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Site Speed and Search Engine Marketing

20 Jan, 2015 McKell Naegle



What can you accomplish with three seconds?


You can probably wink or smile, maybe even write your name. Did you know you can also chase someone away from your business or, alternatively, earn a higher search ranking?


Slowly loading websites are one of the biggest reasons people bounce out of a site. About half of all web users will leave your page if it doesn’t load in three seconds or less, according to Kissmetrics. Those three seconds are before the user even gets to your site or hits a landing page. You’re losing customers before they even get to your calls to action, sales or conversion funnels.


Let’s not forget about mobile traffic. The effect is essentially the same. On mobile devices, 57 percent of your audience will abandon your site if it takes more than three seconds to load.


As if that’s not enough, search engines actually award faster loading sites with a higher search ranking. This is, in fact, one of the few things Google publicly admits factors into their search ranking and search engine optimization.


The time to first byte (TTFB) is likely the metric Google looks at to measure site speed, according to a study by Moz. TTFB is the amount of time it takes for a search engine’s crawler to pick up the first bit of data from your site. This is notably different than the time it takes for a page to fully load from top to bottom.


You might remember when Google listed 30 search results on one search page. Since then, they have cut down to 10. The reasoning? They found that people were using their search engine less because it took half a second longer for 30 results to appear compared to 10. Google took the same thought process and applied it to awarding search rankings.


Many digital professionals also suspect that Google will be awarding mobile-optimized sites with higher search rankings after astatement released November 18, 2014. What we do know is that Google penalizes sites that cause mobile errors. It would appear that they are also testing a new mobile ranking system.


The speed of your site is something that can be improved through performance optimization.The optimization of your site depends on a few key factors: image size and compression, back end code and the server environment.

For more information about performance optimization check out our blog post or download our white paper from LinkedIn.

Additionally, you can get more information on the basics of web building and creating a digital footprint at https://firstsiteguide.com/

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