How site speed affects Google ranking performance

Google Provides Official Site Speed Guidance

Google’s John Mueller has just given some practical advice on site speed via a recent exchange on Twitter.  When quizzed about the length of time it should take particular website page to load, John replied that the optimum speed should be around two or three seconds.  To help webmasters out with running their own tests, he also posted a link to a useful online tool that provides in depth analysis and valuable insights on site speed – https://www.webpagetest.org.

Why Fast Page Loading Times Are Important

Fast page loading times have long been considered a valuable ranking signal but up until now, there has been no clear indication as to how long an average web page should actually take to load up and display.

If you are looking to provide a content rich browsing experience for your visitors, there are many whistles and bells that you can add to your site but you should always consider the additional overheads.  High-resolution graphics and clever JavaScript functionality come at a cost and the price you pay could quite easily translate into a considerable loss of sales conversions.

A Few Basic Facts and Figures

  • Nearly three quarters of all mobile internet users claim that they have visited a website that was too slow to display.
  • More than half of mobile internet users say they have visited a website that has crashed, frozen or failed to display properly.
  • Just under 40% of mobile website visitors say they have tried to visit a website only to have found that it simply “wasn’t there”.
  • Two fifths of mobile internet users will abandon a site completely if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • It has been estimated that a one second delay in page responsiveness will result in a 7% loss in conversions.
  • If you own a website that makes £200,000 per day – throughout the course of a year – a one second page delay could end up costing anywhere up to £5 million!

In Summary

Although there are more and more of us opting for the very latest in high-speed fibre optic broadband access, with faster internet packages becoming cheaper and cheaper on a daily basis, it is important to cater for all visitors to your site.  Remember, many users will be accessing your site on the move using slower than normal Wi-Fi connections and these could make up a large percentage of your customer base.  By taking the necessary steps to speed up your site loading times, you should experience higher conversions and better retention rates.