Website Speed Importance
Page speed refers to the time it takes for a page to load and display on a site. It pertains to a home page URL when clicked on from a SERP, as well as all the pages within a site that are user-facing.
Today, with plenty of user-friendly web hosting platforms available, business owners are taking pleasure in setting up and running their own domains. This is great for everyone involved, as it allows more in-depth communication between business owner and online marketing agencies about content, site design, and organic search optimisation. However, it does require that business owners are up to date on the topic of page speed optimisation and how, in particular, it influences the effectiveness of their site.
To aid in this ongoing dialogue, here are five reasons why page speed is super important for online marketing in 2018 (and moving forward):
5. Page Speed is a ranking signal. Google has made it clear that relative page speed is an important ranking signal. If your content is just as good (if not better) than your competitors, it might still rank lower because you have huge image files above the fold that render your load times slower than your competition.
"If your load time is slow, users are not going to hang around and wait."
4. Page Speed influences conversion rates. If your load time is slow, users are not going to hang around and wait. A number of case studies confirm the fact that the faster your site can load, the more conversions you are bound to get. The threshold for load time (the time users are willing to wait for your page to load) varies across industries. In e-commerce, the recommendation from Google is to keep load times under 2 seconds and yet, according to their research, the average mobile load time is 15.3 seconds!
3. Page Speed matters more on mobile. People searching from their phones are looking for a personal experience that matches their needs in the moment. In order for this micro-moment to happen, the page needs to load. If your page does not load, the searcher will find another page that does. Given the average mobile load time is so high, the potential for a competitive advantage is massive.
2. Page speed reflects the quality of your entire site. A well-managed (should we say manicured?) site is one that does not suffer in search results. According to recent web performance research from SEMrush, 82.89% of sites had issues that negatively affected performance, and 43% had issues with slow page load speed. The implication is that page speed is the most commonly overlooked component of a website’s functionality. More broadly, we can say that slow page speed is a reflection of issues around the site in general. If your pages are loading slowly, you need to do a deep dive into the design and content of your site to make it more lean and impactful.
1. Page speed determines brand sentiment. If your site loads slowly, you are missing an opportunity to impress your target audience. Brand sentiment matters a lot, and the ramifications are especially felt for a small business owner who is looking to grow a community of returning customers. In order to build trust and recognition in your community, you need every professional signal to be as convincing as possible. A slow site indicates a lack of attentiveness or awareness, which has a negative influence on how your company is perceived by visitors.
Page speed metrics have always been an important signal for customer retention. Over the past few years, with the rise of mobile and the increased emphasis on UX, page speed has matured into an important ranking factor. Ignore it at your own peril!
Written by Joshua, Account Manager