Why is website speed such an important factor?
Site speed is one of the factors which determines whether you get a good ranking in Google. Site speed is a ranking factor, and its importance keeps growing.
A fast website provides a much better user experience than a slow one. Research has shown time and again that a slow website gets fewer conversions, and the user doesn’t read or engage as much on slower sites. That in itself should be enough reason to make sure the speed of your site is as good as can be.
Beyond just being better for users, faster websites can be easier for search engines to crawl, process and index. That means that a post will take less time to show up in the search results, as well as performing and ranking better.
How site speed influences SEO?
Users expect websites to be fast. As the world becomes increasingly mobile, and as consumers expect services to be on-demand and seamlessly delivered, having a poor site speed can seriously impact your SEO.
Google understands that the time it takes for a page to load is a key part of the overall user experience. Waiting for content to appear, being unable to interact with a page, and even noticing delays creates friction.
That friction costs not only time, but also money. Research from as far back as 2016 showed that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. And those kinds of bad experiences can leave a lasting negative impression of a brand.
Google has been measuring the speed of your site, and using that in their ranking algorithms, since 2010. More recently, in 2018, the speed of your site on mobile devices became a much more important signal, too.
It’s not just Google – research from every corner of the web, on all aspects of consumer behaviour, shows that speed has a huge impact on outcomes.
- 47% of people expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds
- 20% of users abandon their cart if the transaction process is too slow
- Amazon found every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales
- The BBC found they lost an additional 10% of users for every additional second their site took to load
These costs and this type of site abandonment happen because users don’t like to be frustrated. Poor experiences mean that they go elsewhere, visit other websites, and convert with competitors.
Those behaviours are easily tracked by Google (through bounces back to search engine results pages, short visits, and other signals), and are a strong signal that the page shouldn’t be ranking where it was.