Page speed, or page load time, is the amount of time it takes for your site’s pages to fully display on users’ web browsers. Google’s algorithms use page load time as a factor in ranking page relevance. Slow page speed results in fewer pages crawled during search, which negatively affects your site’s search ranking.

Improving your site’s page speed organically boosts SEO ranking – and also leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher conversion rates.

Every Second Counts

Page speed is crucial not only to SEO but also to creating a good user experience. Users expect lightning-fast web surfing regardless of whether they are using a desktop computer or their mobile devices – and they’ll often abandon pages with overly slow load times. And since mobile search outnumbers desktop search, it’s vital your site caters to mobile traffic since pages are indexed and ranked on the mobile experience. You can read up on our tips to increase your site’s mobile performance here.

Sites with longer load times typically see higher bounce rates and lower time-on-page metrics, which leads to lower conversion rates. Walmart serves as an excellent example. The retail giant initiated a campaign to improve page load times and found that every 1 second improvement in load time led to a 2 percent increase in conversions.

Faster load times = more sales.

Diving Deeper: Tools to Analyze and Increase Page Performance

There are many tools available to analyze your site’s load speed. These tools evaluate how well a page follows performance best practices and also provide suggestions for page optimization.

Here are six widely used website speed and performance tools.

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights
  2. GTmetrix
  3. WebPageTest
  4. KeyCDN Speed Test
  5. Pingdom
  6. YSlow

Use these tools to identify bottlenecks, implement best practices, and identify areas where you can make improvements. Since these tools dive deep, the results can get pretty technical. Pages are dissected by type of content, page size by domain, requests by domain and content type, asynchronous CSS and JavaScript loading, file compression, browser caching, time to first byte, DNS lookup and other key factors. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, it might be time to bring in a tech-savvy webmaster to review the results and implement necessary changes.

Three Takeaways

  1. Load time affects your bottom line. It’s just as important as the aesthetics, design and functionality of the site. Even a one-second delay in load time can negatively impact your user experience and result in fewer conversions and lost revenue.
  2. Load time affects your SEO ranking. Pages that load faster receive a bonus from Google and place higher in organic search results. Ensure your site loads quickly across all devices and browsers and from any country.
  3. Load time affects bounce rates. Speed rules. The longer users have to wait for your site to load, the more likely they are to abandon your site.

Everyone loves a lightning-fast website. You’ll never lose a customer or a sale by making your site faster. Improving load speed should be an integral part of any well-designed website.