How Website Speed Impacts SEO

The speed of a web page has always been an important factor for those looking to attract more customers. We all know what it’s like to use a slow website, and frustrated users can cause an increase in your bounce rate. But as Google continues to tweak its algorithms to get the very best search results, page speed is set to become more important than ever as Google will rank faster websites with greater usability over their clunky competitors.

Page Speed as a Ranking Factor

A ranking factor is anything that Google uses as criteria for how highly it will rank a page in its search results for a certain query. There are dozens of different factors for SEO specialists to consider when building or optimizing a website but for now we will focus on page speed. Page speed can be measured using Google’s tool, Pagespeed Insights, which analyzes the structure and content of the website, as well as the server for reasons that are causing excess lag.

Mobile vs Desktop Speed

When it comes to website speed, achieving good results on desktop is often much easier than mobile, but that’s not enough to rank higher on Google’s algorithms. In 2021, websites should be not only fully compatible and responsive to mobile devices, but also need to be quick to load on a phone or tablet. Both mobile and desktop speeds will impact Google’s ranking of your website.

Bounce Rate & User Experience

As we mentioned before, investing effort into a faster website isn’t just about showing up on Google, but helping to make conversions once your website is selected. A faster website will provide a better overall experience for each user and lower your bounce rate by keeping users on the site longer.

Image Optimization

Images are so important for creating a visually pleasing and usable website. They help us share our products and services as well as brand our company, but they can also hold us back if we aren’t careful. The large format images that come out of a camera or even your cell phone are very different from the images that appear on a web page. In order to load quickly and make your website pop, they need to be compressed to a much smaller size and a format that is better suited for the web. Failure to do so can result in a slower website and less visibility on Google.

Minified HTML & CSS

Most web developers these days aren’t spending coding each meticulous detail on HTML and CSS. Between all of the different website builders and themes available, code is used on a more occasional basis to add detailing or specific functionality. While this is great for web developers, all of these dynamic website builders are sometimes bloated with information and extra code that the browser doesn’t need to display the site. This includes unused CSS or JavaScript that the HTML never calls on. Minified HTML and CSS helps solve this problem by removing the extra information so that your web browser and the Google Search Algorithm only see what they need.

Page Speed of Static VS Dynamic Websites

Studies have shown that static websites are still a bit faster than dynamic websites, which spend time and resources pulling information from a database in order to serve each user. While static websites use files like HTML and CSS that very seldom change, dynamic websites are built on PHP which allows them to swap out data in seconds. Static HTML websites do have a slight advantage in this category, but dynamic websites have many other advantages that might be necessary for your business. There are also many other strategies you can use to speed up your PHP site.

Contact Boston Web Marketing

As Google tweaks their algorithm to favor quick websites, make sure your website isn’t being left behind. We offer website optimization, content development, and many other SEO services. Give us a call at (857) 526-0096 or contact us here.

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