When optimizing user experience, you have to focus on improving your site’s performance. And good page speed is the building block of an efficient and fast website.
But the real question is how much your website’s site speed impacts your SEO rankings. Not sure? Here’s a comprehensive guide to how page loading times can make or break your website’s SEO visibility:
A Quick Glance at Page Speed
It is the amount of time a webpage takes to load. Your web page’s loading speed depends on various factors, such as the site’s server, image compression, and page file size. A good design and SEO are essential for the success of a website.
Users may measure page speed in the following three ways:
· Fully Loaded Page- It refers to how long resources on your page take to load
· Time to First Byte- It measures the time required for a page to start loading
· First Meaningful Paint and First Contextual Paint- Time required for a page to load its resources for a user to become readable
How Does Site Speed Impact SEO?
Every second is crucial for the site’s speed. Research reveals that one-second delay in page load times causes:
· 7% loss in conversions
· 11% fewer page views
· 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
To avoid killing conversions, you must understand which factors affect site speed SEO. These include:
· Your desired browser
· Your server’s performance
· User’s internet provider
· Your connection
Let’s discuss how site speed impacts SEO in-depth:
Loading Times Influence Crawling
Modern websites tend to be incredibly messy and cluttered.
As a result, Googlebot spends excessive time crawling your website and loading pages. It causes a substantial reduction in user experience, conversion rates, crawl budget, and crawl rate.
Consider cleaning up old posts, fixing your site structure, and investing in better hosting plans to ensure Googlebot can crawl faster. A higher crawl rate indicates a better SEO ranking.
Site Speed Impacts User Experience
An insightful study by Ericsson Research reveals that users experience stress because of mobile delays.
Thus, boosting your website’s speed ensures users feel happier when using your website. And when consumers have a positive experience on your site, they’re more likely to buy more and visit often.
Google will also see your website as a trustworthy and credible source when you experience a higher click rate and conversions. Eventually, you’ll notice a ranking boost.
Website Loading Times Affect Conversion Rates
According to a survey, 79% of buyers won’t return to a website with poor performance.
The same survey also found that 52% of consumers believe quick page loading is crucial for site loyalty and that one-second delays can decrease customer satisfaction by 16%.
Thus, it’s apparent that page speed has an impact on conversions.
7 Ways to Monitor Your Website’s Speed
Up to 47% of all consumers expect websites to load within two seconds. Thus, owning and managing slow sites means losing at least half of your visitors before they even surf your website.
Here we discuss how you can acquire qualified leads and high conversion rates by monitoring and optimizing your website’s speed:
Since a web page spends 80% of its time downloading the page’s different elements, compressing files to less than 150 bytes impacts load time significantly.
Try using Gzip to compress image files and Photoshop for images.
Minifying and Combining Files
Optimizing your code is another excellent way of boosting your page’s speed. Follow the steps below to achieve this:
· Eliminating extra characters and code comments
· Removing unnecessary spaces and commas
· Extracting unused codes
According to Google, HTMLMinifier, CSSNano, CSSO, UglifyJS, and Closure Compiler are the best tools for minifying and combining files.
Web browsers typically build a DOM tree before rendering a page. If the browser stumbles on a script during this process, it must pause and execute it.
Choosing the Ideal Hosting
Choosing the cheapest possible hosting option may seem like a good option, but you’ll likely need to upgrade or switch once your website starts experiencing significant traffic. So, spend time researching trustworthy and credible hosting providers.
Users typically choose from the following three options:
· Dedicated Server- Users do not share resources with anyone and enjoy more space
· Shared Hosting- The cheapest, most affordable hosting option is shared hosting. Unfortunately, shared hosting doesn’t perform well when experiencing traffic spikes
· VPS Hosting- Here, users share their server while boasting a dedicated portion of the server. It’s the middle ground between the options discussed above
Activating Browser Caching
Activating Browser Caching enables browsers to store parts of your page within visitors’ cache. It ensures your website loads faster.
You can enable browser caching by following these steps:
· Click on ‘General Settings’
· Select ‘Browser Cache’
· Check the box located next to ‘Enable.’
Boost your website’s speed time by ticking the following checklist:
· Images are in the proper format:
o PNGs are ideal for graphics with less than 16 colors
o JPEGs are better for photographs
· Images are not larger than necessary and compressed appropriately
Reducing Server Response Time
Another factor that impacts your page’s load time is the time DNS lookup requires. Domain Name System or DNS refers to a server holding IP addresses and associated hostnames.
So, every time a user enters a URL, a DNS server translates the URL into the IP address indicating its online location. Thus, a DNS lookup is pinpointing a specific DNS record.
The amount of time a browser takes to execute this process depends on the efficiency of your DNS provider. If it eats too much time, it’s time to switch to a faster provider.
The Bottom Line: What Should Your Site Speed Aim Be?
It’s common knowledge that Google uses site speed as a ranking factor. The best way to increase your SEO ranking is by ensuring your page load times are less than three seconds.
And for that, you must keep your page clutter-free and at an average weight, i.e., 500 KBs.