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how site speed impacts seo

How Site Speed Impacts SEO?

Site speed is an important factor when it comes to SEO. Especially since Google is pushing for the website to improve its Core Web Vitals which is expected in 2021 every site has to focus on improving the site speed. There are many reasons a site can be slow. Things like the large image size, bad caching, JavaScript, Hosting, unoptimized plugins and theme can cause the site to load slowly. Page speed is a direct ranking factor, a fact known even better since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update. However, speed can also affect rankings indirectly, by increasing the bounce rate and reducing dwell time.

What are Core Web Vitals?

These are real-world metrics that Google is looking at, that answer things like: How fast does the website load? How fast is it interactive? How quickly can the user access and interact with the site. Now Google is trying to also consider user experience when it comes to a website and not just the content on the page. Also ever since google implemented Mobile-First indexing having a fast site that also loads quickly on mobile has been really important. Studies by Google show that average 3G loading speed is very slow. They also show that users leave the site after about 3 seconds. This means that their experience is bad and Google doesn’t like ranking sites which provide a bad user experience.

To check your site speed you can read the blog post below:

How to Check Your Website Speed?

Three signals for Core Web Vitals

So I want to jump briefly into the specifics of Core Web Vitals, what they’re measuring. I think people get a little hung up on these because they’re very technical. Their eyes kind of glaze over when you talk about them. So my advice would be let’s not get hung up on the actual specifics. But I think it is important to understand, in layman’s terms, exactly what’s being measured.

More importantly, we want to talk about how to measure, identify problems, and fix these things if they happen to be wrong. So very briefly, there are three signals that go into Core Web Vitals.

Largest contentful paint (LCP)

The first being largest contentful paint (LCP). This basically asks, in layman’s terms, how fast does the page load? Very easy concept. So this is hugely influenced by the render time, the largest image, video, text in the viewport.

That’s what Google is looking at. The largest thing in the viewport, whether it be a desktop page or a mobile page, the largest piece of content, whether it be an image, video or text, how fast does that take to load? Very simple. That can be influenced by your server time, your CSS, JavaScript, client-side rendering.

All of these can play a part. So how fast does it load?

Cumulative layout shift (CLS)

The second thing, cumulative layout shift (CLS). Google is asking with this question, how fast is the page stable? Now I’m sure we’ve all had an experience where we’ve loaded a page on our mobile phone, we go to click a button, and at the last second it shifts and we hit something else or something in the page layout has an unexpected layout shift.

That’s poor user experience. So that’s what Google is measuring with cumulative layout shift. How fast is everything stable? The number one reason that things aren’t stable is that image sizes often aren’t defined. So if you have an image and it’s 400 pixels wide and tall, those need to be defined in the HTML. There are other reasons as well, such as animations and things like that.

But that’s what they’re measuring, cumulative layout shift.

First input delay (FID)

Third thing within these Core Web Vitals metrics is first input delay (FID). So this question is basically asking, how fast is the page interactive? To put it another way, when a user clicks on something, a button or a JavaScript event, how fast can the browser start to process that and produce a result?

It’s not a good experience when you click on something and nothing happens or it’s very slow. So that’s what that’s measuring. That can depend on your JavaScript, third-party code, and there are different ways to dig in and fix those. So these three all together are Core Web Vitals and play into the page experience signals. So like I said, let’s not get hung up on these.

How does Site speed impacts SEO?

Recently we focused on improving the speed of a site which had more than 80% bounce rate as users were not staying on the page. The reason: Slow Site Speed. The site simply wasn’t loading quick enough causing the users to leave the site completely. After optimizing the speed we saw instant progress as our sites bounce rate reduced and improve by 100%. This shows how site speed can impact user experience as well.

Bounce Rate

The improved site speed also improved the page views as our page view increase by 31% compared to the previous month. The faster site speed meant the users also viewed more pages on the site which we can see with the pages/session improving instantly.

Gtmetrix is an industry-standard tool used to check the site speed and after our optimization the result was amazing.

Before:

After:

Ways to Improve your page speed

Preconnect, prefetch, preload

Preconnect, prefetch, and preload really interesting and important in speeding up a site. We see Google doing this on their SERPs. If you inspect an element, you can see Google prefetching some of the URLs so that it has it faster for you if you were to click on some of those results. You can similarly do this on your site. It helps to load and speed up that process.

Enable caching & use a content delivery network (CDN)

Caching is so, so important. Definitely do your research and make sure that’s set up properly. Same with CDNs, so valuable in speeding up a site, but you want to make sure that your CDN is set up properly.

Compress images

The easiest and probably quickest way for you to speed up your site today is really just to compress those images. It’s such an easy thing to do. There are all sorts of free tools available for you to compress them.

Minify resources

Minification is a process of making a file smaller by removing unnecessary information from it. Minifying these resources makes sure the code is stripped of unwanted whitespace and reduces the number of executions it has to make.

We at Nevolution Tech can help you improve your site speed and get your SEO to the next level with our experts.

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