Site speed is essentially a never-ending challenge in the SEO field. We all want our websites to be operating quickly and efficiently. During the ranking process, site speed is typically a heavily weighed factor.
Did you know a search load time exceeding 0.4 seconds could make you lose potential viewers? Google is constantly working around the clock to develop algorithms that produce the best site speed. Therefore, keeping an eye on your site speed, on a regular basis, is advised.
What is Site Speed?
According to Google, site speed can be identified as a report to show how quickly users can see, then interact with the content on your page. Any click, redirection, hit, or interaction to other pages on your site is monitored for load, and redirection speed.
When your website is being tested for site speed by search engines, they will typically monitor these key elements:
- How fast images load
- Duration of time during a page load
- Plugins jeopardizing speed
- Excess amount of widgets (too much page weight)
- Ads/pop-ups interrupting speed
- Amount of heavy content
Site speed on your website is determined solely by performance. If you want to ensure your visitors are staying on your page, and come back in the future, site speed is crucial.
Why is Site Speed Important?
If you haven’t realized yet why speed is vital to your optimization strategies, you may want to look into the importance of effectively managing your pages speed.
First things first, speed will help sell your business. As of recently, a majority of users who are conducting searches, are on the run, and looking for businesses.
Let’s say you own an ice cream parlor in Tampa, Florida. Someone craving a cold treat may look for an ice cream shop in the area. Wanting more information, they go to your website. If all they see is a loading icon, within the second, they are looking for a new local ice cream parlor.
Eventually, this effect continues to snowball, until you find yourself at the bottom of a search engine results page. Which, for obvious reasons, brings us to the next reason why site speed is so important.
With search engine optimization, the goal is always to rank high on a search engine results pages (SERP’s). The idea is simple. If your site is slow, people leave your page. If people leave your page, you lose authority. When you lose authority, you lose your spot on the SERP. Last, if you lose your spot on the SERP, it is harder for users to locate your business online.
How to Avoid Being Penalized for Site Speed
In their recently updated algorithm, Google has stated this update will only affect pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users”. The easiest solution? Make your site fast and impressive. Avoid excess pop-ups, keep images small, avoid tons of plugins, etc.
If you continue to struggle with site speed, you may consider looking into some SEO consulting or coaching. This way, you’ll be able to get a more hands-on and detailed review about what may be holding your site back.
Looking to learn more about site speed? Keep an eye out for our next article! We’ll go a bit more in depth about the speed of your site that will ensure your websites success!
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.