Site speed is important because people don’t like to wait long when they can click and switch to another site that loads faster. Albert Costill of Search Engine Journal(SEJ) looks at the issue in their ongoing series SEO 101: How Important is Site Speed in 2014? The answer to the rhetorical question is “yes, site speed is important,” and here is why:
- Google’s algorithms take site speed into consideration when ranking results (and other search engines do, too)
- People buy more if the site loads in two seconds or less (and leave if it doesn’t)
Many studies have been done on customer behavior and site speed, and most of the results are not surprising. People won’t stand in line to make a purchase unless they have no other alternative and online shopping provides many alternatives to the internet equivalent of standing in line.
Speed Things Up On Your Site
SEJ has some very practical advice for getting your web site out of the slow lane. Their first suggestion is making sure you have a host that is capable of providing the professional service you need for a business site. After that’s taken care of, there’s a checklist of possible problems that will slow down the load speed on a site:
- unoptomized images
- too many widgets/plugins
- incompatibility issues
- too many ads
- bulky code
- weighty design themes
- external embedded media
There are many tools available to assess site speed and the article lists some of the ones considered most helpful. If your site is loading slow and you address some of the above issues there should be a pickup in speed that is immediate and measurable. Site speed continues to be important in 2014 and it will remain important as long as people dislike waiting in line.
For more insights into the effect web design has on site speed, visit http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php.
Net Neutrality is a topic that is hard to avoid if you are at all interested in internet marketing (and if you have a web site, you should be interested!) Copyblogger did an excellent job on the subject with Sonia Simone’s article “What Neutrality Means For Your Business, and Why You Need To Act Now To Protect It“.
It basically comes down to the fact that there’s a push to have fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet highway, and it will take a lot more money to go fast. People prefer fast when they are online.
Now, the fight over Net Neutrality is ongoing and nobody knows what will ultimately happen. We each have a small say in the matter, but there’s a lot that is out of a business owner’s control. Nevertheless, there are things that you can control about your site speed.
The way you choose to design your website will affect the speed it will load, which will affect the number of visitors on your site.
Internet users are usually impatient people. Even a half of a second will make the difference between someone who reads your information and someone who mutters unmentionables and closes the page to go elsewhere. The top things that can slow your site speed are all good things, but you have to weigh the cost:
- buttons, widgets, forms, and anything that connects to another site
- ads and the cookies that bloat them
- images and elaborate themes
- codes that do things in the background
If the small voices lose the Net Neutrality battle, small business sites may need to pare down to stay competitive. A well-designed site is already important, but in the future it might be vital.
Get expert help in website design at reciprocalconsulting.com/web-design.php
On-site SEO is every bit as important as off-site SEO. In fact, I’d say it’s more important. If you can’t get your on-site SEO right, then it won’t matter how good you are at off-site SEO. Here are three on-site SEO tricks that don’t get talked about much.
- 404 pages – There are all sorts of error pages, but the 404 error page can be the most frustrating for users – especially if yours isn’t optimized well. Don’t settle for the generic 404 page. Customize your page with your company’s logo and some helpful information to assist your visitors in finding the right web page. To do that well, include some link suggestions and encourage your visitors to keep trying.
- Site speed – Search engines love fast-loading websites. They don’t like slow-loading websites. Therefore, you should do everything you can to increase your website’s load speed. Often, sites load slowly due to an overwhelming number of huge graphic or video files, server issues, or clunky CMS systems.
- Rich snippets – Rich snippets are a good way to provide extra information about your page to help your site visitors find the information they are looking for. They won’t necessarily help your site rank better, but if visitors can’t find what they are looking for, then it won’t matter.
To increase your on-site SEO, try these helpful on-site SEO techniques.
Site speed has been an important metric for webmasters for a time now. Recently, Google announced that they have added a site speed metric to its Google Analytics product.
This is good news for webmasters. No longer do you have to guess at how fast your site is loading. And you don’t have to go out and buy a third-party tool to figure it out. If you’ve already got an Analytics account with Google, just login and take a look at your Site Speed Report.
The Overview part of the report gives you a pretty good look at the important information that you should measure. It includes analytics for
- Average page load time by browser
- By country/territory
- By page
These are important overview metrics, but if you want to drill it down even further, then you can do that too. You can view site load times in three ways including Performance, Explorer, or Map Overlay simply by clicking on the appropriate tab.
Intelligence Reports are reports that analyze your website to highlight any variance in your statistics. You can receive alerts when variations occur. You can also view Site Speed metrics in your Intelligence Reports inside your Google Analytics account.
Google is a company that is constantly improving its products. Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that anyone can use, and I’d add that it is perhaps the best analytics tool on the market. There is really no need to pay for analytics when Google provides it all for free.
So what are you waiting for? Do you know how fast your website is loading?
Does your website load slowly? If so then you need to figure out how to get it to load faster because Google has now made page load speed a ranking factor.
This is very significant. If you do any pay per click advertising then page load speed has already been a factor for your quality score. But yesterday Google announced that site speed will now be considered as a ranking factor.
This actually makes a lot of sense. Users don’t like to land on a page and have to wait for it to load. It could mean the difference between them staying on your site or visiting your competition. So why should Google be concerned about that?
Truth is, they’re not. They don’t care if you make any money or not. But they do care if they make money and they do care if searchers have a good experience on any site that Google sends them to. If your site is an AdSense site and it loads slowly then Google will make less revenue. If you advertise your site using pay per click advertising and it loads slowly then you’ll likely have fewer clicks and Google will make less money. See how it works now?
Fix your site load speed or you might start seeing your pages fall in the rankings.