How does page speed affect SEO?
In this day and age, internet users want information fast -almost instantly. It is a given fact that technology is improving quickly, so users expect the delivery of content to simultaneously improve.
In fact, 47% of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. Everyone has busy lifestyles, so no one has the time to wait around for a website to load (on desktops and particularly on handheld devices). It is now easier for individuals to become impatient and leave a site quicker than it can load. The quicker the page loads, the more likely an individual will stay at your site.
Research shows that 72% of mobile users will abandon a web page if it takes more than five seconds to load, leading to poor user satisfaction.
How does page speed affect SEO? Google Core Web Vitals
Google recognises the impact of page load speed, and Core Web Vitals are a major part of their methodology. Core Web Vitals considers access to a website’s loading, interactivity, and visual content when evaluating the user’s behaviour.
The information provided by the overall user experience sends important signals to search engines, which in turn, impacts the site’s ranking. Even recently, Google launched an ‘Algorithm Speed Update’, which indicates that the page loading speed is a confirmed ranking factor. In simpler terms, the faster your site delivers content, the better your ranking.
Google looks at mobile page speed as it’s main ranking factor, so faster page speeds on mobile devices will lead to higher SEO rankings.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a way of improving websites which enables them to reach a higher position in Google’s (or other search engine’s) search results. Ultimately, Google experts reinforce the fact that the page speed of a website will affect SEO, which can undermine any other SEO strategies you have implemented on your site if you have slow loading pages. Optimising the page load time is the most important thing a website owner can do.
What is page speed?
Page speed refers to the total amount of time it takes for an individual webpage to load completely. In other words, it records how long a browser receives a web server’s time to first byte (which measures how long it takes to start the loading process).
It is important to have a quality page speed that has low loading time because this leads to higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. There are several factors which contribute to the page’s loading speed including a site’s server, image compression, scripts or plugins.
In order to measure a page’s performance, businesses can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool (PSI) which provides you with the ranking of your page from 0-100 according to Google’s recommendations for both mobile and desktop performance. The aim should be to reduce the overall site speed to 2-3 seconds.
In today’s rapid changing digital world, it is imperative to have a mobile-friendly site that loads quickly which is a crucial component to online success.
By considering the First Contentful Paint (FCP), your page can improve immediately. FCP refers to the time it takes to load enough images and text for a user to be able to fully read the contents of that page. For example, if you have a blog post that takes 10 seconds to fully load, the HTML can be structured to load the first half of the page before the bottom to ensure they get a First Meaningful Paint quickly.
How to improve your page speed
There are many different ways to improve your site’s page loading times, some of which are detailed below.
Reduce redirects: You should try to eliminate unnecessary redirects because it can take the server a long time to find and load the correct page. Redirects usually result in a page rendering delay because an additional HTTP request-response cycle is needed. It can slow down the website and become an issue for mobile visitors, so a fully responsive website should be implemented.
Compress images: Images usually take up to 50-90% of a page, so several images can take up a lot of the page’s loading time. To easily compress images, you can reduce the file size or save it in a different format such as PNG or JPEG files. It is important to analyse the image’s quality, type of data, format capabilities, pixel dimension without comprising the quality.
Upgrade web hosting: Each web host uses different locations of servers, so it may be worth changing your web host to one that has a fast and optimised server. Cheaper plans may not be able to handle much traffic which could slow the page speed. There are four types of web hosting services you can choose from including Shared, VPS, Dedicated Server, and Cloud Hosting.
Activate Browser Caching: If a website caches, the server can save copies of the pages visited, so this allows users to store parts of your page in their browser cache. The next time they visit the site, it will load much faster which will improve page loading speed.
Use a CDN: A good Content Delivery Network (CDN), such as Cloudflare, used alongside good quality hosting can lead to vast improvements in website page speed.
How Bark Street Digital can help
As you’ve noticed, a fast load time is an important part of user experience. It is one of Google’s components in its ranking algorithm, so updating page speed is an excellent SEO technique that can help your business and increase your ranking and page views.
If you have found yourself asking “how does page speed affect SEO, and what can I do to improve my speed?” feel free to get in touch for a free, no obligation chat.
Bark Street Digital provides a team of highly experienced SEO experts. We can assist your businesses by suggesting and implementing ways to improve page speed so that Google can rank your webpages higher.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by calling 01204 263028 or by completing our Contact Us form.
You can find out more about the services we offer at Bark Street Digital by checking out the Our Services page.