Speed Becomes a Ranking Factor, is Your Site Ready?

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By now we all know that the speed of a website is essential for the user experience, but did you know that all this also affects SEO? Does your site load quickly? If you cannot answer these two easy questions, then we suggest you keep reading. So, as we already know, satisfying the search intent remains a significant factor for Google, the search engine prefers to satisfy the user’s demand even if the site’s performance is not very high. For this reason, never forget that your site should not only satisfy the search engine but above all the user, and you will see that if you work well, Google will reward you.

Content

  • Why is loading speed important?
  • What is really fast?
  • How fast is my website?
  • How to increase the speed of your site?

Why is loading speed important?

The successful search engine optimization has been largely responsible for providing the best possible user experience for several years. If you first think of other nearby topics such as the perfect content, other more formal factors, such as the loading speed of the website, play a very important role in the user experience. Numerous studies and research demonstrate the importance of page speed for the user experience. In one study, Google itself shows that the bounce rate almost doubles when the load time increases from one to five seconds.

What is really fast?

Now the loading time of a web page is quite insignificant when viewed in isolation. Is a 3-second value good or bad? Similar to the visibility index to measure SEO success, classification requires significant comparative values. Fortunately, with Chrome’s user experience report, Google offers a basis for such comparisons.

This user panel of true Chrome users provides performance metrics for numerous websites. They are the basis of the following analyzes.

In conclusion, it can be concluded that a website must be ready to be uploaded to the desktop in not more than a second and on mobile in less than two seconds to belong to 50% of all the best websites.

The page speed as a ranking factor in searches

Google considers page speed to be a ranking factor, especially for mobile searches, and now also PageSpeed makes a useful analysis of this aspect.

Internet users always have a crazy rush. Some studies show how the speed of a page is a key factor in the user experience. For this, Google has inserted the speed of the pages as a ranking factor, especially in mobile searches.

We already knew that page speed was very important for Google, but with the so-called “Speed Update,” released in July, the slower pages were penalized.

However, not all slow pages were penalized because other factors influencing the user experience, such as content quality or usability, were also taken into account. This means that if your page is slow, but your content is excellent, maybe you could even relax a bit. Let’s say at least until the next update!

How to increase the speed of your site?

If by analyzing your site you have realized that the performance is not high you just have one way to go, analyze the data collected and start working to improve the performance of your site. Below you will find some fundamental aspects that will help you improve the performance of your site, adapting it to the introduction of the new ranking factor for the MOBILE SERPs.

Lighter images

Ok, it may seem like a cliche, but there are still too many sites with big photos. All the images uploaded on the sites, if you want to optimize the loading speed, must have reduced dimensions so as not to burden the browser’s rendering of the page. We must find the right compromise between quality and weight of the photo even at the cost of losing a bit in terms of image clarity.

Meta tag

This is certainly a more technical aspect but not to be underestimated. For the user experience, being able to show the page when it is required is really important, the Prerender in this chaste gives you a big hand. This tag is used to tell the browser to preload the indicated resource in such a way that once requested it is ready to be viewed by the user, drastically shortening the waiting time.

HTTP2 protocol

The HTTP2 protocol is the new version of the HTTP protocol, with this version your site can get a significant reduction in the time it takes to load the resources, it’s about 50% less. But be careful, because communication via the HTTP2 protocol can only take place if a TLS certificate has been implemented on the server before, so, first of all, you have to migrate your site to HTTPS.

Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)

As surely you have understood the dear friend Google gives great importance to the speed of a website, so for some time has developed and launched a project that takes the name of AMP – Accelerated Mobile Page. This project aims to speed up the loading of resources from mobile decimating the data used by the pages. Consequently, there will be a speed increase up to 4 times less.

Facebook instant article

On this aspect, we would like to stop a little because it refers only to Facebook and not to Google but a hint we consider it mandatory. The Facebook instant article can be compared to Google’s AMP project; in fact, an instant article increases the loading speed of shared pages on the social network.

Will Google still use the desktop speed index for the desktop index?

Yes, here everything will remain unchanged.

Considering the launch of the mobile-first index, wouldn’t it be possible to take into account only the speed of the mobile site when ranking on desktops?

No, the change concerns only mobile search.

What about sites that get the “Unavailable” result in Page Speed Insights? How do they prepare for innovation?

Site owners need to think about the performance of their resources. To improve the performance of sites they can use any familiar tools. PageSpeed Insights uses data from the Chrome user experience report. For sites that are not included in the report selection, it is recommended to use Lighthouse.

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