Why Page Speed is Important for SEO
Understanding why page speed is important for SEO and how to adjust your website to load faster can not only improve overall user experience but it can also help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Page speed is one of the most increasingly important factors in Google’s ranking algorithm and there is no sign of it slowing down. In fact, Google has been working hard to improve its PageSpeed Insights Tool, so that webmasters are able to access more granular insights with page speed factors and make better improvements to overall performance.
In addition to its updated PageSpeed Insights Tool, Google has also recently launched its Chrome User Experience Reporting Tool. Both of these recent updates reveal that Google is highly focused on user experience, with speed optimization playing a pivotal role in the optimal user experience.
At FirstPage Marketing, our team of search engine optimization professionals has witnessed Google’s recent push for faster loading websites first hand. We are regularly testing page speed metrics and performing page speed optimization for our clients to ensure that their websites are delivering a great user experience.
What is Page Speed?
Page speed, also referred to as page load time, is the time it takes for the content on a specific website page to fully display on the user’s screen. Ideally, website pages should be able to fully load within 3 seconds or less in order to provide the best user experience possible, as well as to allow search engines to use their allocated crawl budget effectively.
What Can Lower Your Page Speed?
Since page speed is one of the most important factors Google considers when ranking a website, having slow page speeds may not only frustrate users but also Google, causing your website’s organic rankings and traffic to drop. Some of the things that can lower your website’s page speed include:
- Oversized Images
- External Embedded Media
- Unoptimized Browsers, Plugins, and Apps
- Too Many Ads
- Highly Designed WordPress themes
- Outdated WordPress Widgets
- Inefficient or Dense HTML and CSS
Why Page Speed is Important for SEO
Some of the ways in which page speed is important for SEO are:
1. Search Engine Rankings
Search engines are in the business of relevancy, which means that they try to show the most relevant content related to the search terms provided by the user. In order to ensure that your website ranks higher up for the search engine results related to your business, it is important to maintain SEO best practices, such as page speed, as they will keep your website content relevant in the eyes of search engines.
2. User Experience
One of the factors that search engines use to determine the relevancy of a website is the overall user experience it offers. This is because the user experience your website offers will often determine whether or not a visitor stays to explore the site or bounces back to the results page.
3. Engagement Metrics
Engagement metrics, such as click-through rates, bounce rates, time on site, and pages per visit, indicate the type of user experience a website offers. Where your website shows up in search engine rankings can affect the number of clicks it gets, and better click-through rates can help improve your website’s search engine rankings. In fact, the more clicks a website receives on the results page, the more relevant the website will appear to search engines for particular queries and related topics.
For ecommerce websites, having a slow page speed can negatively impact revenue and the bottom line. This is because every additional second it takes for a page to load, the greater the chance that the user will look elsewhere for what they need.
5. Crawl Budget
Each search engine uses bots, also known as spiders or crawlers, to review and index pages that can appear in their search results; however, since every website has an allocated crawl budget, having slow page speeds can result in the bots being unable to completely crawl a page before the budget runs out. This, in turn, can result in website pages being indexed more slowly, as well as website changes and updates being processed less often.
If you would like to learn more about why page speed is important for SEO, or if you are interested in one of our digital marketing services (Internet marketing, print marketing, marketing strategy, search engine optimization, website design and development, or social media marketing), please contact us today.