Nobody likes a slow website. They frustrate and annoy customers, leading to abandoned shopping carts, drops in traffic and ultimately lost revenue.
Fifty-three percent of mobile users want to see a website load within three seconds or they will navigate away from it. Sites that can load within five seconds see a 70% uptick in average session times on their pages.
It’s clear that people want the websites they visit to load quickly and efficiently, which is bad news for slow websites. Even worse, in addition to potentially losing visitors, slow websites also take an SEO hit.
Let’s take a look at how this happens and what you can do to avoid it.
Google PenaltiesGoogle recently rolled out its Speed Update for mobile searches, which penalizes local websites that perform poorly for loading time for mobile searchers. So, now in addition to penalizing slow desktop sites, page speed is a factor in mobile searches, as well.
To evaluate website speeds, Google uses these tools:
Chrome User Experience Report
Page Speed Insights
A site that loads too slowly, and thus negatively affects user experience, will now see their rankings drop in Google.
Page SpeedPage speed plays a big role in Google ranking. It is the time it takes for a given page on a website to completely load the page’s content. It is measured either by “page load time,” which is the amount of time for the page to fully load, or “time to first byte,” which is the amount of time it takes your web server to deliver the first byte of information to a visitor’s web browser.
Some factors that can lead to slow page speed are:
Any one of these or a combination of a few or all of them will slow down a website.
Return to SERPAlthough Google has denied using bounce rate to help determine ranking, one metric that it does likely use that is similar to Bounce Rate is a Return to SERP, which is when someone clicks on a link from a search engine results page (SERP) and then within a few seconds hits the back button to return to the SERP. If people do this consistently, it tells Google that the site doesn’t have the information people are looking for.
If you have a slow-loading site, people might be clicking back to the SERP before they can actually see the information they’re looking for. This will -- correctly or incorrectly -- tell Google that your site, or at least that particular page, has nothing of interest for people and it will drop your site in the rankings.
What You Can Do to Increase Page SpeedFirst and foremost, use the aforementioned Page Speeds Insights tool to check how well your website does for speed. If you see that it is running slowly, try the following:
Keep in mind that a slow website can happen to anyone. Even the mighty Amazon can slow down on Prime Day, which brings us to our final point. Too much traffic can be just as devastating for a site as too little traffic, maybe even moreso. An influx of visitors for any given reason can bog down a website and make it run slowly.
That’s where Predikat can help. Our artificial intelligence monitors a site, learns the traffic patterns and then helps you make sure your site is always ready for traffic increases. Contact us today to see how we can help you be prepared for traffic spikes and avoid a slow website.