Loading speeds are still one of the most critical factors to get right when it comes to increasing your SEO results. Google loves fast websites. Why? User experience. Google strives to present the best possible content for any given search term. Sites that load quickly improve the user experience, increasing the trust in Google. Sites that load fast also increase all measurable engagement rates with your users, from bounce rate, to time on page to conversions. In short, improving your site speed is reliable and measurable way to improve your chances of ranking high and staying high in Google.
Still not convinced?
- Amazon found that for every 10th of a second it improved loading speed, its revenue went up 1% (source)
- Walmart found that for every second it improved loading speed, conversions went up 2% (see chart below)
- 47% of users expect a site to load in two seconds or less (source)
- 40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load (source)
Let me repeat – you could be losing 40% of your customers if you site takes more than three seconds to load.
Google uses over two hundred metrics as part of its algorithm, around half of these are secret (to allow it to maintain its competitive advantage) and around half are public knowledge. These public factors are either shared by Google, or trialled and tested by SEO experts in pursuit of improved rankings.
One thing everyone agrees on: site speed matters.
So how do you improve your site speed?
Start with the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool
Google has provided a helpful tool, which is free to use: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
It measures your site both for desktop and mobile visitors and provides help and guidance on what to do to improve your site speed (and in turn the user experience).
These insights are explained in detail and can be implemented or shared with your web developer. Remember, more than half of web traffic now comes from mobile devices.So make sure your site performs well on mobile and prioritise your experience for mobile users. They have even less patience than desktop users when it comes to slow sites.
Google also offers some helpful resources to improve your server speed and use it’s code library. You can find out more about these by clicking the link above.