It has become increasingly challenging to rank sites or pages higher on the internet today due to the growing competition.

And, at the crux of the solution to the matter lies within Search Engine Optimization.

Of the many ranking factors that directly impact SEO, page speed is considered one of the more vital ones.  Hence, it is vital for those who wish to rank higher effectively to acknowledge the importance of page speed and understand its effect on Google ranking and SEO overall.

Understanding the Importance of Page Speed

Over the last few years, page speed has become a significant ranking factor.

While it merely started as a simple metric that judged the time it’d take for a user to see a website’s content, it has now become an essential indicator of a user’s overall website experience.

To summarize the effect, a webpage that will load faster will give a user his/her desired content more quickly; this, in turn, satisfies the user’s needs efficiently.

SEO, Google Ranking, and Page Speed

Since 2010, Google has included page speed as a ranking factor. In 2018, Google increased page speed’s rank by announcing that it would be given even more worth in the algorithm than before.

Furthermore, Google also initialized “mobile-first pages.” These were pages that were optimized to rank for mobile sites. Google also launched an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project with the intention to make pages load more efficiently on mobile devices.

With the indication that site speed (a more collective version of page speed) was used to rank pages, Google also introduced page experience as an addition to its ranking signals.

Although this ranking signal was primarily affected by page speed, it was also a combination of other critical metrics like mobile-friendliness and safe browsing. With all of these combined, page experience aims to assess web pages based on the standard of user experience provided to actual people.

Which Page Speed Metric Affects Google Ranking?

Page speed isn’t as straightforward as it seems– there are multiple ways of measuring it.

The three that are used most out of all of these are:

1- Fully Loaded Page:

The time taken to load 100% of the page.

2 – Time to First Byte:

The time taken for the page to start loading its content.

3 – First Meaning Paint:

The time taken to load content enough for the reader to read.

They all have their own pros and cons, and there is no definite way to measure which one is most important. Out of the three, when it comes to page speed, Google is speculated to use the Time to First Byte metric specifically.

Adverse Effects of Slow Page Speed

Page speed is critical when talking about user experience. This can be judged from the fact that slow-speed pages tend to have a lower average of the time spent by users on the particular page and a higher bounce rate.

This is because users generally don’t spend too much time on a loading page or slow site; instead, they seek faster and more efficient websites for their needs.

How to Counter Slow Speed

So, how exactly do you increase the efficiency of your webpage and, in turn, gain an edge over your competition? Well, there are many methods to do so; these include but are not limited to: compressing your images, making your code efficient, or in simpler terms compressing or cleaning it. You can also activate your browser caching or set up a CDN.

These are a few simple methods to do so. Another important step you can take is to upgrade your hosting plan. Yes, opting for cheap hosting can come at the cost of reducing the efficiency of your website.

Furthermore, you can also employ the usage of residential proxies. Residential proxies can bypass the restrictions and filters that are placed by search engines. This directly reduces a website’s load time.

However, a presidential proxies’ usage isn’t only limited to this. They can also: obtain large amounts of data (this data can then be used to experiment and test) and also perform competitive analysis on your competitors, both of which are incredibly vital for a successful SEO endeavor.

Conclusion

Site speed is crucial to keep your website visitors happy and engaged and to positively affect rank sites. Plus, it’s a major deciding factor in the SEO of your website. Using the tips mentioned above, you can improve your site speed, make it more user-friendly, as a result, achieve more traffic.

Featured Image Credit: unsplash.com
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Nancy Cambeel

Digital Marketing Manager at Kabe Farben
Nancy Cambeel is a digital marketing manager at her father's company. She designs, builds, and maintains your social media presence, so she can contribute to marketing effectiveness by identifying short-term and long-range issues that must be addressed!

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