Does Page Speed Affect SEO?

Page Speed Could be a Ticking Time Bomb

Welcome. MRA Business Solutions is a business consultancy that specialises in SEO as it relates to every aspect of digital marketing and digital technologies.

My name is Glenn Heiser and I am an SEO Consultant here at MRA Business Solutions. At the time of writing this, I am certified in more than 31 areas of SEO with HubSpot, SEMRush and Google.

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Does Page Speed Affect SEO?

Yes, page speed affects SEO. According to the Google Search team in 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for searches. Fixing a slow loading website should be one of the highest priorities for any business.

The purpose of SEO is to get better search rankings on search engines results (SERPS), but if you have a slow page and website speed, then people will not stay on your website. “More than half of visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes over 3 seconds to load.”

Google could penalise you for a slow loading website. Google penalties are unlikely as only the slowest loading pages actually suffer a significant penalty. However, your potential customers could penalise you much more by leaving your website for a faster one. Your visitor’s user experience is just as important as your Google search results.

What is Page Speed? What is Page Load Time? What is Google Page Speed?

Page speed or page load time or Google Page Speed is a measure of how fast a digital device takes to fully load a web page from the time a user has clicked on a link.

Page speed is not the same as site speed. Site speed is a measure of how fast a sample of the pages on your website load. Since you cannot tell which pages Google will sample to determine your site speed, you should check and optimise every page.

How to Check Page Speed Score of Website

You can check the load page speed of a web page on Google’s PageSpeed Insights. You can enter any URL into the toolbar and Google will analyze the page load speed. It will provide you with a score between 0 and 100, which means

● 0 to 49 (red): Poor
● 50 to 89 (orange): Needs Improvement
● 90 to 100 (green): Good

It will also provide you with suggestions as to how to improve your score. Explanations of the entire process and how the score was calculated can be found on the Lighthouse Performance Scoring website.

There are other speed testing tools. GTMetrix is one of my preferred tools because it shows a different breakdown which can be easier to read.

How to Speed Up Page Load Time

Speed up page load time by following the Opportunities provided by the report. Remember that these may not directly increase your Performance Score. A faster load speed gives a better user experience.

PageSpeed Insight Rules offer the following:
● Avoid landing page redirects
● Enable compression
● Improve server response time
● Leverage browser caching
● Minify resources
● Optimize images
● Optimize CSS Delivery
● Prioritize visible content
● Remove render-blocking JavaScript files

How to Increase Page Speed Score

First, use the Lighthouse scoring calculator to help understand what thresholds you should be aiming for achieving a certain Lighthouse performance score. Next, focus on the easiest way to increase your score. Attack each segment one at a time. Go for the quick wins.

How to Increase Mobile Page Speed

Increasing your mobile page speed is critical. Google ranks websites using their smartphone spiders. Mobile users and different mobile devices make up more than 50% of all web traffic.

The Lighthouse report served in the Google PageInsights will provide you with specific recommendations for your URL. Image size is a usual suspect for slowing down mobile pages.

Google says “Serve images that are appropriately-sized to save mobile data charges and improve load time.” You do not want to waste your customer’s money by making them pay for extra mobile data on an oversized image.

How to Increase Page Speed Score in a WordPress Site

One of the easiest ways to increase your page speed score in WordPress is to never insert full sized images.

Full sized images may not show up properly on a web visitor’s device. WordPress will determine the width of the content column of your theme, and display the largest possible image for that space. If your original image is larger than this column width, the full size of the image may not be displayed.

You do not want to slow down your web page load time and not even provide the complete image.

WP Smush is the most popular WordPress plug-in for optimising your images without losing quality.

Conclusion

Page Load Time and page speed are critically important factors in SEO. Even if your website does not incur a Google ranking penalty, a slow website could cause a seriously high bounce rate of potential buyers leaving for faster websites. A high bounce rate is a disaster. Slow page speeds means lost customers.

MRA Business Solutions can speed up your web pages to help give you better rankings and a better user experience to your visitors. A faster website will lower your bounce rate and more people will stick around to read your website.

Call us on 01424 776 214 for a free 30 minute consultation to find out how we can help you today.

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