Why is Optimizing Website Speed Essential for SEO in 2024?

For those who do not know, SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’, and it is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of site traffic and optimize website speed for the exposure to your brand.

SEO is the most viable and cost-effective way to both understand, and reach customers, in the key moments that matter.

Many businesses are trying to replicate their in-person sales experience online.

Even, many businesses have started to use augmented reality to offer and try before you buy experience on their websites.

Working on your website and ensuring the best possible experience for the customer is a difficult process.

One of the most important aspects, is that a website should be optimised in a way that will make it visible in search engines.

SEO can achieve this, and will certainly improve a website’s overall searchability and visibility, but what other real value does it offer?

  1. Organic search is most often the primary source of website traffic
  2. SEO builds trust and credibility
  3. SEO is the best way to understand the voice of the consumer
  4. Good SEO also means a better user experience
  5. Local SEO means increased engagement, traffic and conversions
  6. SEO impacts the buying cycle

Despite all of this, there’s no point investing into a website and making it look great if it can hardly be used due to slow loading time.

Your website could look amazing, but this will not matter if it takes forever to load and your audience do not get to see it, they will simply lose interest. Page speed is a crucial element of web design.

But, what does this entail?

As a business, you need to have authentic and engaging content, as well as a strong social media presence. Most importantly, you have to have a website that is functional, fast, and secure.

A faster website is essential if you want to provide a positive user experience, and you will also increase traffic to your site. Secondly, a faster website boosts your chances of receiving a better SEO ranking, which will enable potential clients to find your website more easily. 

Why is Website Speed Important to SEO?

In simple words, a faster website will provide a better user experience, which will then lead to a high rate of traffic and conversions, which will all contribute to improved SEO and ranking. If you want to achieve this then disclosed in this article are some steps to take.

  • Google Considers Speed to be a Ranking Factor

In order to improve user experience, Google has decided to include page speed as an SEO ranking analysis, since 2010. Google announced in 2020, that there would be three new user experience metrics, known as ‘Core Web Vitals’, that would be included as a ranking factor as part of the Google Page Experience.

Google have bots that perform tests on a website based on these metrics, in order to determine and optimize website speed.

  • Speed Impacts Your Bounce Rate

Having a slow site speed is known to impact on bounce rates. A page that takes 7 seconds to load is likely to have a bounce rate of around 32.3%. Whereas, a page that only takes 2 seconds to load, has a bounce rate of only 9.61%. This clear correlation is why businesses need fast websites to remain competitive.

  • Speed Affects Your Conversion Rates

Think about it, how many times have you left a webpage because it was taking too long to load? According to studies, the first five seconds of loading have the biggest impact on conversion rates, and each additional second reduces conversation rates by about 4.42%.

If you do not consider your site speed when you set up an online project, you may see your success rate significantly impacted.

  • Improve overall SEO

Largest contentful paint (LCP), which measure webpage load performance, is a metric that search engines such as Google use so they can determine load time, to ensure that web users have the best experience.

If you have a faster load time, Google will detect this and will award you with a better search ranking.

  • Get data-driven performance reporting and insights

Improving web performance also means collecting insights on site visitors behaviour for a specific website.

Businesses can look at usage patterns and see which of their images need to be transformed into a smaller resolution and how much bandwidth search engine crawlers need.

This data provides brands with valuable insight that they need to make the best media delivery and performance options.

  • Automate desired content optimisations

Getting the best delivery results on an image-by-image and user-by-user basis will be time consuming and challenging.

AI software and capabilities such as automated cropping of images, face detection and proper sizing make it easier to adapt and optimise imagines for all devices and browsers.

By automating this process, developers can deliver the optimal image in any resolution or pixel density, leading to fast page loads, better site engagement and higher conversion rates.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

When it comes to creating a website for your business, an important expense is web hosting.

If you are creating multiple websites, then you need to ensure that the hosting provider offers the right tools for you.

Here are a few reasons why web hosting is so important.

  • Web Hosting Speed

As you already know, users hate waiting and Google does not appreciate you making users wait either. To put things into context, 40% of visitors leave a website if it does not load in time, in as little as 3 seconds.

Therefore, if you would like to improve your website SEO rankings, then the one thing you cannot avoid, is having a fast website.

To achieve this, make sure you hosting provider is scoring high on server speed.

  • Web Hosting Security

If a website is not safe and well-maintained, then it will be at risk of getting hacked. If this happens, then Google will start to view your website as untrustworthy and lower it in the SEO ranks.

A great hosting provider will ensure that everything on your website runs smoothly. Make sure that you have a hosting provider that has impeccable server-side protection, otherwise you will be at a competitive disadvantage.

  • Website Management

If you would like to offer the best digital experience to your website users, then having a reliable hosting provider, with a user-friendly website management system, is essential.

It keeps your website up-to-date, and will include powerful features designed to simplify the complications of running multiple websites.

How To Optimize Website Speed

Here is a list of the best methods to improve your website performance.

  • Choose a Fast and reliable Web Hosting Provider

As mentioned above, if you secure a reliable hosting provider, then your brand will be able to enjoy high-quality services.

This includes, better performance and security, and easy ways to manage multiple websites without having to install hundreds of plugins.

  • Optimise Media

Good media optimisation practices involve compressing images without having to sacrifice the quality.

You should be serving images in next-generation formats such as WebP.

  • Enable Compression

You should use file compression applications such a Gzip and Brotli to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files.

This means that the browser will be able to load your files faster, increasing your website speed, and improving your SEO score.

  • Enable Full-page Caching

Full page catching refers to the pages of your website being saved as HTML files on the server from the first time that they are loaded.

The whole page content will be shown on the first visit to your site, and all the others will obtain that page output directly from the servers memory, which will make your site substantially faster, and as a result, improve your SEO score.

  • Optimize Website Speed with Front-end

Improve loading time by reducing the actual size of your website page. You can do this by using various front-end optimisations such as shrinking CSS and JS files, optimising fonts and more.

  • Use a CDN

A CDN refers to a content delivery network, and it can reduce the time it takes for your visitors to load.

The CDN will work by caching your content across a global network of servers, so that it then loads from the closest one to the site visitor, improving their speed experience.

Some of these steps are complicated and quite technical, although, they are not impossible.

Understandable, as a business owner you may not have the time to learn all the skills it requires to manage and maintain your site and optimize website speed.

Hiring a graphic designer may be a better solution to do the task for you.

Regardless, I hope this article has proved useful to you and your business.

Subhash Kashyap

Subhash Kashyap

Hi, I'm Subhash Kashyap, an SEO marketing Consultant. Here with my personal website, I used to share insights, strategies and how to guides to help business owners and other marketers like me.
Subhash Kashyap SEO Blogger
I’m Subhash, an SEO consultant with more than ten years of content marketing experience. I’ve helped businesses across the world grow their online presence and am looking forward to doing so for you!

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