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SEO‘s and Web developers all want you to have a good, fast website? But why do you need a fast website? We look into the pro’s of a fast website for SEO and conversions.
Load Time – Every Second Counts
Gone are the days when users wait ten minutes for a dial-up connection to load a simple website, with the sophistication of the internet and broadband as well as 4G capabilities users want even large media such as video to load fast and without interruption.
From a usability point of view every second count’s …. but don’t just take my word for it;
Amazon “every 0.1-second increase in load time decreases sales by 1%”
Google “ increasing load time from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20%”
Doubleclick ‘Slow loading sites frustrate users and negatively impact publishers. In our new study, “The Need for Mobile Speed”, we found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.’
‘sites that load in 5 seconds vs 19 seconds observed: 25% higher ad viewability (and) 70% longer average sessions (and) 35% lower bounce rates’
When it comes to conversions all the data shows that the slower the site loads the less likely you are to make a sale or conversion.
Does your site need to be fast for SEO?
Officially Google says that from a ranking perspective a slower site will not have that big an impact on SEO positions and traffic. They maintain some reduced crawl rate of a slower site which is understandable however in our experience seem to downplay the impact on SEO.
We have noticed that on slow sites where we have changed nothing, apart from increased the speed of the website, they have had a big increase in search engine traffic and average positions in the SERPs has increased as well.
This could be down to the increased crawl rate of a site where more of the site gets crawled quicker or more crawl budget is allocated to a site when it loads faster. It may also be down to the bounce rate of the site decreasing, therefore, improving the site’s usability and trust.
Desktop speed Vs Mobile Speed
Google officially states that
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
Mobile is a big deal so this is not surprising, however, this means that your mobile site should be as quick to load as a desktop, and this means optimising content to load fast.
The introduction of AMP and their preference in the search engines for news sites seems to suggest that optimising mobile pages for fast indexing will improve your search engine traffic.
How to speed up your website
There are some great ways to speed up your website for SEO, usability and conversions:
- Avoid redirects/redirect queues
- Enable compression
- Use browser caching
- Optimise images
- Prioritise visible content
- consider a content delivery network
- Reduce server response time
You can test your website here