Page Speed And Its Impact On SEO
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed refers to the amount of time that media content or a web page takes to download from the website hosting server to the web browser such that the visitor can see it. In common words, page speed is the duration between clicking the link and the display of all the elements on the web page that the browser has requested.
Why Is Page Speed Important?
Page speed is a crucial factor that Google uses when ranking websites. This can have a huge impact on the SEO of the website. According to Google’s benchmarks, a good web page should have the following:
- The average speed index should be less than three seconds.
- The average weight of the page should not be more than 500 KB.
- The average request count should be within 50.
- The average time for the first byte shouldn’t exceed 1.5 seconds.
The performance of the optimized website should be a focal point of a technologically superior website. The loading speed of the web page dictates the success of the online business. Unimpressive website performance can be the reason for the killing off the bottom line of the business where a user loses patience due to the torture of waiting for a slow-loading website. An instantaneously responding website facilitates faster conversion rates, and every one-second delay in page loading will reduce user satisfaction by around 16%. It also reduces page views by approximately 7%.
Key Benefits of Investing In Page Speed Are:
Some of the benefits that you can come across by investing in page speed are:
1. Reduces bounce rate.
After optimizing the web page speed, you can come across a lot of benefits. One of which is reduced bounce rates because only a few people will leave the site due to impatience. We all have come across websites that take a very long time to load. Data from Google shows that the patience of most people breaks after two seconds which suggests web developers build websites that can load within a second. Anything as small as 25 milliseconds can make a big difference in the decision of the site visitor.
2. Increases the frequency of visits to the website.
Once the web page loading time is reduced, people will start visiting the website more often. Nearly 47% of people expect the web page to load within 2 seconds and around 40% of the searchers leave the website if the web page doesn’t load within that time frame. Another 40% are likely to leave if the web page cannot leave within the 3 seconds of clicking on the link.
If only a few people leave the website and others stay and spend more time on it then the interaction or engagement will increase. The number of page views will increase and each of these things is among the ranking signals that Google uses.
3. Search engines will rank your page better.
After the page speed optimization is done, you will have increased the number of web pages search engines will crawl and index. More indexed web pages increase the chances of individual ranking of the page. Google already has an established bandwidth for the correlation between page speeds and site crawling. A longer loading time reduces the bandwidth and therefore reduces the number of pages Google can successfully crawl. If Google crawls and indexes your website then there is a chance for higher ranking. In simpler words, the chances of attracting more visitors will be higher. After the visitors are attracted, the optimized pages will prevent them from leaving.
Reasons For Slow Page Speed
Slow web pages are the consequence of multiple reasons. Some of the most common of them are:
- Page Size: The size of your webpage determines the page speed as they are directly proportional to one another. Smaller pages load faster than larger pages. As per the trends, it can be seen that the average page size for most of the websites has been on the rise. Statistically, the average web page has grown 317% from about 720 KB in 2010 to over 3.422 KB in 2017. This indicates that you should find ways to improve the speed of your web page regardless of its growing size.
- Page Size and Weight: Page Font and Weight also play an important role in page speed. According to Google, the weight of the pages should be kept below 500Kb. It was found that 70% of the analyzed pages were over 1 MB, and the remaining were either above 2 MB or above 4 MB.
- Your Host: The host can also affect the speed of the web page. The trick here is to find the right host who offers high speed, bandwidth, and uptime for the website.
- Externally Linked Media: Linking videos and images is a great way for improving the authority of the website, but it can also significantly slow down the page speed. It is important to decide if having videos directly on the website will be beneficial or externally linking them.
- Excessive ads: If you have an affiliate marketing site or if your site depends on ads for revenue, then you might have to consider reducing the number of ads for increased page speed.
- Widgets: Some widgets can improve the website and make it better, but they can also slow down the speed of the web page. Make sure that the regulation of the number of widgets in use on the site is done timely.
Once these core web vitals are taken care of then an increased and improved website can be expected. This article includes website speed optimization tips for your reference, continue reading further to find the best ways for yourself.
Practices To Improve The Page Speed
After the realization of the benefits of better loading speed for the web page, you should start the optimization process. However, there are still some possibilities for problems to arise, one such problem during speed optimization is: People are more likely to make mistakes that negatively affect the page speed instead of improving it. The awareness of these mistakes beforehand can help you to avoid them and assist in the optimization of the loading speed process for the web page.
Some of the most commonly made mistakes for web page speed are:
Manage the common image optimization mistakes
There is no concept of one-size-fits-all in the SEO method for image optimization. The process might involve the assessment and analysis of various aspects like pixels, quality, encoded data, and format capabilities. A big mistake that is commonly made by people is including text in images, it negatively affects the user experience because this doesn’t allow the user to select the text, zoom in, or search.
Reduce the number of redirects used
Redirects do not look good on the website. Even though these are better than temporal redirects, they will take around 301s. If these redirects are used incorrectly, they create multiple round trips and increase the load times of your HTML documents even before the content has loaded. In case there is a necessity to use redirects, then use them cautiously and sparingly.
Not leveraging browser cache
Leveraging the browser cache is the process of instructing the browser cache to store the resources that make up the web page. This means that anytime a visitor visits your site again, the resources will already be loaded as they were loaded the first time and don’t need reloading. This improves the page speed score of the website. The page speed impact on SEO by using this optimization method is recommended by Google as well. Failure to leverage the browser cache will influence round trips between the user and server, which causes delays and data costs for the visitors. To avoid this, the implementation of an HTTP cache or any other technique suitable for storage for the previously requested sources can be used.
Optimize web fonts
Web fonts are a better way for enhancing web design because they add to the website design aesthetics and make it easier for the users to read. The failure to optimize the web fonts will lead to a reduced load speed. Optimized custom website fonts boost the page speed. Statistically, it is found that 57% of all websites now use custom fonts which have contributed greatly to increasing the size of web pages and become an important factor in determining the page speed for the website. On an average web page, the fonts took up 123 KB of the page in 2016 from 2 KB in 2010. With the mobile being an important device in e-commerce, using a font size of 16 pixels will not only enhance the page speed loading time but will also make the website mobile-friendly (Check for free), thus, easier to access.
How Fast Should A Web Page Load?
Any web page that takes time more than the blink of your eye i.e. 400 milliseconds is too slow. Statistics show that a barely perceptible web page takes a load time of nearly 0.4 seconds, and it is influential enough to attract a potential visitor to leave the site before it is completely loaded.
The load time for a page should not be more than 100 milliseconds as the visual sensory memory of the brain functions in 100 milliseconds bursts. The memory stores clear itself every 0.1 seconds because the photoreceptor cells of the eyes have to transit more information to the occipital lobe.
An increment of even one second to the load time of the web page affects the users as they prefer to be in control of web-browsing activities and mental stress only increases as the web page fails to respond. A delay of 10 seconds will reduce the visitor’s attention. Frustration and impatience will get stronger and it will prevent the visitor from visiting the website again in the future. Thus, it is important to work on improving the website speed. An SEO expert can help you in working on improving the speed of your website.
How To Make Your Website Load Faster?
After being well-versed with the most commonly made mistakes that affect the page loading time, it is essential to know about some of the best website speed optimization techniques. These tips for the optimization process mainly focus on the following:
Minimze HTTP requests
Optimize the images
Another asset of a browser will be to download the images from your web page. Images slow down the loading speed of the websites. It is suggested that the use of CSS to make graphics and avoid images. The CSS graphics work better for items like buttons but at times, CSS may fail to recreate the design of photographs or detailed decorative elements. By formatting and compressing the images properly without losing their visual quality or appearance, you will reduce the amount of data that the user has to download and create beautifully optimized images for the website. SEO services are performed as per Google’s guidelines to ensure the best sources to make sure that they can pass the check.
Reduce the number of redirects
The number of redirects on the website will directly affect the website’s loading speed. Redirect is simply a blank page that the visitor will see as your web page loads. If the webpage redirects multiple times then there is a high probability for the visitor to leave before the content has completely loaded. This main reason one should work on reducing the number of redirects on their webpage.
Leverage the browser cache
Content delivery networks
After the amendment of the website for improving its page loading time, consider checking the server that hosts it. Traditionally, servers store a copy of a website and serve it to all the user locations. The time taken for the user to request the server and the time that it takes to respond will highly depend on the location of the user about the server. The content delivery network has a different working mechanism, that is:
It doesn’t host a single copy of the website. Instead, they host several copies of the site on different servers located in different parts of the world. Every time a user requests the site, the request will land on the server which is closest to his/her location, optimizing the speed that it takes for the request to reach the server and the time taken by the server to respond to the request. It is a great option to be considered after the exhaustion of all other methods.
How To Run A Page Speed Test?
After implementing all the above-mentioned tips for page loading time improvement, you might be wondering how to test the page speed. How to know if your changes and efforts are giving the desired results or not?
Here is the list of website speed test tools as well as website speed tests for mobile to help you:
1. Google Pagespeed Insights:
It is sensible if you are trying to boost the website speed, and by extension SEO you’d turn to a search engine for help. Google Pagespeed Insights is one of the popular website speed testing tools that scores your site speed on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better the website performance.
For mobile traffic, Google Pagespeed Insight generates tests for both desktop and mobile websites. The best part is that the score is followed by suggestions that improve the site’s performance, some of which can be implemented right away.
This tool tests the website against Google’s core web vitals, reducing the time it takes your website to reach the stage of the page-loading process. The core web vitals allow for an understanding of what the page load looks like and how it affects the user’s experience.
Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, the Pingdom interface also speed test your website giving a score from 0 to 100, but this tool is comparatively easier to navigate and better for beginners.
You can test the website based on location and provides performance grade, page load time, page size, content size, and the total number of requests as well as offer suggestions for improving the speed. It is also easy to re-run a test by clicking the screenshot of the result page.
It offers detailed analysis to help troubleshoot the problems and make changes quickly. Each of the seven criteria of the site’s load time gets a letter grade and a simple explanation to help identify the areas of improvement.
GTMetrix is a leading free online speed test that’s ideal for beginners. The publicly available version of the test does an excellent job of breaking down performance while keeping the analysis simple.
After the completion of the test, you will receive two main scores:
(i) Performance, which according to GTMetrix is the Google Lighthouse performance score combined with some of its own custom assessments and layout, which grades how well the page is built for performance.
(ii) Speed visualization displays the page load time as a timeline of screenshots at each core web vital, a structured assessment showing the optimization of a page, and a waterfall chart recording the loading time of each object on the page.
This tool is created by the Google Chrome engineer. WebPageTest is a free site speed testing tool that has more advanced data and insights than many other free tools offer. Test the website speed across different browsers, devices, and locations, and the tool that will generate reports and insights for identifying issues and improving site speed. This tool is a unique tool that frames the performance summary which contributes to a user’s experience on the pages. The answers are phrased in an accessible way.
Scroll down to see a detailed breakdown of the page performance. There is a visual page for its load timeline and performance. There’s a visual page load timeline, a waterfall chart, videos of the page load, and an overview of core web vitals. The test even shows the results from each of the three times it loads the page during a test.
Test the website with uptrends, it is as easy as typing in the domain and choosing one of its global locations. It checks the speed of the website across desktops, browsers, as well as mobile.
Uptrends will show the Google Page Speed score, load time, page size, core web vitals, and requests along with the suggestion for improvement in the performance. The performance suggestions prioritize each category by the impact on the total loading time.
There are multiple ways for visualizing the loading of the page’s assets. However, the tool’s interface includes fewer tooltips and instructions that help in clarification of the metrics which doesn’t make it one of the best choices for beginners.
Many other tools are used for checking the page speed of the website. They include Sematext, DareBoost, New Relic, Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool, etc. Use the tool that suits you the best to track the results of your improvement of the webpage speed.
Website speed is an important factor that influences the SEO ranking of the page. A slow website can hamper SEO, leading to lower rankings, fewer clicks, fewer leads, and a decrease in sales. Taking time to test and improve the website speed is equivalent to investing in the overall well-being of the website.
Hire our team of SEO experts who specialize in their domains and are willing to help you through the process of your website’s growth with SEO services that suit your needs. Get an improved website with better website loading speed to improve your ranking with our specialists and their assistance throughout the process.