When it comes to ranking, one of the key factors has always been page speed. It was initially a metric that was correlated to how quickly requested content would be seen. Nowadays, it’s a crucial element in terms of search engine results pages (SERPs) year in and year out.
Google announced page speed as a search index ranking factor in 2010. Page speed has also become a default indicator of what the best websites are, based on the overall UX (user experience) it delivers.
In a nutshell, as website developers would put it: a page that loads fast delivers content fast.
As the name suggests, page speed refers to how long it takes all the content on a page to display properly. It can also mean the time it takes for the first byte of a web server to reach a browser, also known as “time to first byte” or TTFB.
In layman’s terms, page speed is the amount of time it takes to fully load a web page in the browser. It’s different from site speed, which is the general average that comes from multiple pages on a single website.
Page speed is not the same for mobile devices and desktop computers. It’s mainly due to the fact that mobile devices typically do not have a hardwired connection to the internet whereas a desktop computer generally does.
Importance of Page Speed
It may go without saying, but pages that load faster provide a better user experience. This is why page speed matters and is integral to an excellent on-page experience for users. Even mobile users are after nothing less than quick loading speeds. It only takes 3 seconds of loading time for over 25% of users to abandon your site. If this is the usual scenario on your page, you can expect high bounce rates, which can be detrimental to your SEO efforts.
Conversion rates are directly connected to this as well. Walmart.com found there was a 2% conversion increase on their end with each second of quicker page speed. Google gave page speed even more attention in 2017, including mobile site speed in order for their “mobile-first” pages to rank.
Page speed is a crucial part of any website because it plays a key role in user experience. It’s also a crucial piece of SEO. When a page loads quicker, it provides a better user experience . And when your website provides a better user experience, you can expect your bounce rates to decrease, hooking more leads that can turn into conversions down the line.
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