Nearly a year has passed since Google said yes, website speed matters. Speed started being a factor in how a mobile website ranks at Google in July of 2018. Desktop websites had been including speed as part of the whole SEO for quite a while before that. The reason behind the need for speed hoopla is user experience.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that people want answers to their questions as soon as possible. Studies performed on anonymous data collected by Google in 20016 shows just how impatient people are, especially on mobile. The study showed that over half of mobile website visitors will leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. A quote from this study lends light to the subject.
Our data shows that while more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile,3 mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop.4 In short, speed equals revenue.
Better User Experience Equals More Money
It would be easy to point out that Google’s “Need for Speed” is not an altruistic act. When website visitors are happy revenue goes up. Whether that revenue is generated by websites displaying Google ads or simply a better choice for a search engine user, it is a benefit for Google over competition like Bing.
Google does deserve credit on wanting to speed up the Internet and making the web a more enjoyable place. Even though there is revenue attached to the reason it is not the only reason. User experience is important and does benefit everyone website owners and visitors alike.
How Does Your Website Measure Up Speed Wise
The first thing to find out is how fast is your website? There are a number of free website speed test sites available for free. We recommend using
Both of these test engines will evaluate the website speed and display suggestions on how to improve. Google insights give two scores. One score is for mobile and the other score is for desktop display. GT Metrix also displays two scores. The first score is based on GT Metrix and the second uses the YSlow engine.
Don’t Miss the Forrest for the Trees
Website speed is just a factor in the overall SEO scheme. Google themselves have admitted that only the slowest of the slow will be largely affected by web speed and that slow page loading speed will not necessarily mean a website will be penalized. What should be the take away here is that while faster web speed is a very good thing it is not the main thing.
Do not spend so much time and effort making sure that a website is super fast that little or no attention is given to content quality and usability. SEO is made up of a lot of different single factors. It is the big picture that these unique factors contribute to that makes the real difference.
Include These SEO Methods With Website Speed
Making sure to focus on the entire SEO picture is how websites achieve better search result placement. In order to focus on the entire picture it helps to know what that picture is. Below is a basic checklist of SEO factors that should be considered.
- Use website development best practices
- Research keywords to create properly worded content
- Make use of inbound and outbound linking strategies
- Connect with search engines
- Include Social Media practices
This basic list covers a sound SEO strategy. These are general categories that contain multiple steps to create an SEO friendly environment. Using honest and natural practices go a long way to making Google and Bing happy.
Use Website Development Best Practices
Using modern website development best practices address several different issues. Web page speed, helping search engines know what the main topic of a web page is and providing good user experience are all part of using best practices when developing a website. Using a content management system like WordPress with a good website builder like Divi by Elegant Themes combined with key plugins. This will make website development faster and following best practices easier.
Some key WordPress plugins Support For Web recommends
- Defender Pro or WordFence (Security)
- SmartCrawl or Yoast (SEO)
- Forminator Pro(Web Form +)
- Hummingbird Pro or WP Rocket (Cache and Web Page Speed)
- SmushPro (Image Optimization & Lazy Loading)
- CleanTalk (Anti-Spam)
WordPress plugins do a lot of the work when it comes to keeping your website safe, providing a good user experience, and addressing important SEO practices.
Research Keywords to Create Properly Worded Content
There are keyword and search targetting tools available for free on the Internet. Knowing what keywords and phrases are used makes it possible to target words and phrases that will return the best response. Using these popular words and phrases properly in a web page and article content create the proper SEO environment for good search engine placement.
These are two of the online tools used at Support For Web’s Web Marketing and Organic Traffic services. Using these services help generate topic ideas and to target keywords and phrases that are being used in search engines.
Make Use of Inbound and Outbound Linking strategies
When creating content for web pages and articles it is helpful to use outbound linking to websites that offer more information or verification for your content. This gives content more authority in the eyes of both visitors and search engines. Linking to internal web pages and articles in an organic way increases the effectiveness of SEO.
Connect With Search Engines
Website content is usually crawled by search engines. In a lot of cases this process happens automatically. It is a best practice to let search engines know that a website should be reviewed for search engine listing. The best way to make sure this happens in a more timely manner is to connect to Google’s Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster Tools. Using these free services will let Google and Bing know that a website needs crawled. Attaching a sitemap to these services ensure that the search engines will explore and index a website more quickly and thoroughly.
Include Social Media Practices
Including social media into a website’s SEO is an important thing today. There is no need to be Social Media God but linking web page content to Social Media pages and profiles will improve website authority, expose the website to more people, increase search engine listing response and more. Adding social sharing links to content allow people to show content that they like to their family and friends increasing the odds of more high-quality web traffic.
So All In All Website Speed Matters Along With Other SEO
So like we started here, yes Google does think website speed matters enough to be a factor. When combined with other basic SEO practices a dependable base SEO platform helps to ensure that a website will be listed more prominently in search engines and develop a better web authority. These combined factors contribute to more organic web traffic with a better visitor response.