One of the many ranking factors that Google has identified is the speed in which a site is able to load. Back in 2010, Matt Cutts, one of the lead software engineers in Google, confirmed that site speed would be something that the Google search engine will be looking at when serving search results to its users. It wasn’t going to be a huge impact since other ranking factors like relevance and topicality still had more weight, but site speed would definitely improve the quality with which users browsed through the Net.
Admittedly, this did cause some amount of commotion back then, prompting site owners to scramble in revamping their sites to make it faster for fear of getting penalized. Fortunately, Google also confirmed that this had a relatively small impact in the search engine rankings, so there was no need to panic. While there were no concrete examples of which exact site elements had a direct impact on search rankings, the ultimate goal here was to improve site quality and give everyone a better user friendly browsing experience.
So what other benefits are there when it comes to improving your site’s loading times? Here are just a few advantages that come with a faster website.
Optimizing Your Website the Right Way
Faster site speeds don’t necessarily involve a lot of complicated processes. Simple site improvements like cutting down on the number of ads, widgets and plugins is something that can be easily implemented. Likewise, if you use a lot of high resolution images on the site, you might want to consider using lower resolution ones that still look good despite the lower pixel count. These kinds of changes can be identified with a quick site audit and can reap other benefits that can improve your site’s SEO. Instead of wasting your time on stuffing your meta tags with keywords, you can really focus on fixing and enhancing the more important elements of your website that matter.
Enhancing User Experience as a Whole
In general, a fast website streamlines the browsing process and gives your users a better overall experience when viewing your site. Slow loading times have been shown as one of the factors that increase the user bounce rate of websites. Websites that are slow can cause people to become impatient when waiting for a page to load entirely. This destroys the overall user experience and doesn’t give them enough incentive to stick around. Fast websites on the other hand can serve information that their users are looking for more quickly and accurately.
Better Conversion Rates
A good user experience can encourage people to convert more easily. This may sound like something unbelievable, but consider this: would you bother buying something off an e-commerce site if it took you in exorable amount of time just to go from your shopping to the checkout page? Site performance and design does play a role in improving your conversion rate. Big sites like Amazon have constantly evolved over the years to provide a better shopping experience for its customers and you should consider doing the same.
Whether you decide to clean up your site or move to another host altogether, there’s no doubt that this is a ranking factor that should be taken into consideration. Site speed can improve the way users view your site and give them a much better browsing experience.