Travel vs. Google PageSpeed

As a race, humans are fairly impatient. The digital age has seen us become accustomed to having information delivered to us in seconds via our electronic devices.

It’s not a small leap to assume that we therefore expect the platforms delivering said information to be incredibly fast. These days, we have questions about everything and we want to know the answers, well, yesterday.

With the increasing importance that Google is placing on user experience for SEO, site speed should be at the forefront of every marketeer’s mind.

That being said, we’ve been pitting industry-leading websites against Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how they perform.

So far, we’ve covered the top five UK websites and the top five furniture retail websites.

This week, we tested the speed of five industry-leading travel websites to see how they measure up.

1. TripAdvisor

First up on the list is TripAdvisor. As you’d expect, their results aren’t too shabby, with their mobile site (82/100) actually showing better performance than their desktop site (74/100).

They’ve clearly spent a bit of time optimising their website’s page speed by compressing images/data transfer, minifying scripts and minimising render blocking resources. However, they’re being held back by not caching static resources.

An image showing TripAdvisor's desktop page speed at 74 out of 100

2. Booking.com

An image of Booking.com's website homepage

Being a go-to for holiday-makers, you’d expect Booking.com’s website to be incredibly fast. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool confirmed that this wasn’t necessarily the case. Their desktop website scored 53/100, whilst their mobile site scored 74/100.

The main speed issues for the desktop website seem to stem from large images, slow server response and a lack of caching. The mobile site has well optimised images, but falls short on server response and caching.

An image showing Booking.com's mobile page speed at 74 out of 100

 

3. Skyscanner

An image of Skyscanner's website homepage

Next up was the UK’s favourite flight comparison site. Whilst this site boasts better speed performance than Booking.com, it still doesn’t quite compete with TripAdvisor. The desktop site scores 78/100 with mobile scoring 66/100.

In terms of desktop, Google’s suggestions are fairly standard – compress images, compress transfer, reduce server response and leverage caching amongst other aspects. Recommendations for its mobile site include compression, reducing server response and leveraging browser caching.

An image showing Skyscanner's mobile page speed at 66 out of 100

4. airbnb

An image showing Airbnb's website homepage

Despite being a fairly new service in the UK, Airbnb is 4th in our list of industry leading travel sites. Needless to say, we had to put the new kid on the block to the test.

Airbnb came out on the top of the pile overall scoring 84/100 for mobile and 81/100 for desktop.

They’ve compressed their images, reduced server response time and minified JavaScript and CSS. However, PageSpeed Insights still recommend that they leverage browser caching and minify their HTML.

An image showing Airbnb's desktop page speed at 81 out of 100

5. Trainline

An image showing Trainline's website homepage

Last up on our list is Trainline. Being one of the leading sites for train ticket bookings, we expected big things…

And we weren’t disappointed. Well, for mobile at least. Their mobile site scores 89/100 but their desktop site lags behind with only 74/100.

Suggestions to increase speed on desktop include compression, image optimisation, reducing server response and minifying JavaScript. In terms of their mobile site speed, PageSpeed Insights recommends reducing server response time and leveraging browser caching.

An image showing Tranline's mobile page speed at 89 out of 100

For the most part, the top five travel websites perform fairly well in terms of speed. We saw a lot of recommendations for leveraging browser caching and image compression, which seem to be common issues for sites these days.

In terms of overall performance, Airbnb offers the fastest site experience with Booking.com failing to keep up.

Creating a slick, fast website does come down to a little more than Google PageSpeed Insights would have you believe. If you’re having issues with the loading times on your site, then get in touch with our team today.

Written by Alex Wright

SEO Manager