If you have been in SEO long enough, then you definitely know how page load speed is one factor in Google’s search result rankings. On the other hand, if you are just an avid Internet user yourself, you may find it annoying to wait for a page to load itself up completely.
Either way, page load speed is essential both for SEO and users. It greatly affects the website’s functionality and its ability to deliver results.
Now if you are still trying to understand this, then there is no need to worry because we have got you covered. We have here everything you need to know about the importance of page load speed in SEO.
What is Page Load Speed?
Before we jump on the why, let us first identify the what page load speed is.Page Load Speed is not the same as site speed. This is just a general confusion. Instead, page load speed is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site.
It can either be described as “page load time”, which is the time for the page to fully display the content, or “time to first byte”, which is the time it takes for the browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server.
Ultimately, no matter the case, a faster page load speed is necessary for a good website.
Importance of Page Load Speed to SEO
Let us now talk about why page load speed is important to SEO.
Google Search Results Ranking Factor
The first thing is that Google announced how site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. It is also shown that Google may be specifically measuring the “time to first byte” when looking into the page load speed.
Therefore, if your website has slow page load speed, then your rankings may be affected. You won’t get the visibility and exposure for users to actually click on your result.
Furthermore, Google has also indicated that page speed will be a contributing factor in its upcoming mobile-friendly index. This is actually still in the process of being known. But to better prepare yourself, you must ensure that your site is responsive and fast in page load speed.
Another crucial thing to consider when page load speed is slow is the user experience. As stated above, users do not like websites that take a lot of time to load. This results in a higher bounce rate and lower average time on page, aka dwell time. Google’s research indicates an increase of 32% in bounce rate when the page load speed goes from 1 second to 3 seconds. For longer than that, it increases the chance to 90% for 5 seconds and 123% for 10 seconds.
When users leave immediately, this sends a signal to Google that the page is not useful. Because of this, the website or result is pushed down. This also negatively affects the conversions.
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