There are over 200 factors that decide the SERP ranking of a website. Many elements get added to the same as time passes and many elements get taken out, as well.
It has been a couple of years since page speed is considered an important page ranking factor. In the recent years, it has gained prominence, as well.
Page speed was added to the growing list of page ranking metrics to measure how quickly a user sees the content on a page. But it has now turned to become a strong indicator of the site’s user-experience.
And, Google wants their users to have the best of experience. No wonder, the role of page speed has skyrocketed.
Pages that load faster display its content faster to the users, which in turn satisfies the queries of the users quickly.
Here in the page, we discuss the following:
- What is page speed?
- Why does page speed matter?
- Metrics of page speed
- Why does a page load slower?
- How to analyse your page speed?
What is page speed?
As you would already have guessed, page speed is the time a page takes to display all of its content to its user.
If you have a lot of plug-ins on your site like WordPress, it will also affect the speed of your page.
Why does page speed matter?
No one wants to wait for anything, right? This same logic applies on the digital world as well. As such, faster pages can offer better experience to the users.
This will impact the way user interacts with the site as well. Faster the page loads, better the user experience is.
According to a study published on neilpatel.com, if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, more than a quarter of users will leave the site. Ouch!
According to Walmart.com, when their pages began loading faster, they have been able to observe 2% increase in their conversion rate.
Page speed is extremely important for search engine optimization as well
It was in 2010 that Google announced to include page speed as a ranking factor. Fast forward to 2017, Google said that it is increasing the weightage given to page speed when ranking a page.
Now, Google is hard at work experimenting with an Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP). AMP, as you might have guessed, is trying to find a solution to have webpages load faster on mobile devices as internet has gone mobile.
It has to be kept in mind that Google has, in 2020, added another factor to the ranking signals, which is page experience.
Page experience takes into consideration the overall user experience of webpages for real, human visitors. You might have deduced that page speed directly affects the user experience on a page.
This makes the factors complementing each other. It adds one more reason to throw everything you have to make your webpages load faster and responsive for better user experience.
What are the metrics of page speed?
There is no doubt that page speed is a complex matter to look at individually. It is acombination of numerous elements that work collectively to render the page as quickly as possible.
However, if you want to increase the page speed, you need to understand how it works, as well. There is a variety of elements that impact page speed.
Let’s see them all:
- Load time: It defines the time taken by a webpage to fully display its content on a browser window. For this to happen, all the files and script on the same have to load along with fulfilling all HTTP requests.
- Page size: This is the total size of the page and it includes all elements, images, texts and other files that make the page.
- Time to first byte: This is the time taken by the server to return the first byte of the information once the browser requests for the page.
- Round trip time: This is the time taken for the full request of the user to be fulfilled. It is the time for the request to reach the server and the response to reach the browser back.
Why does a page load slower?
There are various reasons for which a page may load slower and let’s try to understand them.
Heavy image pages: If your webpage has many images, it may take a while to load all of them. It can worsen with images having higher DPI. You can optimise your images to face this problem.Distributing the images over a content delivery network can also improve the page speed.
Large files: If your pages have large files that need to be downloaded, this can also affect the speed of your page adversely.
Redundant code: No matter the type of code that is unused on your site, they can crawl back the speed of your site. Hence, it is important to remove such scripts from your site timely.
Slow server: If your website and domain are hosted on a server that takes time to respond, your page speed will suffer with every request made.
How to analyse your page speed?
If you don’t analyse the speed of the page, you would not know if there is any issue with your user experience.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to understand the same and find our concerns that might affect your user’s experience adversely with a load page speed.
As you have seen, it is important for your webpages to load faster to offer your visitors with a better user experience. No matter what you do for your site to make it rank better on search engine rankings, if the load time is too high, the ranking will naturally come down.
Hence, it is highly important that you have a strategy in place to bolster the page load time.
As Google is working hard to reward mobile-friendly sites, you need to get your SEO focus on improving the load speed of your webpages.
Need a website that fetches you maximum conversions and best results? Reach us and we assure exceptional websites that load with pace and grace.