20 September, 2021

Why is page speed important?

What is page speed and why is it important to websites? Page speed is however long it takes for a user to load up content from your webpage. It’s not to be confused with Site Speed which, while important, is an entirely different metric that is calculated by the average of several sample pages on a website.

Having a low page speed is detrimental for a website as the first 5 seconds of a user being on of a users time on the page has the highest conversion rate. If the user is spending significant portions of that time waiting for your website to load they will bounce off the page and lead to a poor bounce rate. If users are not waiting to even get to the home page it will be impossible to achieve a high conversion rate. Google is now ranking pages heavily based on how well the page.

  • Google will factor your page speed when ranking your website
  • The first 5 seconds has the highest conversion rate
  • Poor user experience
  • Lost sales
  • Lower interactions

Does Google factor page speed into ranking?

Page speed is very much a factor in how well your page ranks in Google. As of June 2021 Google has rolled out a new page speed algorithm change which evaluates “page experience signals, such as HTTPS security, absence of intrusive interstitials, and mobile friendliness”. These metrics will be used to rank websites based on how well they fulfil them using the Page Experience Report. These changes are overall aimed at enhancing users’ experience of browsing the web.  Click here to learn more.

What are some free websites I can benchmark my Page speeds on?

Now that we have established the importance of page speed for websites, you may ask yourself how do I benchmark my site? There are several free websites that offer speed test services that will help benchmark the loading times of your website.

Here are some free websites you can use to check your page’s speed:

  1. Google Page Insights
  2. GTmetrix 
  3. Pingdom
  4. Webpagetest

Page Speed Metrics and how to improve them

What is a good Google Page speed?

To test your sites performance you just put a link into Google Page insights and run the test. An excellent page score is 90+. I’ve run a test on our website below to show that with a good amount of effort a decent score is possible.

How to improve page speed

In order to improve your website’s page speed for SEO there are several changes you can make. For a website to be successful there are several key considerations to take in to account: user experience and ranking well on Google are. Doing some of these changes listed below will help optimise your site performance to improve user experience and page speed. 

  • Optimise Images: A good way to start improving your page loading speed, is to go through and compress all full size images.
  • Enable Compression: Use a file compression software to reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that are bigger than 150 bytes
  • Code Optimisation: removing unnecessary commas, spaces and characters, and unused code can help increase page speed.
  • Improve Server Response time: server response times have a direct effect on a page’s load speed. Find bottlenecks such as slow routing or database queries that might affect how fast the page loads for the user

Author: Alex Rodger