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Google Analytics is now tracking page load time. This is significant for a number of reasons.

First, conversion rate. It is now widely believed that page load time affects conversion rates. After all, site visitors will not wait long for your page to load. You have about eight seconds to capture their attention. Anything beyond that and they’re off to some place else. This is true whether they arrive on your landing page from an organic search engine listing or a pay-per-click ad.

Secondly, page load speed affects your pay-per-click quality score. There is no doubt about it. If a competitor’s website loads faster than yours and you are both bidding on the same keywords, the slower loading landing page will likely rank lower in the ad placement resulting in fewer clicks.

Thirdly, you will likely lose organic search rankings too. The jury is still out on whether Google uses page load time to determine search engine rankings, but I’m betting that they do. If that is the case, then you will see fewer click-throughs in addition to a lower conversion rate.

What all this boils down to is less traffic to your sub-par pages, and fewer conversions on the traffic you do get.

If you haven’t paid attention to your page load times until now, you should start thinking about it right away. Track and measure those page load times and fix your deficiencies – before they fix you.

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