SEO in 2019: Page Load Speed – The Next Big Thing

What Does Page Load Speed Mean for SEO?

In July 2018, tech giant Google introduced a new update for its mobile search ranking algorithm:

The Speed Update

Although the company stated that the update will only impact a small percentage of search queries, this update has wide-ranging implications for all web pages.

Google stated that the update will only affect web pages who deliver the slowest user experience, applying a certain page loading standard to rank results. This means that if your company website delivers a slow loading speed and takes a while to navigate, you could be looking at a much lower search engine ranking.

Low search rankings mean less web traffic, less customers, less conversions, and less sales. The good news is that Google will still bump up your ranking if you have great, relevant content, but you might lose your ranking to a faster competitor.

What is page load speed and what can we do to increase our website’s SEO with the new Speed Update? Simplifying your website code, enabling cache, and analyzing your graphics can help you increase your load time and boost your ranking under Google’s updated algorithm.

The Definition of Page Speed

In today’s world, more people have access to the internet than ever before. As a result, there is lots of pressure on internet providers, tech companies, and websites to be bolder, better, and faster than ever before.

So how fast should your web pages load?

According to MachMetrics, your page load time should be 3 seconds or less.

Sound like a daunting and impossible number?

Many companies agree.

Most websites do not meet this suggested load time. In fact, most websites take an average of 8.66 seconds to complete loading. In addition, the average loading time of a landing page is 22 seconds.

However, if a page does not load within the 3 second time period, 53% of users will leave the website. This causes you to lose out on potential customers and new lead generation. Combined with Google’s increased focus on page speed, finding ways to optimize load time should be top priority as we move into 2019.

Tips for Optimal Page Speed Increase

Page speed may seem like a digital nail in the coffin for your website’s SEO and search engine rankings. However, there are a few key strategies you can implement to increase your site’s page speed and boost your SEO.

Take Advantage of Browser Caching Capabilities

Caches capture crucial website features such as images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files and save them on a user’s device. That means that the next time that user visits your site, the browser doesn’t need to reload the entire page. As a result, your page loading times decrease and your overall page speed increases, boosting your ranking. Google recommends setting a minimum cache timeframe of one week up to one year for your static website features.

Compress Your Website Images

Pictures and graphics can take longer to load and cause a frustrating user experience if they are too large. Compress your images to decrease loading speed. Make sure your images work on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Examine Your Server Speed

Check with your hosting provider to ensure they are running the latest version of PHP. This simple switch can increase your page speed significantly.

Take Advantage of Google Analytics

The Mobile Scorecard feature will give you your average load speed for various web pages. In addition, you can compare your load speed to competitors. This will help you determine which pages to optimize and the speed benchmark you need to meet.

Test Page Load Speeds Monthly (at least)

We’ve included a few of our favorite speed tools below

Get Started Today

Ready? Let’s get to work on your site’s page load speed. Call (419) 540.4437 or email to get started today.

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