Google ranking says a lot about a business. Many marketers and business owners alike struggle to score a top position on a SERP.
There are many different factors that go into Google’s decision on how to rank websites, and one important criterion is page speed. But how, exactly?
What Is Page Speed and Why It Matters
Page speed is simply how fast an individual page loads on your website. The loading speed can differ from page to page since they can have different elements that literally require more time to load. For instance, a website’s about page, which is usually just 1-2 paragraphs, will generally take less time to completely load than more complex pages, such as a product page where you may have:
Okay, but how does it affect SEO?
Well, page speed ties directly into user experience. When a page takes too long to load, this increases the chance of a user closing the tab. That will make your bounce rate go through the roof. Internet users are not patient beings. Some reports show that more than 50% of the users will leave a page if it does not load in less than 3 seconds.
When a page loads slowly, it frustrates users. Google doesn’t want users to be frustrated. So it will not push the websites with low speeds in their SERPs, or at least not in the first half of the first page. Websites that load quickly will always be prioritized.
How Can You Test Your Page Speed?
Luckily, Google offers its own tool to test page speed that you can access here. All you have to do is copy-paste the URL of the page that you want to test and run the diagnostics.
Note that the tool will show you the load speed separately for desktops and mobiles. If you have a responsive design, the two scores should be almost identical. If not, it’s possible that your mobile page speed scores will be slightly lower. Ideally, you want both scores to be high since Google cares a lot about its mobile users. Around 90% of internet users have mobile access, and actually, surf the web through these devices.
There’s a high chance a significant percentage of your target audience will use a mobile device to access your website. If your site doesn’t load fast on mobile, then they will most likely quit their session before they can even look on your page, which will make Google lower your ranking.
Over to You
Page speed is an important criterion for how Google indexes websites on a SERP. In 2020, you simply cannot afford a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load a single page. Users want to access the content they want fast and their navigating experience from one page to the next needs to be almost seamless.
Once you improve your page speed, it will reflect in your rank too.