As a full-service digital marketing agency, we wanted a way to quickly and easily gather information on Core Web Vitals for client and competitor URLs that could be visualised in a clear and concise manner.
After taking a look at the existing solutions, we quickly realised there wasn’t a tool that did exactly what we wanted.
So, we decided to build it ourselves. The best part? It’s free – built by digital marketers, for digital marketers.
As of June 2021, Core Web Vitals became an official ranking factor for your site. Whilst it’s not the largest contributor, it has still become increasingly important to understand how your website performs on both desktop and mobile, if you want the best chance of your site ranking highly. How can you do this? Well, you need to be able to track and monitor ranking metrics, such as First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) over time to identify where issues might be and to quantify how successful your implemented solutions are.
Introducing Pagespeed Pal – a free tool developed by Semetrical, designed specifically for anyone looking to easily track, organise and visualise Core Web Vitals.
Our tool uses the Pagespeed Insights API in order to pull the following field, origin and lab metrics;
Now that we’ve covered the metrics that Pagespeed Pal is capable of pulling, let’s quickly cover what each metric tells us and outline the main differences between field, origin and lab data;
We set out to pull the three of these data types to benefit from the different perspectives that each has to offer.
These scores are updated on a daily basis by the Pagespeed Insights API, and so our tool only fetches them once a day, running automatically to ensure things stay up to date – as the user, you are able to schedule when this occurs through the user interface shown below.
Google places limits on the number of URLs that can be run on a daily scheduled basis.
A user with a free Google account can schedule around 35 URLs before encountering errors, whereas a user with a workspace account can query around 100 URLs.
However, Google places fewer limits on the number of URLs run immediately. We have been able to successfully fetch data for 1,600+ URLs using the “Run Queries” menu with the Pagespeed Pal add-on menu.
For the sake of easy reporting, these scores are split out by date, device, client, page grouping and URL. See below for how this looks when populated into Google Sheets.
The main purpose of this format is to streamline data visualisation, so that powerful views can be easily created within Google Data Studio for both our own clients and competitor pages, too.
Using this spreadsheet as a data source linked directly to Data Studio, the data can be visualised as follows;
By adding in filters based on the relevant dimensions, such as client, page groupings or URLs, these can then be assessed with a high degree of flexibility. We like to use the reference lines feature to provide thresholds for metrics, making it easier to identify overall performance.
We will be publishing Pagespeed Pal to the public via the Google Workspace Marketplace after making some final changes to the tool and will update the blog once live.
When Pagespeed Pal goes live, the tool can be easily added by going through the Google Workspace Marketplace. Once downloaded, simply navigate to Google Sheets > Extensions > Add-ons. It will prompt you to download an API key, which you can obtain by following the steps provided. Once this has been acquired, paste it in and you’re ready to start! Our short video below demonstrates how to correctly get started with the tool once installed.
If you have any questions, get in touch through our contact form.
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