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Why is Site Speed & Page Load Time Important?

Site speed in today’s world is more important than ever before. With super fast internet speeds and more choice than a customer can process, it can often be the deciding factor between winning or losing their business.

There are several reasons why you want a speedy website. In this article, we’re going to look at the question of why a quick site is important.

Google Loves Fast Sites

Google’s objective is to return results which are relevant and enjoyable. The second part of that statement is the critical element when looking at how site speed affects search engine ranking.

A website that takes an age to load isn’t considered an enjoyable experience by Google. As such, if Google detects that a site takes 15 or 20 seconds to load, it is going to rank it lower than a competitor that takes 2 or 3 seconds.

Taking this thinking forward to highly competitive rankings shows how much effort could be wasted trying to rank well. Even if your website content and structure is super optimised, it could all be for nothing. Competitors that have a lower page loading time than yours are going to rank higher.

Imagine that your site is an ecommerce site and you both have the same product for sale. The SEO checklist is complete on both sites and on the face of things, the sites are identical in terms of content. Now think, what metric is Google going to use to decide who ranks before the other? Site speed. Which site gets the content in front of the user first is going to win the battle. When you ask why is site speed important, this is one of the reasons.

When you calculate the long term cost of losing customers to the competition, then the cost of getting those page load times down pales in comparison.

Site Speed Affects User Experience

Google conducts a great deal of research and analysis on page load times and how this interacts with web users. Research shows direct correlation between click through rates and reduced page load times. An article published in February 2019 quotes 31% improvement in click through rates for brand Telef√≥nica when they reduced their mobile load times from 6 second to 2 seconds on 3G connections. BMW saw the proportion traffic filtering through to sales sites rise from 8% to a whopping 30% all thanks to improved site speed.

Research from Google for each of the last 3 years indicates that over 50% of people will not wait for a page to load for more than 3 seconds. Search Engine Journal’s write up of Google’s 2017 research tells a troubling story. It shows the percentage of users who will abandon a page as load times increase. Simply by making a user wait for a mere 5 seconds, increases the probability of them abandoning your site by an alarming 90%.

It is clear from Google’s own research that site speed has dramatic and major implications for you as a site owner. Not only can you be ranking behind the competition, you could simply be deterring people from viewing your site.

Getting Your Page Load Times Right

We’ve looked at possibly the two main reasons why site speed is important. But, what can you do to remedy a slow site?

First off, there’s a couple of very good free tools available for testing page load times. GT Metrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights give some important insight into site speed.

GloboTek’s optimisation and audit services dive deeper than the online testers. We review the actual codebase by hand. We examine where the bottlenecks and slow downs occur. GloboTek built sites can expect to see load times in the 1 to 2 second range for most sites.

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