5 Compelling Reasons Why Website Speed is Important for SEO!
Having a fast website is important for several reasons. Not only does it stop users from getting frustrated when they are using your website, Google also announced in 2010 that page speed was a ranking factor and stated that mobile page speed would be a ranking factor in mobile search results (as of July 2018).
With that in mind, shouldn’t you make it a priority to look at your website speed to make it as quick as possible for your users?
We aren’t just talking to website owners here. The responsibility will often be with a local SEO company to look after a business’s website. Therefore, they should be one’s paying attention to the speed of the website and working hard to speed it up!
If you are indeed a business owner and you are using an SEO agency to improve the performance of your website online, you should consider asking them about the load time of your website and if there’s anything they can do to speed it up.
The Benefits of Having a Super-FAST Website!
Here we take a detailed look into the top 5 reasons why having a super-fast website is crucially important.
What can you expect from this article:
- Enhanced User Experience.
- Better Conversion Rates.
- Lower Bounce Rate.
- Speed is a ranking factor.
- It’s just good practice.
If your website is slow to load, here’s 5 reasons why you need to do something about it.
#1 – Enhanced User Experience.
In our opinion, user experience is the number 1 reason to speed your website up. Having a quick website streamlines the overall browsing process for the user, providing them with a better experience whilst using your website.
Slow loads times can be incredibly frustrating for someone visiting your website and will often cause them to leave before your website has loaded. This will lead to a lower bounce rate (a metric you can view in Google Analytics) and can cause your website to under-perform in the search engine results pages.
Websites that are slow will destroy any kind of user experience, providing no incentive whatsoever for the visitor to stick around.
A fast website, however, will serve information at a much speedier rate and provide web users with the details they are looking for, quickly.
The people visiting your website will certainly thank you for it!
#2 – Better Conversion Rates.
For a customer to reach the end goal of contacting you or buying from you, your overall user experience should be good. The speed of your website is one of the things that can impact this the most. You stand a much better chance of converting if people actually manage to get to your website and neglecting your page speed could be foolish.
Look at it like this…
Would you buy from a website that takes a large amount of time to get from one page to the next, from the product page to the checkout for example?
Of course, you wouldn’t.
You would quickly leave to find a website that does load fast.
Website design and performance play a fundamental role when it comes to conversion rates. Big sites like eBay and Amazon have evolved over time to provide the best user-experience possible for customers and you should look to do the same.
It’s common sense for anyone running an online business to have a fast website.
Having a lighting fast website will improve conversion rates and your business on a whole. The better your website is at converting, the more money it will make you in the long run. You should take the time to speed things up as soon as possible.
#3 – Lower Bounce Rate.
Faster websites typically have a lower bounce rate. That’s because users can find the information they are looking for, much faster. If your web pages take too long to load, you will inevitably lose customers (it doesn’t take a genius to work that out).
Studies show more than 40% of web users will bounce away from pages that take more than 3 seconds to load. Tools like GT Metrix, Pingdom, Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed Insights allow you to find out how well your website is scoring and what the load time is for each page.
(Here’s an example of https://www.seo.com/ scoring a C (72%) on GT Metrix.)
The load time is 3.5s, which is a little slower than the 3 second load time we talked about previously.
Not only will GT Metrix tell you what your score is and how long your website takes to load, it will also tell you what you can do to make your website faster. Some things are more technical than others, so you might need to ask a technical SEO specialist to help you out with this.
Small changes will often make a big difference to load time and it’s important to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. You can do this by making it easier for users to reach your site.
What can you do?
Take the time to assess each of your main traffic-driving pages and speed them up.
A great place to start would be with images.
Optimising your images means reducing the size of the file. Changing the dimensions of your images to be the right fit for your website is a good way to reduce their file size, too. This is known as ‘serving scaled images’.
Images are generally one of the main things that cause a website to be slow, along with server response time.
GT Metrix even provides optimised images to help people improve their website load time.
If your images have been optimised and you have done everything you can to speed your website up, you might need to look for new hosting provider or consider using a content delivery network (CDN).
#4 – Speed is a Ranking Factor.
As we touched on previously, speed IS a ranking factor.
Faster websites generally perform better in the SERP’s, especially now mobile-first indexing has been introduced. This means Google will choose to crawl and index the mobile version of a web page first, before the desktop version.
Not only is it important to have a fast website on desktop, you should examine how well your website performs on mobile, too.
Look at your website on mobile and check to make sure it is fully responsive and fast to load. Don’t just check the homepage though, as many people do. Take the time to assess each individual page as this will help to improve the overall speed of your website.
Having a fast website that functions properly on mobile, tablet, desktop etc. is good for SEO and even better for users that can find you quickly and effectively.
and conversions aren’t enough to scare you into speeding your website enough,
maybe the fact that Page Speed is a ranking factor will!
#5 – It’s just good practice.
This might seem like a cop-out for a reason but hear me out…
For many website owners, speed probably hasn’t been considered. And if it has, it probably hasn’t been thought about to fix it. This means a vast amount of website’s have been built and never been looked at for speed. It’s depressing to think about!
Over time, content, images, videos and other forms of digital media will have been added to a whole bunch of websites, causing them to grow in size and become slower to load.
A page with text on will typically load faster than a page with text, 3 images and a couple of videos. But who likes to see pages of text with no visual enhancements?
Speeding up a website is good practice for SEO’s and should be a priority for website owners too.
Every time a new page is added to a website (or any form of content for that matter), page speed should be considered. Does the page load fast? Can it be viewed on mobile? Will web users want to stick around while it loads, or will they bounce away?
Getting a load time of under 3 seconds is achievable, but you need to be prepared to make the changes and keep on top of your website speed.
Having a Fast Website is Very Important
It’s crucial for website owners and SEO’s to consider website speed and this should form a huge part of any ongoing digital marketing campaign.
Reducing your load time and improving the speed should be up there on your list of priorities in 2020.
The onus is on you to speed your website up and if you don’t know where to start, a good SEO company will be able to help you.
About the author
David Williams is the owner of Power SEO and SEO Account Manager at Design365 Solutions, one of the leading North East Web Agencies (England), with offices in Durham and Gateshead. In his spare time, David likes playing football and taking his dog, Luna, for long walks.