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How Website Speed Affects Your Search Engine Rankings

How Website Speed Affects your Search Engine Rankings

When we talk about website speed, we are referring to how quickly a browser is able to load a page on a website. If you have a slow to load website, chances are you will lose visitors. On the other hand, if you have a fast to load website, you stand a better chance of getting more traffic. If you get more traffic, it stands to reason you will have better conversion rates.

Why Is Site Speed Important?

Conversion Rate:

Studies and research have shown that the speed of a site effects the conversion rate. Users will stay on a fast loading website, and it has been proven that this increases conversion rates. Many large companies, and well known brands across the World have said that when there has been a decrease in site speeds, that they have had fewer conversion rates. As a result, improving site performance is a huge part of conversion rate optimization.

Bounce Rate:

Bounce Rate means the percentage of users who leave a website after viewing just one page. Studies have found that users will click away a lot faster if the page does not load quickly. BBC found that they lost 10% of their users for every second it took for a page to load.

SEO Best Practices:

Mobile optimisation and a website’s performance on mobile devices is very important for SEO. Google will prioritise getting information to users quickly, and therefore site performance is an important factor.

User Experience:

We all know how frustrating it is when a website or application takes ages to load. This creates a bad user experience, and companies will find that they will lose visitors. Lost visitors will inevitably result in lost revenue.

What Factors Affect Site Speed?

Page Weight:

When you have a lot of resources on a website, this can greatly effect the page speed. this is known as page weight. Resources will include; video content, heavy CSS files, HD images, and Javascript files. A page that has these types of page weight resources running on them all result in slow loading time.

So the solution is to keep your website page weight to a minimum and as light as possible. This in itself however presents developers with numerous problems. Website technologies are very complex. Many now run multi Javascript functions on a page. You have third party pop up’s running, moving backgrounds etc.

Network Conditions:

The other problem that can be experienced is Network slowness. Even if the page is lightweight, it can be slowed down due to network conditions. Your local network equipment and the ISP service all impact the network connectivity. Another issue, which although out of developers hands, is when mobile devices are connected via 3G or 4G, without WiFi, will see a decrease in connectivity. A solution to this would be to use minification, compression and consider hosting with a CDN.

Hosting Location:

If content has to travel far, this causes a high rate of network latency. This might result when CSS files are hosted in New York, images are hosted in Russia, and a user is trying to connect to the website in New Zealand. The latency will be very high and will cause dramatic slow loading times.

 

 

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