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The Importance of Page Load Speeds for SEO

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Have you ever connected to a website online and it felt like it has taken forever to fully load? In real-time, the user might only be waiting for the site to upload for 5 seconds or more, however for the average internet user, this might be too long. Perhaps you waited around for the page to appear, however, if you are like the majority of people online, you probably left the site. 

The time it takes for your website to upload is important for visitors, and it will have a serious impact on the website’s ranking on major search engines. Google has a wide range of tools available to help SEO marketing services increase their website’s page speed. Major search engines don’t want their results to appear sluggish to their users. Businesses also understand that the faster their website uploads on their customer’s browsers, the more sales they will make. Page load speeds can have a major negative or positive impact on a business. 

What is Page Load Speeds?

Page load speed is the time it takes for the website’s content to fully load on a browser. The measurement is calculated from when the user clicks on the URL, to the web page and all its content to fully load. These page load speeds are normally measured in seconds. Two different parts make up page load speeds.

  1. Network and Server time: This is based on the speed of the internet connection. Also, how long it takes for static elements to be displayed on the browser.
  2. Browser time: How long it takes the browser to figure out and fully display the whole page and its content for the user to be able to interact with the page. 

A web page may have different load times depending on the browser. It also depends on what type of device the site’s visitor is using. If the visitor is using a desktop computer or a smartphone, it is likely the load speed times will differ. The location in which the user is based may also cause the page to display faster or slower. For example, if you are based in Europe and you visit a site that is located in China, however, they sell products to European customers, then there is a possibility that the site will take longer to upload. If you visited the same site and you are based in China, using the same browser, with a similar internet connection, the page is more likely to upload faster.

User Experience

The main reason a slow loading page is harmful is that it will have a poor effect on the site’s users’ experience. On all websites, the speed at which it takes for the site’s content to load will probably determine whether the user stays on the site or not. 

How easy it is for the user to navigate when on the website will also have a major impact. If the page is sluggish, and it takes a long time to browse through the pages, the chances are the visitor will click out of the page and move to one of its competitors. Statistics show that 53% of internet users using a smart device will leave a web page if it takes longer than just 3 seconds to fully load. 

Load speeds are very important for all sites, especially for e-commerce websites. These websites expect users to spend a longer time on their sites than others. Many e-commerce sites have lots of products that they want visitors to see. The average user will visit an e-commerce site and click on 2-10 pages each time. These websites need to load quickly to keep the user engaged in the site. 

Slow-loading websites often have a high bounce rate percentage. This will show that not only do the visitors leave your site early, but Google and other major search engines will assume your site does not include the relevant content that the Google user was looking for when on their search engine. This will have a serious impact on the position where your site is ranked. 

Wondering Why Your Site’s Position Is Dropping On Google 

Here are the main reasons why some websites are ranked higher than others. 

  1. The website is well-optimized
  2. The website is recommended by credible web pages
  3. Bounce back rate. The website’s bounce back level will give a clear indication to Google if the user has had a good experience when they visit the website. 

Most web developers are aware that if the design of the website takes too long to load, it will affect their ranking position on major search engines. Here is some of the content that you should expect to cause your website to load slowly:

  • Using too much animation or other interactive items. Flash technology often takes a long time for the user to interact with. 
  • Coding errors on the website.
  • Images on the site that haven’t been cropped or resized.
  • Too many images on each of the pages throughout the site
  • Although it’s uncommon these days, however in the past many sites used background music which tends to slow down the loading time.
  • The page has not been compressed.
  • Pop up screens and other pop up boxes.
  • Long pages can take a matter of time to load.
  • SPAM is on the site.
  • Problems caused by the web hosting company
  • If the website has been redirected to another site
  • E-commerce sites that have an online store can be data-driven, which can often cause large delays. 

To make matters worse, not only will a slow loading website determine where your site is ranked on major search engines, but voice search results will also find it hard for users to find your site. The use of voice searches is gaining popularity. When a person searches online by speaking, they expect a quick answer, and not waiting too long for the device to respond. Google and other search engines expect voice searches to be increased over the next few years, so expect this to be a big game-changer in the SEO business. 

About the author


Dennis Hamming