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That, according to Mahatma Gandhi who clearly was never a website visitor because when it comes to websites there is nothing more important than speed!
There are 3 reasons why it’s important to get your site to perform as quickly as possible:
Website speed has always been a topic of conversation. It historically fell into the “user-friendly” category. Every time we heard people say that they wanted their website to be “user-friendly”, that comment was typically followed by “you know, it has to be fast”.
But what is fast? It’s a very subjective thing that is different for different people. That is until Google decided to start getting involved in the site speed conversation. In 2010 Google decided to use page speed as a ranking signal for SEO. In fact, here’s what Google said specifically about speed, back in 2010:
So, back to the original question, what is fast. Today the bar seems to be hovering right around the 2-second mark. Forrester Research did a survey for Akamai, a global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services, and what they found was that the average online user will wait no more than 2-seconds for a page to load and only 40% of users will wait 3-seconds!
In this post we’re going to look at each of these 3 reasons to make sure your site is performing well, we’ll give you some tools to see how your site is performing, and then we’re going to give you some tips on how to improve the speed of your site.
The first step towards improvement is knowing exactly where you’re starting. Google provides a tool that you can use to determine the speed of a page within your website called PageSpeed Insights.
The results of your test will give you information on how your website page speed is as it relates to both desktop and mobile devices.
This web page speed test will check your website page to see if it has the most common best practices applied to it, and then it scores your website page on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher your score, the better your website page is performing.
Based on the score of your page, it will fall into one of three categories. Good, needs work, or poor.
There are some technical optimization tactics that you can use to speed up the pages within your website.
Images are generally the single largest element on a webpage and require a delicate balance between size and clarity. In their native formats, images can grow to be huge, by internet standards. But, reduce the file size too much, and the image becomes grainy and will look horrible. Google has assembled a checklist for optimizing images.
Wait, what! How can this be?
When it comes to PPC, the per click fees are based on what Google calls your Quality Score. Here’s what they say:
So, the next question, then is, what makes up the Quality Score. Google tells us that there are 3 components to the quality score:
It’s this last component that is impacted by the page speed of your site. If your page speed is too slow, the user will not have a good experience. If they don’t have a good experience, then your Quality Score decreases.
Here’s how it plays out for how much you spend for every click (CPC) on your ad. If you and one of your competitors are trying to get the top spot for an ad based on the same key-phrase. If all things are equal, except that your competitor has a higher Quality Score than you do. You will most likely pay more per click for a lower position on the search results page. In other words, you’ll pay more for spots #2, #3, #4 or worse than they will for spot #1
Remember, page speed is a search ranking signal and will have an impact on your efforts to get top rankings on Google’s search engine. Also, page speed is a major component of the user’s experience of your website and will have a major impact on your site’s ability to increase your business. Don’t let the complexity of getting your site faster to interfere with improving your site’s speed.
If you just have a question about speed, we’d be more than happy to try to answer it for you, just contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
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