Effects of Page Load Time on Google Rankings

speedSEO is becoming a trending topic among marketers and almost everybody is applying it efficiently, thus improving their online businesses. As a result, new and experienced marketers alike opt for SEO courses to receive the Seo Training Certification.

But these days, most of them forget that increasing traffic alone is not enough for websites to rank higher.

In this article you’ll understand how your page load time affects Google ranking.

Impact of Load Time

The load time of your website has a significant impact on your sales! Yes, this is true. Slow loading speed can decrease your sales whereas fast page loading can boost up the sales. The good news is your site’s loading speed can be improved.

Let’s have a look at how:

Around 50% of people expect a website to load in about 2 seconds or even less; users often abandon the site that takes 3 seconds or more to load.

Around 79% of web shoppers who struggled with poor website performance say that they won’t purchase anything from that website in future, and about 44% of them share their lousy experience with family and friends.

This clearly shows that you are not only losing the customers that visited your website but also the people who can be your future clients. In the end, slow page loading speed translates into a significant loss in sales.

 

How to increase the loading speed of the website? Here are some tools and resources:

A website’s size is around 130 KB. This includes images, stylesheets and scripts. FireFox browser plugins such as Page Speed and sites like Web Page Test can be your starting point:

– Page Speed Online

Page Speed Online is a web-based tool introduced by Google and accessible through Google Labs. Page speed online is also available as a chrome extension.

Using this tool, you can gather an overview of low, medium, and high priority fixes that will boost your page speed.

– Google Webmaster Tools    

With this tool, you can check the load time of your website on a monthly basis. To get more details, you can check its “Labs” section.

– Google Analytics Plugin by Yoast

If you are working on WordPress and using the Google Analytics Plugin (yoast.com), then you must be happy to know that it now supports the website speed feature. This tool shows you how fast your web page gets loaded on various browsers.

How can you decrease the load time of your page?

Once you identify the loading time of your page, you can reduce it by considering these suggestions:

– GZIP Compression

By using GZIP compression you can boost the speed of your website. This technique reduces the size of a file by 70% without compromising the image, video or site quality.

– Image Optimization

In Fireworks and Photoshop, you can use the option “Save for Web” to reduce the size of images.  With the Image quality slider, you can see the visual exchange between the sharpness and size of the graphics file.

Cache

The content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, etc. are compatible with plugins that efficiently store a new version of the page and display that version to the visitors.

By storing the newest version of the page in the cache, you avoid the forceful generation of that page from the browser.

– Load management by network

If your website is popular, but your page loading speed is slow, you could try a CDN (Content Delivery Network) like Amazon CloudFront.

One thing that you need to understand is that CDN works using the user’s location. Faster access to the server nearby geographically means faster loading time for your web page.

Why is Google concerned about “Page Load Time”?

Regarding page load time, Google had done an interesting experiment. Vice-president of Google – Marissa Mayer asked the web surfers – “Would you rather see 10 or 30 results for the Google search?”

Users replied that 30 results could be a great option. After that, Google decided to implement this on some of the result pages.

Pages having 30 results had a traffic drop of around 20%. Then, Google analyzed the loading difference between the 10 results pages and the 30 results pages, and Google found that the 30 results pages took half of a second more to load than the 10 results pages.

If such a small time can make a huge difference in “how long the users can wait” then think about the difference it can make to your website, if you cut 1 or 2 seconds of the load time.

Speed Matters

Though load time does not significantly contribute to the Google rankings, it has a considerable contribution in increased and decreased conversion rate. Less load time increases the trust and confidence of customers. Just a few seconds can make a big difference in your online business.

Author Bio: Danish Wadhwa is a doyen of digital content. He is specialized in digital marketing, cloud computing, and web designing, and offers other valuable IT services for organizations as he delivers stupendous solutions to their business problems.

Photo by Sam Rowe