Site Speed and SEO.

Published by Sarah Warren

Website performance is crucial for SEO.

Website performance / speed refers to how fast your website operates.  Site speed is a crucial SEO strategy. Without ensuring that your website loads quickly for visitors, your site will likely lose conversions and revenue. Ideally, you’ll want your website to load within three seconds, or two seconds if it’s an ecommerce site.

The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket – in fact, 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.

You can think of site speed as a sliding scale, where the faster sites reap the most benefits, and every second makes a difference. For example, pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in five seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%.

Website performance metrics are going through a slight state of transition currently with the migration to the GA4 platform – you will no longer get an automatic bounce rate statistic – OnBrand can help you maintain like-for-like statistics or assist you in setting new KPIs to measure time on page, dwell time, interaction and engagement rates.

The difference between page speed and site speed.

Page speed and site speed both relate to how quickly the content on your website loads, but there is a technical difference between the two terms.

Page speed refers to how quickly the content on a specific page loads. It may be defined as either:

  • Page load time: How long it takes to fully display a page’s content. The average page load time is 10.3 seconds.
  • Time to first byte: How long it takes a browser to receive the first byte of information from your server

Site speed is a measurement of how quickly your whole website loads. It’s calculated by taking the average page speed for a sample of page views on your site.

Website speed is a more general term used to describe how quickly your site loads and may also be used as a synonym for site speed.

Page speed, site speed, and website speed are closely related terms, and they all impact your site’s user experience and rankings.


Why are website speed optimisation services important to website success?

Simple! It’s not only what your site visitors want — it’s what Google wants. There’s a connection between page speed and SEO, and it’s exactly why your pages need to load quickly.

Google’s main job is to provide users with search results that best fit their queries. Not only do search engines serve pages with content that best fits the user’s query, they also want to display websites that provide a great user experience. And you guessed it — page speed is part of a great user experience. Other user experience factors include things like readability and ease of navigation.

Pages that load quickly appeal to site visitors to decrease bounce rate — another indicator to Google whether or not your site is a good one. When your site loads slowly, (takes longer than 3 seconds to fully load), users will become frustrated and bounce from your website to find one that provides the information they need more quickly.

If users consistently bounce from your site, Google will start to notice, and you will see a drop in search engine rankings.

That’s because Google sees a correlation between high bounce rate and a bad user experience, so they subsequently drop you in the rankings.

If users don’t stay on your website long enough to read your content, Google concludes that it must not be a very good website.

Little do they (or your site visitors) know that you could have one of the best websites with the best content out there, but your slow load time kept them from experiencing your website.

This makes page speed even more crucial. Website speed can keep users from entering your site in the first place, which means they won’t learn about your business, see your products and services, or read your informative, beneficial information. Most of all, they won’t convert.


Why consider ongoing site speed optimisation?

Here at OnBrand we know that websites and technology are constantly evolving, new technologies enable better optimisation and we’re constantly on the lookout for the best ways to help our clients rank.

As Google and other search engines continue to evolve, it’s crucial to your website’s success that site speed optimisation is prioritised on an ongoing basis. In addition, site evolution — including plugin and CMS updates, require you to keep up with page speed audits.

Search engines adhere to a strict policy, you are ranked not only on how well your content reads to your audience, but how your website performs. A few examples are; First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) & Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).

FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page, (i.e. when they click a link, tap on a button, or use a custom, JavaScript-powered control) to the time when the browser is actually able to begin processing event handlers in response to that interaction. CLS is a measure of the largest burst of layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of a page. The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric reports the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport, relative to when the page first started loading.

OnBrand have a team of SEO & Development experts that work closely together to monitor the latest standards and ensure you don’t get left behind.

Site speed optimisation is a technical service that requires dedicated time from expert developers to uncover hidden issues in code that may be slowing down your site.

You’ll likely see larger gains upfront and incremental gains over time, but small, incremental gains will keep your site’s page speed in check.


Benefits of site speed optimisation.

There are a few main benefits that come to mind when thinking about site speed optimisation:

Improved Google rankings.

Google considers page speed as a ranking factor, so it’s important that you keep your site optimized. When your site loads quickly for users, you’ll have a better chance at ranking higher in search since you provide users with a great experience.

Users will spend more time on your site.

Since fast-loading pages provide users with the instant gratification that they desire, they’ll stay on your site longer if your pages load quickly. This also goes hand-in-hand with the next benefit.

Users won’t bounce to competitor sites.

One of the top reasons users bounce to a competitor’s site is because the site wouldn’t load. If your site loads quickly and users can find the info they’re looking for, there’s no reason for them to bounce to a competitor’s website.

Increased leads, conversions, and revenue over time.

With higher rankings due to a fast load time, more site visitors staying on your site, and more – you’ll see an increase in leads, conversions, and revenue over time when you keep up with your website speed optimisation.

How can OnBrand help you with your website optimisation?

Here at OnBrand, we pride ourselves on providing top quality digital products that work well. The websites we design and build are optimised to the fullest, ensuring that SEO is able to work to its full potential. Our optimisation services ensure the highest level of speed, server-side caching, image optimisation, content delivery and more.  Click to find out more about our SEO services.

Sarah Warren

Digital Account Director