The Ever Increasing Importance of Website Speed in Google Rankings

Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes a webpage to load. Regardless of your industry or niche, website speed is an incredibly important metric to your overall digital strategy and online presence. Considering the ever-evolving consumer behavior and Google ranking requirements, we can never overlook the importance of website load speed. Using the EverConvert Site Audit Tool, you can quickly find out the speed of your site.

Research conducted by Google found that a one-second delay in webpage load time usually results in a 20% reduction in conversation rate. In fact, back in 2012, it was found that users were willing to wait a maximum of 5 seconds for a webpage to load before moving on to another website. Things have changed in the last 7 years, and users now prefer instant access to the information that they seek. Nowadays, users will leave your site if it takes more than 3-4 seconds to load a page. Slow load times often cause anger and frustration among users and this creates a bad user experience resulting in a high bounce rate.

In 2010, Google started utilizing page speed as a ranking factor in its algorithm. However, this mainly applied to desktop searches. But, in 2018, the “Google Speed Update” was introduced making page speed a ranking factor on mobile searches further ramping up the importance of website load speed. Sites with slow load times are the ones that will be affected by this update.

Top 3 Ways Page Speed is Measured

Even though there isn’t an official statement on how Google determines a site’s loading speed, in their “PageSpeed Insight Tool“, they usually report on the following metrics which indicates that they utilize a combination of page speed measurements including:

Time to First Byte(TTFB)

This is the measure of time it takes a page to commence the loading process. TTFB is demonstrated when you click on a site and get a white screen for a few seconds.

Fully Loaded Page

This refers to the amount of time it takes a webpage to fully load all of its resources. This is the easiest and most straightforward method for measuring page speed. On average, the time it takes to fully load a mobile webpage is 15 seconds while for a desktop webpage it is approximately 10 seconds.

First Contextual Paint/First Meaningful Paint

This refers to the amount of time it takes a webpage to load enough of its resources in order to actually avail content that the user can read. The average 10-12 seconds it takes to fully load a page is quite long and this length of time will definitely result in bad user experience. However, with the First Contextual Paint, the user interacts with your page as it loads. On average, this occurs within 1.5 seconds of landing on the page. Hence, to the user, it will seem as if the page loads up instantly creating a good user experience.

How Website Speed Affects Google Rankings

Website speed is a significant ranking factor and this is especially true for mobile sites. In a bid to enhance the user experience, Google is working to promote faster loading times. Considering that today’s internet users want fast and almost instantaneous access to requested information, sites with slow loading times lose their rankings as sites with faster loading time gain in the process.

Even if your site has more relevant and engaging content than your competition, with slow loading time, your competition’s website is highly likely to be prioritized and ranked higher than you if they have faster loading times. Your audience may never even get to view that highly valuable content in your site.

There are compelling reasons as to why Google utilizes website speed as a ranking factor. First, a fast loading site is an indication of good user experience. Quality user experience is a big priority for Google. Studies have shown that slow loading speeds increase the levels of stress amongst users and this causes a bad user experience.

Secondly, slow loading sites have minimal interactions resulting in a high bounce rate. If your site is slow, users will quickly hit the back button and never return to your site after visiting just a single page. When you have a high bounce rate, it indicates to Google that your site is a low-quality site and you lose your ranking. With fast loading speeds, you will be able to retain your traffic and increase your conversion rate. This will ultimately help to enhance your brand trust and loyalty.

Factors That Affect Page Speed

  • Page Filesize
  • Image Compression
  • Website’s Server

How Can You Optimize Your Site’s Speed?

Optimizing your website’s speed is one of our first priorities at EverConvert. Our web design and technical teams do this through a variety of methods, including:

  • Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in order to reach your audience faster
  • Compress images without sacrificing quality using modern compression tools
  • Clean up any bloated code and then compress it
  • Increase server response time by upgrading to a premium host or dedicated server
  • Get rid of Javascript that blocks rendering
  • Enable browser caching in order to allow users to save parts of your website in their browsers
  • Compress files in order to minimize the mobile rendering time

As a business owner or marketing director, spending your time improving your business has a much greater return on investment than attempting to learn the ins & outs of technical SEO. That’s where our team comes in. We are ready to provide our expertise to you, boosting your page speed, and in turn your rankings in Google. Call the team at EverConvert today and remember:


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