pages multiplies the task to the point that they are spending more time measuring than improving.

Capturing the PageSpeed History will allow developers to see the impact of their changes and look back to see how various changes have impacted the score over time.

6. Reporting
Performance improvement projects are common but quantifying the results and presenting them in a way everyone can understand is challenging. Showing clients a screenshot of a single PageSpeed Insights scan won't resonate the same way a 30 day graph of the PageSpeed Insights Historical data allows them to see the before and after.

All scan data is also exported to Google Sheets so it's possible to consume that in other tools and create more advanced reports if needed.

What frequency is right

Daily is ideal for most customers and this is the default setting for all sites.

Recommendation
We suggest daily monitoring of URLs, which will give good information in a reasonable time frame without overloading you with data.

For users with critical pagespeed needs and SLAs, we offer monitoring at more regular intervals such as hourly. This is good for teams who need near realtime feedback and have the ability to respond to changes quickly. Alerts can be configured and the data can be exported in a variety of methods for consumption in external dashboards.

Conclusion

Tracking PageSpeed Insights History is important for more reasons than most people expect. It allows you to react to changes, debug better, avoid lost revenue and report with confidence. This is all possible with PageSpeedPlus.com, which was built with the specific intention of making monitoring PageSpeed Insights easy.

We can only start measuring history from the moment you sign up so get started with a free trial now by clicking the button below.

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