Yes, website page speed matters.
Google has made that statement in no uncertain terms. But maybe even more importantly, your customers say so, too. Simply put – the longer your website takes to load, the quicker customers may leave your site. Poor pagespeed can possibly equate to poor overall user experience. (Note: Do not confuse slow page speed with poor internet service).
How to Maximize Page Speeds
There are quite a few things we can do to maximize our website page speeds. Two great tools to help us determine our current website page speed are GTMetrix and Pingdom. Pingdom is kind enough to tell you the percentage of websites that your site is faster than. Just type in your website and then wait for the results (you may want to run the test more than once and choosing different server locations). Be prepared to get a low grade if you’ve not made any efforts to improve your site’s speed.
Below is an image of a site that had a score of 93% for Page Speed from GTMetrix. This may not mean very much to you at all without something to compare it to. So, try out your website, or your competitor’s website, or a big brand website, and see the differences for yourself.
Another page speed testing tool is Google Page Insights. The same theory applies here, with Google giving priority in their search algorithm to pages that rank better in overall speed and build.
Try These Tips:
Here are a few things you can do to improve your page speed and overall website optimization:
- Optimize your images and serve them at the proper size (there are some great plugins to help with “smushing” your images)
- Minify your CSS and JS
- Implement a good-quality caching program
- Add header expirations
- Moving non-essential script to the bottom of your page (be sure to test after each move – as this can quickly disable parts of your site)
- Using a hosting service optimal for your site (e.g, not using a shared hosting platform, or using a managed hosting platform)
- Using a CDN (content delivery network) to serve images to viewers from an appropriate geo-location
Here’s what Moz (a leader in the industry) has to say about page speed and Google:
SEO Best Practices
Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.
Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.
You can check out the full article here.
So, does website page speed matter? If you are concerned about your user’s experience on your website, then yes, website page speed really does matter. However, don’t get so wrapped up in page speed that you omit or remove important pieces of your site. Try to strike a balance.