It may?be hard to?understand?how website?page?speed and SEO are connected.?Yet all the way back in 2010, Google stated that?website?page?speed?would play an important?role?in?technical SEO?and will boost your chances of ranking?your pages?on?Search?Engine?Results Pages (SERPs).?As the rise of mobile devices?occurred, a?few years later?Google?confirmed?websites should optimize?speeds on mobile?as well.??
What Google means by page speed?is how?long a visitor will need to wait on the page before it completely loads.??
The reason website speed is important from an SEO perspective is because it improves the user experience?and?makes it easier for a bot to?crawl?pages.?As a result, Google has a strong preference for?websites that have?fast speed.?Yet, keep in mind that website speed is not as?top of mind to Google’s ranking criteria?as the?relevance of the page?to the user.?
A survey by Unbounce shares that many users believe it’s their internet service provider who is to blame for slow page load speed.?The fact is a poor internet connection may?affect page speed, but?more often than not?if you’re not optimizing your website speed then you’re also contributing to the problem.???
Here?are ways website speed?can affect SEO:?
Decrease bounce rate?
Visitors to your website don’t want to wait for your pages to load.?They’re visiting your site for a reason and any friction they experience along the way will turn them off.?If there is a delay when they’re trying to access the content, they will likely bounce from the page.??
According to?Unbounce,?the bounce rate of pages that take 2 seconds to download is 9%, but more than triples if it takes 5 seconds?to load.??
If it’s your homepage or landing page that people are bouncing from this can be problematic. Your homepage?is the gateway to the rest of your website, so you?want to make sure this?page loads quickly. While a landing page is?extremely important since it’s?where you try to convert?your website?visitors.??
Another consequence of poor page load speed is that you may miss out on conversions. If visitors bounce from your website, they won’t complete the action you wanted them to. The bottom line is a faster website speed will also likely lead to more conversions.??
If you’re in the e-commerce space can you afford to have a high bounce rate??Staggering?statistics show?that even a one second delay in loading a page on a mobile device can cause conversions to decrease by 20%.??
Easier to crawl?
The faster a webpage loads, the faster Google’s bots can crawl the page and index it. As a result, search engines give this factor preference.?Optimizing for website speed will help the bots crawl your pages more efficiently and make them more likely to rank your pages in SERPs.??
Mobile devices versus desktop website speed?
Website speed is?a key consideration?across all devices not only desktop browsing.?With more people accessing content?and looking for answers?on their mobile devices, considering ways to improve your website speed on these devices is key.??
According to Google, it?takes?15.3 seconds?on average for a page on a mobile browser to load.??
Website speed test tools?
Start by determining how fast your website is currently.?Fortunately, there are many free?tools?that you can use to?discover how fast your website speed is and the reasons why it may be slow:?
What is a good page speed??
There really isn’t?a?standard ideal webpage speed.?Top ranking Google pages tend to load in 3 seconds.?The point is that when it comes to page speed, your goal should be to make your website as fast as it can possibly be.??
It can also be a competitive advantage to have a fast site since you can steal customers away from competitors with slow sites. When visitors bounce off their site, they’ll be delighted to find yours. ?
How to improve website speed??
There are many ways to improve website speed. Many of them require a developer?or a technical SEO expert?to step in for the more complicated tasks.?Yet, there are a few things you can do to speed up your website?without the help of?these individuals:?
Reduce the number of redirects?
Each time your pages redirect it slows down?page load speed.?So, if you have additional redirects?that?aren’t?necessary, it could be time to clean up your redirects.??
Clean up code?
If there’s any extra code on a page that doesn’t serve a purpose for your site?anymore?consider removing it. This?could be?leftover code?from features that you may have?already removed?from your site, or other page elements that you aren’t using. There’s no reason for this code to be there, so get to work on deleting it.?
If image sizes are much larger than they need to be, consider resizing?and compressing?them.?Many site owners will upload images at their maximum size.?The best way to?solve this issue is by?cropping them to the exact size needed for the page.?This can be an easy win to speed up your pages.?
Now that you know how website speed affects SEO. Get in touch to learn more about how to speed up your website. ?