If your pages aren’t loading within three seconds, you risk losing 40 percent of your traffic. This means every 100,000 visits you get, you’re losing 40K – who can afford to lose this type of business (or wants to)?
Surely, you don’t. And that’s why it’s essential to understand the impact website speed and SEO have on your inbound traffic.
Let’s take a closer look.
How Website Speed Affects Your SEO Page Rank
As we already mentioned, the speed of your site load speed correlates to your bounce rate. The slower your page load speed, the higher your bounce rate.
Since Google is all about pleasing internet users, your SEO page rank will suffer. A high bounce rate tells search engines that the keywords you’re ranking for aren’t relevant to the users typing them in.
In turn, your site page gets demoted in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Also, keep in mind that first impressions are everything. If the first time a visitor comes to a slow loading site, chances are they won’t return. This makes it imperative that you maintain a fast site load speed from the get-go.
Each second counts – you’re losing 40 percent of your traffic within the first three seconds. Every second thereafter, you’re going to lose even more potential visitors.
Mobile vs. Desktop: Is There a Difference?
If you’re paying attention to how technology is evolving, then you can see the shift from desktop to mobile. Of course, this doesn’t mean there aren’t still users that surf the web using laptops and PC computers.
But with the shift to mobile, we’re seeing a decreased amount of patience and attention spans in Internet users. It’s found that the attention span of today’s consumers dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds (from 2000 to 2015).
This means that if your site is taking eight seconds or longer to load, you could end up losing all of your traffic.
However, what we want to note here is that many mobile devices load slower than desktops. But this doesn’t mean they’re willing to wait around.
Your competitors are already updating their site design to be mobile-friendly. Their website loads up just as quickly on a mobile device as it does for desktops.
Google also rewards sites that are mobile-friendly by ranking them higher. So definitely consider this if you’re trying to raise your SEO page rank.
How Do You Check Your Page Load Speed?
No, you don’t need a digital marketing guru or expensive tools to figure out how fast your pages are loading up.
In fact, there are several free tools you can use right now. For instance, you can try Pingdom, Gtmetrix, KeyCDN, and Google PageSpeed Insights.
These are simple to use and will give you an accurate load speed. There are also extensions you can add to your browser that will give you tips for improving the page load performance.
Quick Tips for Faster Page Load Speeds
Now we’re going to dive deeper into what it takes to have a fast loading website. However, there are various methods you can use to reduce the amount of time your pages load.
Let’s review some of them.
Save CSS and Script Files Externally
Many brands store their CSS and script files on their site and this bogs it down. There’s no need for your stylesheets to load up each time someone clicks on a web page. You can avoid this problem by saving them into external files.
This way, the CSS and scripts only load one time for your website to operate properly. At the same time, your site will load faster, which will appease Google and your visitors.
Use Compression Tools
Most brands are looking to build websites that are visually appealing. This means using lots of large high-definition photos. While the end result may look amazing, it doesn’t account for much because your visitors can’t get into your site due to slow loading speeds.
These large files can take up a lot of space and reduce the performance of your site. But rather than removing the photos from your site, you can simply use GZIP compression tools.
This will lower the file size by up to 70 percent without making your graphics and images low-quality.
Enable Cache Settings
Here’s a great method to counter slow loading sites. If you enable your cache settings, it will trigger cached versions of your site anytime your pages are loading too slowly.
The key is to update your caches on a regular basis so that the cached versions look like the up-to-date versions of your site. It’s a good idea to use CDN to serve your images and pages (like KeyCDN and MAXCDN).
Activate AMP on Your Site
By doing this, it’s not going to impact your ranking directly. However, you can use it to help give your web pages a speed boost.
It’s an easy tool to use and works great for making your site more responsive for mobile devices. You can learn more about implementing AMP here.
Begin Using HTTP2
Technology isn’t the only thing evolving – so is the Internet. The infrastructure we use today is outdated. There are new technologies on the verge of taking us to the next level, such as HTTP2.
This is going to help speed up sites so it’s a good idea to jump on the bandwagon to get a head start.
Consider Switching to PHP7
Here’s another change you should consider making for your website. WordPress is the first to use PHP7, which is a higher-performing and safer option to PHP5.2 and PHP5.3.
Yoast recently created Project WHIP to provide better hosting that makes sites faster and more secure.
Why You Should Boost Your Website Speed Now
If you’re still mulling over the importance of updating your website with faster loading pages, then this should help get your motors turning.
Next, we’re going to take a closer look at the benefits of having fast page loading speeds.
Enhanced User Experience
In case you didn’t know, consumers today are looking for great experiences. If you can offer a pleasant online experience for your website visitors, then you’ll make a great first and lasting impression.
If your site is easy to use, it’s likely your services or products are as well. And that brings us to the next point.
Increase Leads and Conversions
How can you convert visitors that are bouncing away from your website? You can’t. This is why it’s necessary to have a fast loading site so that users don’t turn away.
A slow website is like having a store with locked doors. If people can’t get in, then they’ll just go to a competitor. This goes for both B2B and B2C companies.
Improve Your SEO Page Rank
As you already know, Google cares about the end user. And if the end user isn’t satisfied with your site, then neither is Google.
Make your site load speed one less ranking factor to worry about by using these tips.
Enhance Your Brand Reputation
Your brand reputation depends on your ability to be visible and liked by your audience. The key to this is being searchable on search engines.
If your site is loading too slowly, then your visitors and Google will penalize you. This will damage your reputation because your site is no longer on the first page and your visitors find your slow site speed distasteful.
It’s All about a Good Website Design and Host
At the end of the day, a fast loading website is all about the design it has and the company that’s hosting it. This is why it’s recommended that you work with a professional web developer. The developer will ensure your site has a responsive design that’s accessible to both mobile and desktop users.
And this will also help with your SEO.
The second part of the equation is your hosting. You need a quality host that will ensure maximum uptime for your site and page load speeds.
Tie it all together and you have a higher chance of building a high-performing website.
Get Expert SEO Services
If you’re ready to optimize your site for users and search engines, it’s time to work together with an expert. The professionals at Bourbon Marketing are here to assist you with your website development, search engine optimization, and marketing.
Visit our website or contact us today to get a free quote for developing a strategy that yields results for your SEO page rank!