Page speed is a vital ranking signal for SEO rankings, and page speed is directly proportional to your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) position. Obviously the higher the position is, the more traffic your website will receive.
A pleasant user experience should be one of the main focuses of any website. No one likes slow loading websites, when they can go to your competitor’s website instead of waiting for yours to load.
Learning about the importance of page speed is key for improving search engine optimization of your site. Understanding metrics related to page speed is also beneficial to get the desired results through a website.
Below are a few tips and tricks you can implement to speed up your site speed and boost your site ranking.
What Do You Mean by Page Speed?
Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes to load a web page to display content on a website. The amount of time it takes your browser to load a particular page depends on many factors from the website.
It could also depend on how long a browser takes to receive the first batch of information sent from the user. The measurement of speed is an essential metric any website should track to have the most optimal result.
It is also critical if you understand the difference between a mobile user and a PC user. The experience of mobile users and computers has changed over the past decade, with mobile devices accounting for approximately 58% of internet traffic across the globe in 2022 accoriding to Statista.
Page Speed vs Site Speed
Though they both seem similar, there is a difference between them. Site Speed is the average loading speed of several sample pages on a website.
Page speed describes the loading time of a particular page on a website. Both are important for user experience and SEO ranking factors.
Why Does Page Speed Matter?
Page speed should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy and your web design process. Not only do consumers expect a positive experience when they visit your site, but page speed is also vital for search engine optimization (SEO) and your bottom line results.
It should be noted that there is a clear correlation between page speed and the number of visitors to your website.
Google has been using page speed as one of its ranking factors for desktop searches since 2010. In 2017, Google began experimenting with speed for mobile users, which aimed to make mobile pages load more quickly. It has also focused more on page speeds as a key ranking factor by giving individual rankings to mobile sites as part of its “mobile-first” program.
In 2018, Google finally announced a new update that made speed an official factor for mobile rankings. In 2020, Google announced that it is using “core web vitals” as a ranking factor, with page speed at the center of this new metric.
How fast should you aim for?
As Google puts it, “No matter what, faster is better and less is more.”
For most websites, improving page speed will take a lot of work, so it’s important to know at what point you can feel confident that you are in the green.
One of the great tools I recommend to measure your page speed is GTmetrix. It’s is an industry standard, and it’s free!
According to Google, the time is less than 3 seconds. In order to achieve that, you need to keep the average weight of a page, the number of bytes a server needs to send to a browser, below 500 KB.
Benefits of faster page speed for website
If page load time impacts the user experience and your website rankings, it makes sense that it will also affect your conversions and bottom-line results. In other words, slow speed can be the death of any website.
According to Google’s own research, over half (53%) of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. These are visitors you have no hope at converting if your website is slow.
Now that you know how important page speed is, it is time to act upon it! These tips will help guide the changes to speed up your page.
1) Improved User Experience
According to Google, a delay in loading time can negative affect visitor’s satisfaction at a website. This will result in the buyers not purchasing goods and services.
Let’s face it, no one has the time to waste on a slow page. When a visitor tries to go to your page to learn more about your brand or make a purchase, they want to quickly get the information they want. If you make them wait too long, there’s a good chance they will give up, and try someone else who is likely your competitor.
Many users are now prioritizing the user experience as the competition is fierce. You don’t want to be one of those websites that got left in the dust.
2) Better Overall Marketing Performance
Whether your goal is to improve the overall conversion rate or reduce bounce rate, there are plenty of benefits that come with a speedy website.
Site speed can directly impact performance in the marketing effort.
If you look specifically at what is measured for a Google Quality Score, landing page user experience plays a direct role. Among the top tips to improve your landing page conversion rate, Google emphasizes reducing the loading time of your landing pages and speeding up your website.
As your page speed improves, marketers can expect to see:
- Higher search impression share
- Higher clickthrough rates
- Lower cost per click average
- High conversion rates
These outcomes are what any website owner strives for, and site speed optimization is one way to get there.
3) Enhanced SERP Positioning
A website that provides great content and high relevance still reigns supreme on top of SERP, but page load time is also a confirmed as a ranking signal by Google, so it’s important to speed up your pages for a better shot at SEO success.
According to Google, user experice matters – and as we’ve seen, slow load times translate to dissatisfied users.
Google’s research showed that the bounce rate of a site increased by 32% when a page load time increase from one to three seconds, and further increase to 90% when the page load time went from one to five seconds. If a site takes more than 10 seconds to load, then the chance of a bounce increases to 123%!
How To Speed Up Your Page in 2023?
There is an improvement in page speed in different ways. Below are the best practices you should implement to see a boost to your page speed.
- Use a CDN (content delivery network) such as Cloudflare, so your site files are always close to your visitors.
- Utilize browser cache for all files that change infrequently. This tells the browser that it can store the file in its cache for a specified amount of time, so that the user doesn’t have to download the file every time they visit the page.
- Compress images to reduce the number of bytes transmitted.
- Specify explicit image sizes in your HTML to take unnecessary load off browser.
- Optimize images in a format that best suits your content.
- Lazy load images files farther down the page loading queue.
- Avoid redirects as they force the browser to make another request.
- Implement accelerated mobile pages (AMP), Google’s tool that helps increase speed for mobile users by removing files that visitors don’t need.
In a nutshell, speed is very important to a website’s success! Even the slightest improvements in page load time will help you lower bounce rates, boost conversion rates, and increase your search engine rankings.
I hope you now have a better understanding of the relationship between page speed and SEO. With a strategic approach and actionable tips, you have the opportunity to significantly boost your site speed and increase your conversion. If you need help implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help.
Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.
Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.