In today’s online world, user experience is a hugely significant element. Get this wrong and your marketing efforts will fall flat.

One key area of user experience is that of page loading speed. Slow to load web pages lead to higher bounce rates, a decreased interaction and ultimately lower search engine rankings.

In this post we will take a look at the impact of page speed on SEO. Exploring the importance of quick to load pages, along with actionable insights for optimising. Following these instructions will help to deliver a faster user experience, as well as enhancing search visibility.

The Impact Of Page Speed On SEO - From Spark Digital

Outlining Page Speed And Its Significance

Internet speeds have increased significantly in recent times. However peoples appetite for tolerating slow loading websites has decreased.

When it comes to how fast a web page loads, we use the term page speed. Depending on the device that is being used this can affect the time it takes to provide the visitor with the information that they are seeking.

Remember, at the heart of all searches is the quest for information. The user wants to find out something. And they don’t want to be kept waiting.

Also at the heart of page speed is the search engines. They also want to make sure that the information that they deliver is of maximum use. These search engines gather large amounts of data, assessing the visitors’ experience along the way.

Elements such as bounce rate and average time on page (dwell time) tend to be significant in understanding whether (or indeed not) the page is of use. If they see a correlation of high bounce and low dwell time they are likely to reach the conclusion that this page isn’t useful. When this happens they start the process of downgrading it in the search results. 

Overtime the page gradually disappears from view and any chance of conversions are ultimately lost.

Page Speed and Core Web Vitals

Google being Google is constantly adapting and evolving. As such they have introduced what is referred to as Core Web Vitals to further help website owners understand page loading times.

Since May 2021, mobile results have been affected by Core Web Vitals, with desktop results being influenced since Feb 2022.

This data set looks at a number of elements including:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

To be fairy, it’s probably best to leave it to  Google to explain the finer details of how it’s measured – https://web.dev/vitals/

In the meantime, here is a snippet taken from that page which will give you a firm outline “Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.”

Given that Google has a firm hand on rankings, it’s probably sensible to fall in line with their view on delivering the best user experience.


Analysing Your Website's Current Page Speed

We’ve already covered that Google https://pagespeed.web.dev/ has a tool to help you to check the loading speed of your site. There are also other sites that perform speed audits as well, the most popular ones are:

Each of these provide variations of the information that you can review in your quest for faster loading websites.

For the purposes of this post we are going to use the Google tool to review the loading speed of this site. 

So just copy / paste the full URL into the tool and let it run.


Example Of Page Speed Analysis

Mobile Page Loading Report
Google Page Speed Insights - Mobile Report - Spark Digital
Desktop Page Loading Report
Google Page Speed Insights - Desktop Report - Spark Digital

We used this posts live URL to check to see how Google interpreted the information on this page

Factors That Will Affect Page Speed

As you might expect, there are quite a few technical elements that can affect the loading speed of any given page. These include:

  • Server response time
  • Image compression
  • HTML & CSS Structure
  • Minification & Script Compression
  • Cache Policy
  • Lightweight Theme & Plugins

Each of these play an important role in determining just how fast your pages load. 

We will cover these elements in greater detail in and upcoming blog series. Be sure to check back in!


The Wrap Up - Impact Of Page Speed On SEO

Hopefully you will now have a greater understanding of the relevancy of page speed for SEO. It all comes down to delivering the very best of user experiences. With signals coming from search engines in the way that visitors interact with your pages.

Local SEO can be harnessed to deliver significant profits, but only when it is carried out properly, in keeping with the best practices laid down by the likes of Google.

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