If you’re wondering how important page speed is, the answer is simple. Page speed is extremely important. In fact, some may argue that page speed is more important than ever.
What Is Page Speed?
You don’t have to be a web developer or be employed in the field of web design to understand why page speed is important. You simply have to be someone who uses the Internet regularly. If you use the Internet often, then you’ve probably encountered web pages that took what felt like forever to load. If a web page has made you feel like you were back in the days of dial-up, then you can appreciate why page speed is so crucial.
Many people use “page speed” and “site speed” interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. According to Moz, site speed “is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site.” Page speed can be expressed two different ways, page load time and time to first byte.
Page load time refers to the length of time it takes for the content on a webpage to be fully displayed. Time to first byte refers to the time it takes for a browser to get the first byte of data from a web server. Research indicates that Google uses time to first byte to evaluate page speed.
An Explanation of SEO and User Experience
Now that you know what page speed is, it’s time to explain what SEO and user experience are so you can understand how pagespeed influences both of them. Moz defines search engine optimization as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
According to the User Experience Professionals Association, user experience refers to “every aspect of the user’s interaction with a product, service, or company that make up the user’s perceptions of the whole. User experience design as a discipline is concerned with all the elements that together make up that interface, including layout, visual design, text, brand, sound and interaction.” As it relates to website design and web development, user experience refers to everything that contributes to a person’s overall experience with your site.
How Page Speed Influences SEO and UX
Given the definitions of search engine optimization and UX just provided, you can probably already imagine how pagespeed influences both of them. Way back in 2010, Google announced that page speed would impact where websites end up in search engine results pages. That hasn’t changed in recent years as the search giant still considers page speed when it determines where your website will land in SERPs.
It’s important to note that your page speed influences where you wind up in SERPs in multiple ways. First, Google considers the page speed alone. While that’s the case, your page speed can have an impact in another way. If your page speeds are slow, Google and other search engines will have no choice but to crawl fewer pages in the time they allot to crawl your site. Because slow page speeds impair search engines’ ability to thoroughly crawl your site, they can negatively affect how your site ends up being indexed.
Remember the definition of SEO and how search engine optimization is meant to increase the quantity of visitors to your site? With it being common knowledge that the top few organic search results get the most clicks originating from SERPs, it’s easy to see how your page speed can impact your SEO. Faster load times mean better rankings in SERPs, which can lead to more traffic.
Just as page speed can influence the success of your SEO efforts, it can also impact user experience. Pages that have longer load times often experience higher bounce rates and a lower average amount of time spent on them. Research indicates that slow page speeds can also negatively impact conversions.
When search engines detect that your website is providing a poor UX, it can affect where your site appears in SERPs. This is yet another way that pagespeed can influence the success of your SEO strategy.
How to Check Your Page Speed
Whether you have one website that has a responsive web design or you maintain separate websites for desktop and mobile, it’s vital for you to check your page speed. In general, you’ll want your webpages to load in three seconds or, ideally, even less.
To check your page speed, it’s a good idea to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This handy, free online tool pulls data from the Chrome User Experience Report and provides two key performance indicators as they relate to page speed, First Contentful Paint and DOMContentLoaded. In addition to providing those KPIs, PageSpeed Insights will give you some actionable suggestions to improve your page speed.
Tips to Improve Your Page Speed
If you’re interested in some easy tips you can use to improve your page speed, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ways you can increase your page speed and improve your SEO and user experience at the same time:
- Optimize Your Code: Optimizing your code by removing unnecessary characters can increase your page speed just like removing unused code and code comments can.
- Limit Redirects: Whenever one webpage redirects a visitor to another page, the person will have to wait longer to view what they want to see. You can reduce the amount of time someone has to wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to wrap up by limiting or eliminating the use of redirects on your website.
Our Website Development Company Knows All the Tricks
There are plenty of other things you can do to improve your page speed, such as improving your server’s response time and using a content distribution network. We know all the tricks that can improve your page speed because we’re experts at web design. Learn about the services our web design company provides now and contact Beyond Custom Websites to see what we can do to improve your page speed today.