Why page speed is important
A lot is talked about SEO, how it’s about having the right content and targeting the right search keywords. All this is true and really important. But there’s something that isn’t talked about as much, but is just as important, and that’s page speed.
You can spend hundreds of pounds on keyword research and copywriting to get to the front page of Google’s search results pages, but if when the visitor clicks on the link, they have to wait a whole minute before the page loads on their phone, you’ve lost them and they probably won’t come back.
We recently saw this on a lovely looking website with lots of high definition parallax scrolling images, which was unfortunately only ever tested on a high speed internet connection. It was completely unusable on a smartphone with a slow data connection.
It’s those premium WordPress themes again
A lot of websites are hastily thrown together using a heavyweight “premium” WordPress theme which on the surface looks great. Unfortunately this adds a big overhead to your website, along with all the support plugins they need.
Not only is this bad for usability, but all this extra stuff affects your page speed too. That’s a high long term price to pay just to speed up the initial site build.
Test your site on a mobile device
More people access websites on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops now, and it’s for this reason that since July 2018, Google check page load speeds and factor it into search engine rankings.
How to check your page speed
You can check out the Google PageSpeed test using the link below.
You can also check your GTMetrix score. This one isn’t provided by Google, but it provides good insights and a list of things you can do to improve things.
Run the tests on your site. How did you do?
Be aware though, that these tools don’t always get it right. Sometimes a web page loads progressively which is perfectly fine when the site is read by a human being as they scroll down the page. These page speed tools can miss this and downgrade your score as they wait for the entire page to load. Of course you’ll still need to pass Google’s page speed test if search engine ranking is important.
What can you do if you get a slow page speed score?
Firstly, ask whoever built your website for advice. It may well be fine. Don’t expect to get an A ranking though. Very few sites achieve that, even some of the most established ones.
However, there may be some things that are easily fixed which are hurting your search engine ranking. Ask your web developer to help you.
Consider a custom website
If your current website has been put together using an off the shelf premium WordPress theme, perhaps a page builder and bunch of other plugins, then it could really affect your page speed.
A custom website could really improve things. Designing the website around your content requirements means there’s a lot less “bloat”, and pages load much more quickly.
Speak to your web developer, or drop us a line using the form below.