How Does PageSpeed Affect SEO?

On the internet, as much as anyplace else, time is money. The time it takes for someone to load your webpage and start interacting with it, otherwise known as PageSpeed, can be the difference between whether the visitor buys your product or not. In fact, a study by Kissmetrics found that for every one-second delay in your PageSpeed, conversions drop by 7%. Think about that in terms of a 7 to 10-second load time versus the optimal 3-second maximum page load speed! You could be losing 28 to 49% of your conversions, whether you have an Ecommerce site or your conversion model is based on clicks, leads or newsletter signups.

If conversion loss doesn’t convince you to speed up your website’s page load time, think about PageSpeed’s effect on search engine rankings. Google sees slow load times as a negative user experience, and therefore slow page speed can mean lower rankings in the search results. It’s understandable, right? About half of us will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and we’re all becoming more and more impatient with both desktop and mobile experiences.

To measure your PageSpeed, set some baselines for your website for both Desktop and Mobile with a few go-to tools:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights gives you a score on a scale from 0 to 100 and makes specific recommendations on what to fix and how.
  • Industry-leading tools WebPageTest, GTMetrix and Pingdom are all free tools that give in-depth information and recommendations on how to fix dozens of elements that affect PageSpeed. They also tell you exactly which pages, images, Javascript and CSS files are slowing your page down.

To increase your Page Speed, you’ll want to:

  • Optimize your image files to the smallest size possible without compromising display quality
  • Cache your images and website assets in the visitor’s browser, and
  • Implement lazy-loading javascript, design elements, and content that aren’t necessary for visitors to be able to interact with what they see on your webpage above the fold.