Pagespeed and SEO

What is Page Speed?

Don’t confuse Page Speed with ‘site speed’, which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either ‘page load time’ (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or ‘time to first byte’ (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).

No matter how you measure it, a faster page speed is better. Many people have found that faster pages both rank and convert better.

Enough of the tech stuff … why does this matter?

Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl (scan and index) fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your SEO ranking.

Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates (the percentage of visitors that navigate immediately away) and lower average time on page (engagement is a better metric to measure than clicks or views).

So what do I do about it?

Have a look at some of the free tools available to measure the ‘speed’ of your site. More importantly talk to your developer or host partner about optimising your site. We’ve seen great results in simply updating hosting plans to newer versions, removing excess or poorly coded plugins or setting up cache and a Content Delivery Network.