Page Load Speed Is A Google Ranking Factor

Get The Best Possible Page Load Speed


What Is Page Load Speed?

Page load speed can help your website get higher rankings.

All web pages have a Page Load Speed, whether they are ever tested or not. Testing, however, shows us exactly how fast a page loads and most online tests give us plenty of information on how to improve the Page Load Speed for each page. Page Load Speed is now a ranking factor for the Google Search Engine both for mobile and desktop searches. Google has stated that they feel Page Load Speed directly impacts user experience and the Google search bots now test for Page Load Speed for every web page.

Does My Site Need A Page Load Speed Test?

We recommend a Page Load Speed Test for all web sites, especially the home page. If you feel like this technical analysis is not something you want to do, then contact Vancouver WA SEO. Arrange a time for us to to discuss your online marketing and web site concerns – Schedule a Complimentary Consultation so we can determine what services you require.

More About Page Load Speed

One of the most trusted authorities on testing and verifying the importance of Google ranking factors is Moz. Here is information from Moz that was published just as Google announced that Page Load Speed as a ranking factor.

About Page Load Speed from Moz:

Page Speed

Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads.

What is Page Speed?

Page speed is often confused with “site speed,” which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either “page load time” (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or “time to first byte” (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).

You can evaluate your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. PageSpeed Insights Speed Score incorporates data from CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report) and reports on two important speed metrics: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOMContentLoaded (DCL).

SEO Best Practices

Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.

Reference: Learn About Page Speed

How Do You Test For Page Load Speed?

There are several free online sites where you can test a web page for Page Load Speed. We use Web Page Test Org because it tests individual areas within the page load to give us very thorough and accurate data. Overall, the Web Page Test is the most technical and also the most comprehensive. We test every web site we develop and for every online marketing campaign client site.

What Does A Test Look Like?

Here is a test we completed for a web home page that we did NOT design and develop. The test shows that this web page has a very slow Page Load Speed.

This test shows a slow page load time.

The test for this home page indicates that the time for Page Load Speed is over 14 seconds. Google has stated, and it has been verified by testing, that 57% site visitors will abandon a web page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This is especially true for mobile users. This web page needs major editing before it will comply with Google Page Load Speed requirements.

Here is an example of another home page that loads very fast and meets all Google requirements for Page Load Speed.

Our client page with fast Page Load Speed


Why Is The Page Load Speed So Different In The Two Examples?

There are several reasons why Page 1, developed by Company X, has a slower Page Load Speed than Page 2, which was designed and developed here at Vancouver WA SEO. Here are primary differences.

  • Page 1 (the slow page) was designed and developed using a proprietary visual development tool. Page 2 was designed and developed using HTML5.
  • Page 1 was not tested for Page Load Speed prior to being implemented by the client. Page 2 was tested prior to going live on the web – and we made corrections where necessary.
  • Page 1 uses very very large images, some of which are not located on the client site. Page 2 uses images that were properly optimized before the site was finalized.

What To Do Next?

Start with a Page Load Speed Test for your website home page. If you feel like this technical analysis is not something you want to do, then contact Vancouver WA SEO. Arrange a time for us to to discuss your online marketing and web site concerns – Schedule a Complimentary Consultation.

Got Questions?

Here are just some of the questions, with answers, that we receive about Page Load Speed.

Q: My website developer says the WordPress theme makes the web pages load slowly. What should I do about this?
A: There are times when a WordPress theme is so slow that we replace the theme, then adjust for any Page Load Speed issues. For other WordPress sites, we can recode and make adjustments to improve page load time.

Q: What type of web page loads faster, an HTML5 static page or a WordPress page?
A: Overall, HTML5 pages load faster than WordPress pages. HTML5 web pages are considered “static” meaning the web page is fully coded and all code is implemented for the web page when it is loaded into a browser. HTML5 websites typically use a “template” so we can create pages without recreating a lot of code. WordPress themes usually contain a lot of unused code because they are designed to be used for many types of website development, which is why WordPress is considered “dynamic”. All web pages, whether developed using HTML5 template or WordPress theme will require speed adjustments before being implemented as a finished website.

Q: Can you explain what it means to “optimize” an image?
A: Images that contain a lot of colors often require compression to reduce the size of the image, without reducing clarity or image size. We routinely optimize web images to keep web page speed as fast as possible.

More on images: Images should be sized so they fit the “container” where they are located on the web page. For example, if you want to use an image in a space that is 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels high, use an image that is sized at 200 pixels by 200 pixels. If you use a very large image, in this example, 900 pixels by 900 pixels, the image must be resized in the browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE) and this takes time. Using large images that are not sized properly can slow down web page load time considerably.

Q: What is the best WordPress theme for fast web page load speed?
A: No WordPress theme is particularly fast without some editing. When we use WordPress for a website, we use the Divi or Avada theme. Because we have so much experience with these WordPress themes, we have the experience and skill to make page load improvements before we finalize the web site for our client.

Q: Do I need a Content Management System (CMS) for my web site? Will pages load faster?
A: The answer to those questions is “No” and “No.” CMS systems are designed for web page management and organization. WordPress is considered a Content Management System (CMS) because the web pages can all be created and edited within the WordPress administration editor. Content Management Systems do not improve web page speed. CMS systems are best utilized for large websites with hundreds of thousands of pages. WordPress is a popular CMS because it is easy to use and people with no technical skills can create a website.