With more searchers than ever relying on what can be at times slow mobile data and internet connections, page speed optimisation has never been more important. A fast loading website is key to ranking #1.
Clients are often surprised to find out just how slow their websites are. When checking their own website, they often do so from a strong internet connection with their cache enabled (meaning the resources and code is not being loaded for the first time). When we demonstrate how long a brand-new user would be waiting to load their content, they are shocked. Thankfully, we are always on hand to advise on how this can be dramatically improved.
Page speed is something which every website owner should be concerned about. When trying to rank for competitive keywords it is something which could mean the difference between #1 rankings and the bottom of page one.
Despite Google’s clear focus on page speed and preference towards fast loading sites, you do not have to look far to find an SEO company who does not prioritise it. Improving site speed is one of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your website and is one of the first things that we show our clients how to do.
What is considered a good page speed?
This is a question that gets asked often and the answer really is that it depends. It depends on how fast your top competitors’ website is and it depends on what keywords you are targeting. You should take the approach that as fast as possible is the best page speed when it comes to your website.
Google has referenced 200ms as a good target to have in mind when considering server response time which is equal to about 0.2 seconds. If you can reduce your response time down to this, you may start to see diminishing returns and your efforts would be best focused on other parts of your website.
The thing to bear in mind when checking your page speed is why you are optimising it in the first place. Not only will Google look more favourably on your site, users will have a much better experience. The positive effect on your rankings should also be seen across your conversion rates. The traffic you already generate can become more valuable as a result.
What can page speed optimisation do for me?
Hopefully it is clear by now that page speed optimisation is an important part of any successful SEO campaign. However, you might now be wondering what optimising your page speed can do for you and your website (besides the obvious) and perhaps why it works.
Through some basic competitor analysis, it will usually be apparent that faster sites greatly outrank the slower ones. This is the first thing that reducing your loading times can do, allow you to effectively compete.
Next the users experience should be considered when it comes to how fast or slow your website is. If you were to rank in the top position with a relatively slow website, many users would land on your page and jump back to the search results before your content has had the chance to load. To Google this would be a clear signal of a low-quality site and would likely result in your website being positioned lower down the search results.
Finally, if your website is quick to load, your content is of a high quality and the landing page matches the intent of the searcher (which is something else we look for when auditing all our client’s sites), users will spend more time on your page and be more likely to explore some of your other pages. These are all signs of a high-quality website and means Google can confidently position your website above competitors in the search results.
How we can help with page speed optimisation
Our technical SEO specialists and experienced web design team can help you make effective use of the best page speed tools available (such as Google Developer Tools, Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix). We can help diagnose why and where your page speed might be slowing down your organic performance and work with you to greatly reduce it.
Just a few of the ways that we can help with your page speed optimisation:
- Testing your websites response rate against your competitors to give your development team a realistic target.
- Finding what resources are taking the longest time to load and offering advice on how issues with them can be resolved.
- Support you in implementing caching solutions which can greatly enhance user experience and page speed for returning visitors.
- When there are real issues with your page speed or you are targeting highly competitive keywords, we can make use of our exclusive connections with leading hosting providers to get you the best deals on fast hosting solutions.
- Advising on bloated code or poorly constructed content management systems (CMS). Sometimes the way your website was coded can cause huge issues when it comes to page speed and fixing it is the best way forward.
- Depending on the location your website is targeting and where in the world it is hosted, a content delivery network (CDN) could be effective. We can advise when this would be beneficial and help you get up and running.
Do not let your page speed slow down your organic growth and enquire today about how we can help.