Google has been quite clear with webmasters over the last few years: Site speed is important and is a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile devices. Google does this for a good reason. Site speed improves a website visitor’s overall experience.
Google’s research backs up this premise. In February of 2017, Google published their research on bounce rate performance for mobile web pages when site page load times increase. This is what they found:
- 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 32%
- 1 to 5 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 90%
- 1 to 6 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 106%
- 1 to 10 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 123%
Although it is not often that I see page load times go beyond 5 seconds, I do see a lot of them go beyond 3 seconds. This is often due to webpage design and the extensive use of high res images that are very popular these days.
So where can you find some good information about how your site speed is performing? Google Search Console and Google Analytics can be great resources. First you need to make sure your Google Console account is connected to Google Analytics. Once this has been done, Google Analytics provides you with some nifty reports. The “Site Speed Suggestions” report is a good report to reference. See below.
“PageSpeed Score” is an indication of where the greatest opportunity for improvement lies. The lower the score, the more of an opportunity. In the example above you will see that the homepage has the greatest opportunity for improvement. We are also looking for pages that have an average page load time over 5 seconds. Unless there are some special anomalies that have contributed to the increase, those pages should be improved as soon as possible.
If you want more details about how to improve those pages, you can click on the “PageSpeed Suggestions” links to get more detail. You can also launch Google’s “PageSpeed Insights” tool right from the report to get even more info. See below.
Page load speed is important. You should be checking this every month for trends that might be impacting your bounce rate, organic ranking, and other visitor satisfaction issues. Work with your internet marketing provider to make sure you are monitoring and addressing any serious site performance issues. It may very well be having a deeper impact on your site than you know.