How Important is Site Speed for SEO?

I want it now! In the age of instant gratification, most website visitors demand information at their fingertips in a split second or they move on to a website that can deliver what they want quickly and efficiently. Nearly 70% of consumers say that page speed impacts their inclination to make a purchase and that slow loading time significantly affects their decision to become a repeat customer. As a business owner, website speed optimization or “page speed” should be a focal point for your business. Frustrated website visitors do not translate into customers.

Why is Page Speed Important SEO?

Page speed measures how quickly the content of your page loads. According to Google, page speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. In fact, Google has used page speed as a ranking factor since 2010. You may have the perfect website – specifically targeted to your ideal audience, full of relevant content guaranteed to draw in even the most discriminating web browser. However, if it takes too long for the site to load, you are losing money and customers by the second. This is one of the many reasons why page speed is important for SEO and why website speed optimization should be a priority.

Several factors affect the page speed of a webpage, including the site’s server, page file size, and image compression. While it may sound simple to increase website speed optimization, there are multiple ways to measure page speed, thus complicating the process to reduce the time in which your webpage loads. The three most common ways to measure page speed are looking at how long it takes to fully load a page, how long it takes for “first byte” or how long it takes for a page to start the loading process, and first meaningful paint or the time it takes for the page to load enough content so that a visitor can read the information on the page. By focusing your efforts on all three of the ways to measure page speed, your website’s overall page speed will improve, translating to more visitors for your site.

How to Increase Website Speed WordPress

Rather than focusing on improving in just one of the most common ways to measure page speed, look at increasing speed across the board. First, you can and should evaluate the speed of your site. Several free tools are available to assist you in this process.

Page Speed Insights is a free tool from Google that can assess the performance of your web page and give recommendations for improvement. Another popular tool is GTMetrix, which will grade your webpage and provide suggestions for ways to make it better. WebPagetest is a tool that was developed by AOL for internal use and will provide a waterfall view of load performance along with a checklist to optimize your webpage’s performance. Another great tool when it comes to site speed (and SEO in general) is Google Search Console. Search Console provides insights into your website’s core web vitals, which are Google’s new user experience signals.

Additionally, to increase website speed WordPress, check your theme. Complicated themes directly impact the speed of our website. For this reason, we recommend using custom-built themes vs. resource-heavy themes and page builders. Next, another way to increase website speed is to utilize quality plugins and caching. Lastly, make sure you are optimizing images. This tip is easy, non-negotiable, and will translate into a faster webpage.

Getting Information to the Fingertips of Consumers

In today’s world, many people exclusively use their phones for web browsing. As a result, mobile site speed is immensely important. If it takes your website too long to load on a mobile device, a visitor may get frustrated, bounce, and click on a competitor’s site instead.

Google uses Mobile-first indexing, which means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. This makes improving our mobile site speed even more important than the desktop version of your site. Let’s take a look at a mobile site speed checklist to see how you can improve mobile site speed. Here is a list of additional things that you can do to improve page speed across the board:

  • Enable compression
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML
  • Reduce the use of page redirects
  • Remove or reduce render-blocking JavaScript
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Improve the response time of the server
  • Utilize a content distribution network
  • Optimize images

Google estimates that you have 3 seconds to get your website to load before losing a visitor. Website speed optimization is important. It can increase your site ranking, conversion rates, and improve user experience as well as reducing bounce rates. All of these improvements translate into more money in your pocket. If you are ready to see what website speed optimization can do for your business, contact C1 Partners at (303) 501-1821 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We have experience building, auditing, and salvaging low-ranking websites for numerous clients and businesses. We’ve made it our business to master effective strategies to rank websites — including improving page loading speed. Contact us to learn more about our services.