Thursday, May 05, 2011

Measure page load time with Google Analytics

By Zhiheng Wang, Make the Web Faster Team, and Phil Mui, Google Analytics Team

At Google, we’re passionate about speed and making the web faster, and we’re glad to see that many website owners share the same idea. A faster web is better for both users and businesses. A slow-loading landing page not only impacts your conversion rate, but can also impact AdWords Landing Page Quality and ranking in Google search.

To improve the performance of your pages, you first need to measure and diagnose the speed of a page, which can be a difficult task. Furthermore, even with page speed measurements, it’s critical to look at page speed in the context of other web analytics data.

Therefore, we are thrilled to announce the availability of the Site Speed report in Google Analytics. With the Site Speed report you can measure the page load time across your site right within your Google Analytics account.

Uses for the Site Speed report

With the Site Speed report, not only will you be able to monitor the speed of your pages, you can also analyze it along with other analytics data, such as:
  • Content: Which landing pages are slowest?
  • Traffic sources: Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads overall?
  • Visitor: How does page load time vary across geographies?
  • Technology: Does your site load faster or slower for different browsers?

Setting up the Site Speed report

For now, page speed measurement is turned off by default, so you’ll only see 0s in the Site Speed report until you’ve enabled it. To start measuring site speed, you need to make a small change to your Analytics tracking code. We have detailed instructions in the Site Speed article in the Analytics Help Center. Once you’ve updated your tracking code, a small sample of pageviews will be used to calculate the page load time.

Bringing the Site Speed report into Google Analytics is an important step of the Make the Web Faster effort, and we look forward to your feedback on Site Speed.

Zhiheng Wang spends most of his time at work building stuff so others can serve the web better. He spends the rest of his time at home fixing stuff so his family can surf the web better.

Phil Mui is the Group Product Manager of Google Analytics and has been leading its development since its early days. He has a Ph.D. from MIT and a M.Phil. from Oxford where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor


  1. Really great announcement.

    Can this be used for content loaded via AJAX at all?

    We run browser games where content is loaded dynamically into a certain content area. These are treated as page loads, so we use _trackPageview with the AJAX requests. I'm kinda thinking _trackPageLoadTime wouldn't do anything here since the actual document isn't being loaded on each AJAX request, am I right?


  2. Mike - You are correct. AJAX doesn't trigger the page load time measurement here.

  3. Cheers, thanks for your response.

  4. How would I turn this on if i'm using Google Analytics with Google Sites

  5. @Mike Pion from Atomic Labs ( allows you to track page views in GA using Google Analytics without the page tags (it does it at the network level).

    So you can track your AJAX calls in GA no probs.

    Pion measures the page loading performance for any type of HTTP request, so recording how long your AJAX calls took is already covered.

    It would just need a small tweak to send the timing data back to this new GA API.