All of the Reasons You Should Care About Page Speed
Optimizing your website for dynamics such as search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience can be frustrating for those who don’t know where to begin. There are so many metrics to consider that if you try to focus on all of them at once, it’s possible to overwhelm yourself in the process.
Generally, focusing on website improvements that assist both user experience and potential SEO outcomes are highly recommended. Often, the concept of page speed is mentioned in this regard. But why exactly does page speed matter?
Let’s break down the reasons why you absolutely should care about page speed.
Users Demand Quick Pages
In an age where people are used to getting what they want, it is hard to make them wait for information, entertainment or commerce solutions. When competing with other entities – whether it be through paid marketing efforts on social media, through SEO or even just convincing people to engage with emails you send – speed can often make a huge difference.
Given that a majority of casual web traffic now originates from mobile devices, user experience and page speed are very crucial. Ultimately, many people using mobile browsers and devices have slower internet connections. This means that pages without relevant optimizations can take far longer to load; many would just as soon leave and look elsewhere than wait for a slow page to load.
This is why you need to be sure that when pinging links to your website, your pages are quick to respond (regardless of browser or device).
Search Engines Value Page Speed
As if the court of public opinion wasn’t enough to convince you that page speed matters, keep in mind that search engines can be equally harsh in terms of judgment. While page speed isn’t the most important ranking factor for search engines like Google, there is a clear correlation between page speed and rankings within a given SERP.
Some of this may be due strictly to technical assessments (i.e. how long a search engine finds it takes to load a given page), while some may be due to user behavior. If lots of users are clicking your links via search but quickly leaving, then that can send negative indicators to search engines that your page is not a desirable option within said niche.
First Impressions Matter
In terms of structural, long-term problems for your website, brand or blog, keep in mind that one bad experience with a user can completely taint their opinion of your website forever.
A slow page that results in a user abandoning their quest with your brand before it begins can result in them remembering the issue; if they see your brand in later search results, they may consciously or subconsciously choose a competitor instead.
For this reason, make sure you are pinging links to search engines, social media and everywhere else that load quickly: you only get to make one first impression!
You don’t like to wait: neither does your audience. Be sure to optimize your pages and website for speed in order to avoid any negative consequences that users or search engines might foist upon your brand.