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Complete Guide to understand Page Load Time in Google Analytics

November 2, 2022
8 min read

One of the key metrics that can help you determine how well your website performs is page load time. This metric gives you insight into how quickly your users can access information on your site and ultimately helps you understand how well you’re serving them as a website owner. In this article, we’ll discuss what page load time KPI means, why it’s essential, and how to use Google Analytics to measure it as a key performance indicator (KPI).

Google Analytics is one of the most popular digital analytics platforms for analyzing website traffic and measuring user engagement. It also offers an extensive performance report set that provides insight into page load time performance. Page Load Time refers to how long a web page or image takes to load on your screen fully, which can be measured in seconds or milliseconds. The average web browser usually loads pages at about 1 second per page. Websites with longer load times will cause visitors to abandon their shopping carts more often, decreasing customer satisfaction with your site’s usability.

Why Track Page Load Time in Google Analytics?

Users are more likely to visit other sites that load faster. Suppose your site slows down during peak traffic. A significant slowdown can make your site inaccessible. You should know how long it takes for the pages on your site to load. 

This way, if changes are made on your site or changes with content or design happen. Then you'll know how they might affect your site's overall performance at different times of day and on other devices - all while being able to compare data over time and across similar sites/organizations. You may also want to measure your site’s conversion rate before and after making changes to improve conversion rates, conversions per visitor, or transactions per visitor. For example, if something like a pop-up ad appears too early or too late, you might see a drop in conversions.

How to Track Page Load Time in Google Analytics?

You can track your page load time data by following these steps: 

  •  In the Admin, go to 'Performance'. 
  • Under the 'Custom Alerts' section, click '+ Add alert.' 
  • Fill out the form with these values: Title - 'Page load time' Description - Your business goal is around page load time. 
  • Select what data point you want to trigger an alert when it goes over a certain threshold. Hit Submit when done. 

The next screen will show you the trigger and what data point it is looking at. You will need to scroll down and select either 'Bounce rate or new sessions' or 'Average session duration' from the list below. 

  • Set the data point to look for (either bounce rate or average session duration). 
  • Click 'Apply.' 

We need to set the limit on how long this limit should be. If you want to set up an alert that triggers if your average session duration exceeds 5 minutes, enter 300 seconds (5 minutes) into this field. 

There are three options for setting how many times this limit should be reached before triggering an alert: Once every hour, once every day, and once every week. Check whichever option suits your needs best before hitting 'Apply.' 

The final step is naming the alert. Give it a title that best reflects what data point you're using, and then hit Save Changes. After saving changes, an orange ball will appear to indicate there is now an active custom alert in place. To view which alerts have been created, hover over 'Alerts' on the left-hand side of the page. You'll see a list of all active alerts and what they are based on. To disable any specific alert, click the button above.

Remember, One other factor that affects page load time KPI is where the user comes from; therefore, make sure to test different areas and regions to ensure appropriate results are being monitored.

Top 10 Ways to Improve Page Load Time in Google Analytics

Here is the list of top 10 ways to improve page load time:

  1. First, enable the page load timing measurement code. 
  2. Code your site with necessary optimizations 
  3. Remove anything that slows down load time, like plugins, heavy scripts, mobile responsiveness, and device detection. 
  4. Pre-render some of your assets. 
  5. Minimize requests by combining external JavaScripts, stylesheets, and images into single files. 
  6. Group your DOM elements so they can be rendered with fewer CSS rules.
  7. Use lazy loading and placeholders for off-screen content.
  8. Improve navigation: By removing unneeded navigation links, you reduce the number of items that need to be loaded during page load and use less bandwidth because it's not required to request all other pages when navigating back or forward.
  9. Test your website on different devices. To measure how well a website performs across other browsers, devices, and operating systems. It's essential to set up cross-browser testing tools such as BrowserStack. 

By doing this, developers will know which features are breaking the site's layout on specific devices and what should be done to fix these errors. Additionally, cross-browser testing tools allow developers to see how websites look on smartphones and tablets (as opposed to desktops).

  1. By reducing overhead like image preloading, caching static content in advance, reducing HTTP requests, and ensuring your pages load quickly, webpages will appear quicker than ever! 

Users can use these techniques at any level of the development process: from improving performance after publishing an app live on production servers or tweaking frontend code before deployment.


From this article, we conclude that page load time is an essential factor in the success of a website. The duration of the load-time affects how people perceive your site and can lead to visitors abandoning your site if it is too slow. With the help of Google Analytics, you can measure page load time as a KPI and optimize accordingly.