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Website Page Speed and Search Ranking

Website Page Speed and Search Ranking

Website speed is a major Google Search ranking factor, which means that fast websites tend to rank better than slow websites. How can you measure your website speed and make it faster?

In 2018 Google made an announcement that "Speed is now used as a ranking factor for mobile searches", although website page speed has been a ranking factor for websites on Google Search for desktops and laptops since 2010.

When you visit a slow website, sometimes it's noticeably slow, especially on a phone. You could end up waiting a bit for the page to load. But other slow websites may come up quickly enough even though Google considers them slow, because page speed is measured in milliseconds. 40% of consumers will wait no more than 3 seconds before abandoning a website, so you may think that your website is fast because it loads in 4 seconds, but to Google that's too slow, and they may rank your website lower in search results.

Keep in mind that there are many factors that Google looks for when determining how and where to rank a website, and although page speed is major, it's not the only one. A website with a speed of 100% that's lacking in other areas could still end up ranking poorly. Read this blog to learn about some of Google's other search ranking factors.

Interesting Website Speed Statistics

How Can I Measure My Website's Speed?

Yikes! My Website is Very Slow! How Can I Make My Slow Website Faster?

No Template Websites!

Most websites these days are "built" with templates, which means that most websites out there are quite slow (about 85% of them, according to the statistics above!) If your website was built with WordPress or any template website builder (Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, even Dex Media/Thryv), it's going to be slow "out of the box" and there's very little that can be done do to make it fast enough to satisfy Google's speed requirements for search ranking. This is due to proprietary coding, third-party widgets and add-ons, and required scripts that come with template sites.

Hire a Good Web Designer

The only way to get a super fast website is to have a web designer build you a manually hand-coded website. But of course that's not enough. The web designer needs to know all the many things that have to be done to make that website as fast as possible. Simply hand-coding a website won't be enough, and if it's not done properly, it could end up being slower than even the slowest template site! Very, very few web designers have the knowledge, patience and skill to do the many things that are necessary in making a website lightning fast.

Some Techniques that Web Designers Use to Make a Website Faster

Websites built with standard html and css tend to have the fastest load times, while websites that rely on php and use a lot of Javascript and other third-party scripts are going to be slow. The more third-party codes and scripts, the slower the website. Videos and a lot of images can slow the loading of a website, unless the images are properly optimized. The more fonts on a website, the slower the load time, and self-hosted fonts (rather than embedding fonts from a site such as Google Fonts) can speed up the load time of a website. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tricks that a good web designer might have up their sleeve to help your website load as quickly as possible.

Summary

Don't waste your money on a slow website that Google might rank at the bottom of search results. Work with a web designer who knows how to design a blazingly fast website. Be sure to ask them for the website addresses of other websites they've designed, then plug them in to the Pagespeed site mentioned above.

A big, attractive website that's as slow as molasses is like a beautiful race car with a 4-cylinder engine. It might get you where you want to go, but you'll probably end up last at the finish line!

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