A question I often get asked is "does your website speed lower your rank on Google?"

The short answer is yes! In fact, page speed is one of the most significant ranking factors for websites. Google wants sites to load super, super fast.

A study from Google showed 53% of website visits would likely result in a bounce if a website loads in more than 3 seconds. Every additional 1 second of loading delay causes 11% fewer page views and 7% fewer conversions.

white and blue analog tachometer gauge
Photo by Chris Liverani / Unsplash

Page Speed is a ranking factor for Google

Google recently made the switch to mobile first indexing which crawls websites from a mobile perspective over a desktop perspective. This change while small is significant when you consider internet speeds on the phone are much slower than a desktop connection.

The average load of a website is 6.7 seconds on a desktop but when you compare that to an LTE Mobile connect it could double. Many users would drop off or not convert because the website is slow. Google is trying to fix slow sites with AMP and Facebook is attempting with Instant Articles.

Google understands faster website means users have a better experience online.. This theory means Google is ranking faster websites higher than websites with slower speeds.

There are a few updates on your website you can make to speed your website up:

  • Add a CDN like CloudFlare
  • Compress images so they're not large
  • Activate AMP on your website  
  • Use a Caching plugin (WordPress WP-Rocket is great)

I often test websites on GTMetrix because it provides a detailed waterfall, page speed score, and a y-slow score. It allows you to change the locations and most importantly it's free!