Why Website Speed Matters More to Google

Posted by Netmatters
30th October 2015

What is Website Speed?

Website speed is a measure of how fast your website responds and sends over data to a device when it is being loaded. Google takes this into account when  ranking your website, which is a huge factor as to why you should ensure that your website is quick to load and respond. Over time website loading times have gone down drastically, and this decrease has brought up expectations of fast site speeds.

Why Does Your Page Speed Matter to Your Profit Margins?

Because users expect a site to load quickly regardless of the content on it, there is an obvious correlation between load speeds and bounce rate. Users do not want to wait for their content to be loaded; they want it portrayed to them as quickly as possible. 40% of users abandon a website that takes 3 seconds or longer to load, so it is clear that even a 1 second delay in speed loading times can reduce the amount of users that buy from your site.

52% of web users also said that site speed was an important factor when regarding their loyalty to a website, with 79% of online shoppers saying that if they were dissatisfied with the performance of a website they would not buy from it again. Statistics like this really show how page speed has a direct impact on the bottom line of the digital side of your business.

Another important aspect is how quickly a site loads on mobile vs its desktop counterpart. Mobile sites are becoming increasingly important, with the amount of sites being visited from mobile devices now overtaking sites being visited from desktop. Most users expect their phone to take longer than a desktop to load a website, but only by a very small margin. This makes the experience of your mobile site more important than ever before. Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful, closing in on the gap between smartphone and desktop. While mobile devices will not ever become as fast as desktops, there will be a point where performance becomes negligible for web browsing.

What You Can Do To Make Your Site Faster

There are a few quick, easy things you can do to make your site faster, as well as being a few tools that will help you identify what is making your site slower. The first tool that is useful for this is Google’s Page speed Insights tool, which gives you information about what is slowing down your site. Another couple of helpful tools would be  GTmetrix and Pingdom’s website speed test, both of which do a similar job.

These tools will give you tailored recommendations that are based on your specific site. Identifying the problems for your site is something you should always do before you try to follow a generic guide to make your website faster. You could have one aspect that is hugely slowing your site down and if you go ahead and do many different things to speed up your site, like further compressing your images you could be doing nothing but decreasing the quality of the content on your site.

Improving your site speed will require back end access, and most methods of improving website speed will require some knowledge of coding. If you get your web development done by a digital agency or separate web developer, you should run some site tests on your website then send the web developers a list of the recommendations that each tools supply. Images are always a fairly easy way to reduce load times, with one image often at times being bigger than every other aspect to the website combined.

Page Speed Matters, But Content Matters More.

Page speed is becoming increasingly important, but content is still more important. If your site loads instantly but the content on the page is poor then you will still not rank in Google or convert your traffic. You should focus on improving the quality of your content first, and then focus on the speed of your page after that. Page Speed is a minute part of the user experience, and as long as your site doesn’t take any longer than 5 seconds to load the focus should be on improving the quality of the site, not how fast the site is loaded. 

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