Category Technology
Publication date
22 September 2020

Why Web Page Speed Matters

Time to read 3 minutes read

Slow food, and the slow movement in general, have gained currency in recent years, but nobody asks for a slow website.

Yet that is what they are getting. Websites are getting slower. Improvements in device capability and network speeds are being trumped by needlessly complicated design features and implemented without consideration of performance.

Why page speed matters for people?

We are inherently impatient. The term web browsing is still used, but the reality is that people have little interest in browsing and are generally focused on a specific task. Research shows that 40% of users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. They do not want, or expect, to wait.

As you can see, every millisecond counts. Three seconds is not a magic number that every person will wait for. In fact, Google recommends that page load time is under two seconds: "Two seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability".

However, the speed any individual has to wait is determined by a myriad of factors including their connection speed, device capabilities and ultimately their patience.

Website owners and website developers should be cognisant of people’s time and do everything in their power to enable people complete their task without hesitation. Anything that stands in the way of achieving that should be removed, and the first place to start is providing a fast experience.

A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions


Why does page speed matter for SEO?

Google, and indeed other search engines, have always preached that if you do right by your users, then you’ll be a long way towards improving your SEO. This holds true for page speed, and with Google adding site speed as a ranking factor as far back as 2010.

In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages within their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect the indexation of your site.

And earlier this year, Google announced an upcoming update to its search ranking algorithm known as Page Experience. This update aims to evaluate web pages by the quality of the user experience they provide. This will be measuring a number of different factors, including of course page speed.

In short, the faster your site, the better it will perform in search engine rankings.

What can you do about it?

The first thing you should do is benchmark your site and see how slow/fast it is. There are various tools for this, including Google’s useful PageSpeed Insights (PSI), GTmetrix, and Chrome's Lighthouse.

These tools analyse the performance of specified pages on your website and provide a report about how it fares in various areas. They also help identify where things can be improved.

In our next blog post concerning page speed, we will look at remedies to counteract slow website performance

In the meantime, you should analyse your site’s speed and begin to plan how to make sure your users are not left waiting - they will not wait for ever.

Do you have the need for speed?

Contact Annertech for a performance audit and find out how we can help you overcome slow website performance.

Profile picture for user Alan Burke

Alan Burke Director of Technology

As Director of Technology, Alan plans and architects solutions to the complex problems Annertech solves on a daily basis.