The Importance of Page Speed on SEO
Page Speed has been a prominent factor in Google’s indexing algorithm for some time now. Each year, your page speed’s importance to your site’s SERP position has grown in importance exponentially. If your site does not load as fast or faster than the sites on the first ten search results in Google, more likely than not you will not be able to outrank them. Google uses your site’s page speed as a massive indicator for the site’s overall user experience. Pages that load faster deliver content quicker and thus are more likely to satisfy the user’s needs.
What is Page Speed?
Page speed is defined by the length of time it takes to display all content on a specific page. Every page element – its HTML, CSS, and JavaScirpt files, Images, Videos, Animations, the speed of the browser the page is hosted on and a multitude of other elements – affects the page speed.
Page Speed is measured on desktop and mobile devices separately. This is because of the technology differences between the two, resulting in a different experience for desktop and mobile users.
Aside: Why is mobile important? 80% of the people looking at your site will be doing so through their mobile device.
What is the importance of Page Speed?
How long does it take for your page to load? If you are trying to get more organic traffic to your site, this factor is vital to your success. Why does Google rank faster sites higher in their search results? Because the bounce rate of user who visits a fast site is substantially lower than those who visit slow sites. Bounce rates represent the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. Google wins when their customers are satisfied. One of the ways they measure customer satisfaction is through the user’s bounce rate. The longer a user stays on your site, the more likely it is they found what they are looking for.
Now it’s time to throw some Google stats your way:
- The probability of bounce increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.
- At 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases to 90%.
- As we extend the page load time to 6 seconds, the bounce rate increases to 106%.
When confronting SEO, page speed is a factor that needs to be considered. Your website should load as fast as possible! As a rule of thumb, any given page on your site should only take 1-3 seconds to load and any page that takes over 5 seconds to load should be addressed accordingly.