How Page Speed Affects SEO

Google introduced website speed as a ranking factor in 2010 to improve user experience. Site speed only affected a small percentage of search queries and mainly impacted slow-loading sites. 

The site speed signal applied to all Google search results and was based on various factors, including the user’s connection, device, and browser. User’s who are using faster fiber broadband connections, like AT&T Fiber plans or Airtel Fiber plans can easily browse the site without any issues because their connection is faster. However, for slower connections, site speed is a major issue. 

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Hence, Google offers various tools, such as PageSpeed Insights and Site Speed reports, to help webmasters optimize their site’s speed. 

Webmasters could use various techniques, such as optimizing images, reducing server response time, and minimizing code, to improve their site’s speed. Faster loading sites not only improved user experience but also benefited webmasters by reducing bounce rates and increasing conversions. 

In this article, I will discuss how page speed affects SEO.

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Let’s begin!

Page Speed and SEO Stats

  1. Mobile page speed is a critical factor in search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience. 
  2. Slow-loading mobile pages can harm a website’s ranking and cause visitors to leave the site. 
  3. Mobile users expect fast-loading pages, with most expecting pages to load within two seconds or less. 
  4. Google’s mobile-first indexing prioritizes mobile-friendly and fast-loading pages in search results. 
  5. Google also offers Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a framework for creating fast-loading mobile pages. 
  6. Webmasters can use responsive design, which adjusts page layout and content based on the user’s device, to improve mobile user experience and SEO. 
  7. Improving mobile page speed not only benefits user experience and SEO but also increases conversions and revenue.
  8. Google’s research shows that mobile users leave sites that take more than three seconds to load. 
  9. A one-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions, while a two-second delay can result in a 40% increase in bounce rates. 
  10. Pages that load in under two seconds have a higher chance of ranking on the first page of Google search results.

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  1. Faster loading pages also improve user engagement, with visitors spending more time on sites that load quickly. 
  2. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) can also help improve page speed by distributing content to servers closer to the user. 
  3. The first step to improve site speed is to identify the factors that slow down a website, such as large images, poor hosting, and bloated code.
  4. A survey by Google found that the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, but 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. 
  5. According to Google, by reducing page load time from 15 seconds to 7 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing decreases 90%. 
  6. Research by Google shows that as page load time goes from 1 second to 5 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 90%.

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Website Speed Test Tools To Upgrade Site Performance

Page Speed Optimization Tools

Here are the top 25 page speed optimization tools: 

  • Google PageSpeed Insights 
  • GTmetrix 
  • WebPageTest 
  • YSlow 
  • DareBoost 
  • Site Speed Bot 
  • Google Analytics 
  • Lighthouse 
  • Varvy Pagespeed Optimization 
  • Google Tag Manager 
  • ImageOptim 
  • Cloudflare 
  • WP Smush 
  • WP Rocket 
  • Autoptimize 
  • Async 
  • JavaScript 
  • W3 Total Cache 
  • WP Fastest Cache 
  • NitroPack 
  • Asset CleanUp 
  • BJ Lazy Load 
  • Lazy Load by WP Rocket 
  • AMP for WP

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Core Web Vitals Scores

Here’s a table listing Core Web Vitals scores and their corresponding rating:

Core Web Vital Good Needs Improvement Poor
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) < 2.5 seconds 2.5 – 4 seconds > 4 seconds
First Input Delay (FID) < 100 milliseconds 100 – 300 milliseconds > 300 milliseconds
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) < 0.1 0.1 – 0.25 > 0.25

Note that these scores and ratings are based on Google’s current recommendations and may change in the future.

Google Guidelines for Page Speed Optimization 

PageSpeed Insights provides a set of rules and guidelines for optimizing web page performance. The rules cover a wide range of optimization techniques, including server response time, page size, and caching. 

Each optimization opportunity is assigned a priority level based on its potential impact on page speed, with higher priority opportunities offering greater potential benefits. 

The rules and recommendations provided by PageSpeed Insights are based on industry best practices and are designed to help web developers create faster and more efficient web pages.

Here are the Google guidelines for site speed improvement:

  • Avoid Landing Page Redirects 
  • Enable Compression 
  • Minimize Render-Blocking Resources 
  • Optimize Images 
  • Prioritize Visible Content 
  • Reduce Server Response Time 
  • Leverage Browser Caching 
  • Minify CSS 
  • Minify JavaScript 
  • Eliminate Render-Blocking JavaScript and CSS in Above-the-Fold Content 
  • Use Asynchronous Scripts 
  • Defer Unused CSS 
  • Efficiently Encode Images 
  • Serve Images in Next-Gen Formats 
  • Serve Static Assets with an Efficient Cache Policy

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