You may have never thought about your business website’s page speed. What is it? Is it important? What role does page speed play in your site’s performance in organic search? Does it actually make a difference? Do you need to worry about it? Well, let’s take a look and see.

1. What is page speed?

Page speed measures how fast your page loads. Simply put, how long does a user need to wait until they can see the whole page? This measurement will be different for each of your pages, depending on what happens to be on them; for example, text, images or videos. Together, the speed of your pages will define the speed of your site.

2. Is page speed important?

Yes, it is. More and more search engines, such as Google, focus on well-being of their users, as they want to deliver the best user experience.

Google will look at how users engage with different websites. It looks at how long they stay on the site, if they engage with the content, if they leave straight away or if they continue further to other pages, and, of course, the loading time of the pages. If your pages loads slowly it can put your users off and with such a wide choice of content on the internet, it takes only seconds to lose the interest of your users to a competitor site.

3. What role does page speed play in your site’s performance in organic search?

As Google announced, since July 2018, page speed is officially a ranking factor in mobile search. What does this mean?

Google’s algorithm – the magic behind what sites will appear high in a Google search for specific phrases – uses many factors to decide which site is the best and the most relevant to the user. Those factors will be, for example, quality of content, relevance of the page to the search term, your site’s authority, user engagement, use of key phrases, and many more.

For mobile users, one of the most important factor-influencing user experiences is the loading speed. Mobile users generally don’t want to wait too long and Google data proves that over 50% of mobile users will abandon the page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Why do we care about mobile search that much? Well, to make it even more complicated, Google is this year switching to what’s called ‘Mobile-first indexing’, meaning that from now on it will be looking at the mobile version of your website first; not at the version for desktop devices.

So, as we now know that the mobile version of your site is the one Google will look at and we know that page speed is one of the most important factors influencing user engagement – there is your answer! – Page speed will be a big player in your website’s performance in organic search.

4. Does page speed make a difference?

It not only comes down to the quality of your site alone, but, of course, to the quality of the sites that are competing against your site for your priority search phrases. If your competitor’s sites are well optimised and they perform very well, there is a big chance they will be appearing above you and push your company’s site further below. This will have an effect on the number of visits your site is receiving, as it’s generally known that sites appearing higher in search results will receive more clicks. Less visitors to your site, of course, means less opportunities to generate new leads, so this can have a strong effect on your site’s and potentially business’s performance.

Apart from number of visits, it’s also in your best interest to provide the best possible user experience for your visitors when engaging with your site. You want their transition from page to page to be quick and smooth, with your content and images loading quickly on desktop and on mobile devices. To put it simply, you don’t want to give even the slightest reason for your visitors to think about looking elsewhere and page speed can make a big difference in those decisions.

5. Do you need to worry about your site’s page speed?

If you’ve gotten to this point of the article you probably already know the answer. Yes! You absolutely do need to worry and care about your page speed and look into ways of how to improve it. You will find a lot of tips on where and how to improve your loading speed, but if it sounds like a foreign language to you, let us help. Get in touch and together we can have a look at what your website needs to help it perform.