5 Reasons Why Page Speed is Important for SEO Impact
March 23, 2023
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)–you have probably heard of it, but did you know that nearly every aspect of website design is involved in optimizing your site for how it communicates with search engines?
Everything from keywords to meta descriptions is looked at and evaluated by web crawlers for indexing your website for Google and other search engines. With more than 90% of searchers never going to the second page of search results, it is especially vital to the success of your website to incorporate SEO best practices in all areas of website design.
There are many factors that impact how a website performs in search engine results. Even the precise amount of time it takes for a website or web page to load can have a significant impact on SEO. Even if you have all the other factors right, a web page that loads just a little too slowly can cause your ranking to suffer. Ending up on page thirteen of Google search results means practically no one would click on it.
How crucial is page speed? Read on to find out more. In this article, we’ll take a look at five reasons why page speed is important and its SEO impact, so your website can succeed.
What is Page Speed?
So, what is page speed? Simply put, page speed is the amount of time it takes for a specific web page to be downloaded and displayed to the viewer. The time is measured from the moment the searcher clicks the link to the moment when the page is fully loaded, which usually takes anywhere from milliseconds to seconds.
Page speed is affected by various factors, including the speed of the web server, the size of images on the page, and the size of other files on the page, such as videos. Additionally, the speed of the viewer’s internet will affect the page’s load time. However, in general, page speed will be averaged when analyzing its effects.
What is Website Speed?
Although we are looking at page speed, we should briefly explain what website speed is so that you can understand the difference. Website speed refers to the average time it takes to load the entire website, while page speed is about loading just one page. Both have an impact on SEO, but dealing with the speed of one page at a time is the best way to ensure a fast, average website speed.
Furthermore, the methods of fixing page speed issues will be the same as those used to fix website speed problems. Sometimes the issue is in the coding of the website, and at other times, it is merely a problem with the image files–whatever the problem, there is always a solution.
Read More: Need a Website in 2023? Learn the Benefits of Working with Our Team
5 Reasons Why Page Speed is Important for SEO
Now that you know what page speed means, let’s talk about why it is important for SEO.
Aside from the well-known reality that a slowly loading web page is frustrating and causes viewers to leave the website before it is even loaded, there are some statistical reasons why page speed should be optimized.
Without further ado, here are the five vital reasons why, for the success of your website, you need to ensure your web pages load pronto.
1. Google Rankings
First off, SEO is all about getting clicks, generating leads, and converting these leads into clients or customers. With that said, it all starts with clicks, which is to say, organic search results. If you can get your website higher in the search result index, you will get more clicks on that web page. This is where page speed comes in.
Did you know that Google actually penalizes a web page that loads too slowly and will rank it lower on the index? Ever since April 2010, Google has considered page speed as a factor in its ranking system, and in 2018, the policy was updated to include mobile indexing.
Specifically, Google will lower the ranking of a web page that has users that leave after about 3 seconds, which is based on the fact that around 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes that long to load. Google is not punishing websites for slow page speeds but is merely placing them further down the list so that viewers will be happy with the websites they click on.
With page speed affecting the position of a web page on the Google index, it is a crucial piece of the SEO puzzle that will get eyes on your site and generate clicks.
Read More: Is Your Website Working For You or Against You
2. Bounce Rate
SEO involves more than just getting your web page to show up on page one of the search results–it is about building a website that pleases users. Rank is also determined by the way a viewer sees and interacts with your website. One way to determine if users enjoy visiting your website is to examine the bounce rate.
What is the bounce rate? It is the rate at which users click on a web page and then leave without exploring the rest of the site. When a page loads slowly, the bounce rate skyrockets. Current research has shown that the odds of a viewer leaving a website without interacting with it goes up to 90% when they have to wait up to five seconds.
As you know, a high bounce rate can be severely damaging to the success of your website, but a faster page speed can lower this.
Read More: 3 Ways Web Design and Marketing Work Together to Grow Your Business
As with the bounce rate, another key SEO metric that is impacted by page speed is the conversion rate. This is the rate that tells you how many users completed a desired action on your web page. In other words, it is the number of people that accomplish the activity that is the purpose of your website, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or becoming a member.
A slowly loading web page will cause people to leave the site without reaching that conversion stage. Even a delay of 1 second can result in a 7% decrease in conversions. A fast web page, on the other hand, will drastically improve your conversion rate.
Read More: How to Write Website Copy that Converts Browsers to Buyers
4. User Experience
Perhaps the most crucial element in SEO is building a site that will result in an excellent user experience (UX). Page speed is an essential part of UX. With around 70% of customers admitting they are less likely to purchase something from a slow web page, this seemingly small aspect of website design can have a truly enormous impact.
Consider the times when you came across a slow web page and became frustrated and annoyed with it. Research has found that those stress levels are equal to the stress of watching a horror film. You do not want your web page to make others feel that way. What’s the solution? Design web pages that load quickly for an optimal user experience.
Read More: UX/UI 101: How User Experience Strategy Helps Improve Conversions
5. Advertisement Costs
The last reason why page speed is an important factor in SEO is its effect on advertisement costs. When you run a Google Ads campaign, you will get a Quality Score that will tell you how useful and relevant your ads are compared to competitors. This score impacts the cost-per-click (CPC); ads with a score lower than five will cause an increase in price. Therefore, the higher the Quality Score, the lower the cost of ads.
Page speed is directly involved in this. Google considers page speed along with other aspects of your site to determine the overall user experience and give you the Quality Score. The faster your web page loads, the better the score and the lower the cost of advertising.
Read More: Advertising Cost for Small Business: 2 Possible Scenarios
What Causes a Slow-Loading Web Page?
Having looked at how page speed is important for SEO impact, let’s consider the causes of a slow-loading web page so that you can understand why it is happening.
In general, slow page speed is the result of one or more of the following:
- Poor hosting service
- Complex or badly developed code
- A website theme that has not been optimized
- Large file sizes, including HTML and CSS
- Large images or videos
- Too many widgets and plugins
- Too many redirects
- Lack of a CDN (content delivery network).
How Do You Improve Page Speed?
With so many different potential reasons why a web page is slow to load, how do you improve it, and what is the ideal speed? Well, it is best to get your web page to load in less than 2 seconds, and here are a few recommendations to do so.
You can use browser caching to store information, which will improve page speed. Additionally, be sure to compress and optimize image and video files. You can also make sure you are using the right hosting service for your needs and using a CDN.
There are many more ways to improve page speed, but we recommend seeking professional help to do so, as you don’t want to further impare your web page in an attempt to fix it.
Looking for Help with Your Website?
Do you have page speed issues with your website? Don’t want to tackle this alone? At Cross & Crown, we offer custom design and development solutions. With complete website design services to businesses, nonprofits, and more, as well as web support for individual problems like page speed, we are here to help. Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss a solution!