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How fast does your website load?

How fast does your website load?
Blog

How fast does your website load?

Page speed has been a ranking factor for a couple of years now. What's more, each year, its importance to your site's SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) positions is only growing.

What started as another metric to determine how quickly a person will see the content they've requested has turned into a massive indicator of the site's overall user experience.

In fact, in the summer of 2021, Google rolled out the Page Experience update to enhance its algorithm.

Page speed is defined as the length of time it takes to display all the content on a specific page or the length of time it takes for a browser to receive a web server’s first byte (or, to put it in less technical terms, page speed is how long it takes for the browser to receive the first batch of information from the server).

Every page element — its HTML code, CSS that styles page elements, various JavaScript files, images, videos and other multimedia and so much more — affects the page speed. In fact, anything from an element's size (measured in kilobytes) to the speed of the web server they are hosted on will affect the page speed.

Page speed is measured on desktop and mobile devices separately. This is because of technology differences between the two, resulting in a different experience for desktop and mobile users.

Page speed is important to users because, well, faster pages are more efficient and provide a much better on-page user experience.

Per a recent Kissmetrics infographic, if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away and choose a different search result. Increasing bounce rate is not what SEOs are looking to do!

Mobile users expect fast load speed, too. In the same survey, 73% of users reported visiting a website with a slow loading speed. Page speed also affects conversion rate. For example, Walmart.com noted that with every second of increased page speed, they saw a two percent increase in conversion.

But, perhaps less intuitively, page speed is also important for search engine optimization (SEO).

In 2010, Google announced that page speed would be included as one of the ranking factors for their search index.

In 2017, Google announced they will give page speed even more consideration, incorporating mobile site speed to rank sites on its “mobile-first” pages, or pages that individualize rankings for mobile sites.

More recently, the search engine expanded the importance of the user experience by introducing Page Experience to its ranking signals. This new ranking signal combines Core Web Vitals with existing metrics like mobile friendliness and safe browsing to create search signals for overall Page Experience.

Page Experience signals aim to evaluate web pages by the quality of their user experience for real people. In short, they expand Google's recent on-page criteria with factors that affect the person's experience while consuming the content.

Needless to say, page speed is one of the most critical factors that affect it.

To test your existing site, visit https://pagespeed.web.dev/ and input your domain name.

Mobile and desktop scores below 80 are bad and will affect your search engine ranking.