There are so many things to try to manage when it comes to your website. The neverending acronyms and abbreviations associated with SEO, the changing Google algorithm, and the endless spammy emails from someone who has ‘looked at your site and wants to help you’ everywhere you turn. In all of the noise, one of the things that isn’t talked about enough is site loading speed or the amount of time it takes your website to load on your searcher’s device of choice. I’m going to tell you why that is a big mistake.
In July of last year, Google not only said that site load speed was a part of the many things that were taken into consideration in the algorithm, they went so far as to suggest the possibility of a slow site ‘badge of shame’ for slow loading sites. This hasn’t seemed to be a priority for them but making plans to avoid it should it rear its ugly head again should be a priority for you. Some of the easiest things for you to change almost immediately to improve page rank can be load time.
It isn’t just the loss of possible ranking from the slow speed itself that should concern you. Slow speed has a big influence on your bounce rate. And bounce rate/time on site are other big signals Google uses longterm to determine your search rank.
Search engines don’t appreciate slow loading sites because users don’t like them, and in the battle for search market share, Google, Bing, and the others need to give their users a great user experience to maintain their loyalty. And a focus on user experience is important for you in maintaining your visitors’ loyalty as well.
According to research by Google just last year, 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. According to that same study, the average site took over fifteen seconds to load. This quote from a recent study by Unbounce (2018) says “Over the past three years, the average web page has doubled in size while connection speeds have remained stable. And so, the average time it takes for a page to load on mobile is now 15 seconds. Given that more than half of visitors leave a page if they’re forced to wait longer than 3 seconds, marketers need to get faster.”
So the short version is to pay attention to your site and individual page loading speed. It not only directly and indirectly affects your search ranking, but it also plays a huge part in the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of your visitors. And having users who find your site slow leads to increased bounce rates and a loss of conversions.
If you are unsure of your site’s loading speed, here are two free resources from Google to check:
If you’d like more information about website ranking, visit our page here: http://8armsgroup.com/seo/