How often do you click on a link, and then find yourself waiting for what seems like an eternity while the page loads? I experience this regularly, and it really annoys me. Now, those who know me will know that I’m not a particularly impatient person, but seriously, sometimes it just feels like a page is taking forever to load.
In most cases, if a page is taking too long to load, I simply click the back button and I go somewhere else. Will I ever be back? Probably not, so the site owner will just have lost a potential sale or recurring sales, and they will have lost a visitor who might very well have become a long term customer.
If that site owner lost me because of their website page load time, how many other visitors are they losing for the exact same reason? Let’s face it, the internet today is built around speed and efficiency. You pay good money for your high speed internet connection, so why should you have to deal with pages that take forever to load.
Google and Page Load Time
Can website page load time affect your search engine rankings? After all, it should be up to your visitors to decide whether or not they want to wait for your page to open, right? No, wrong. The world of search engines is extremely competitive, and there are vast sums of money at stake. Believe me, Google does not want to lose you, and nor do they want to lose any other people using their services day in and day out.
If you keep being sent to websites or web page that take ages to load, you’ll more than likely stop using Google, and begin using one of their competitors instead. Remember, Google makes money from advertising, so the more users they lose, the less money they are going to make. In short, when your web page takes too long to load, it reflects badly on Google, and that is not something the company wants.
When Google ranks your site and your pages, part of the process includes testing page load time. Fortunately, relevance and quality content mean more than load time does, but it can still have an impact on your search engine rankings. Here are two Google statistics which might help to brighten your day:
- Only 1 in 100 websites have load time issues serious enough to affect search rankings
- Slow load times only has a negative effect on around 1% of searches
Now, 1 in 100 might not seem like much, but let us not forget just how many websites there are. Basically, this figure tells us that there are indeed millions of websites with load time issues. Admittedly, there is only a relatively small chance of your rankings being affected, but how will you ever know just how many potential customers you are losing because you site doesn’t load quickly enough.
Increasing Load Time
The easiest way to increase load time would be for you to do it through Google Page Speed, but there is a catch. Google Page Speed is only available by invitation. That’s right, you need to be invited, but that is not to say you can’t ask for an invitation.
If you do get invited, you will receive the necessary instructions which basically involve nothing other than switch your DNS to Google’s own servers. Why would you want to do this? Well, the fact that Google has the fastest and most powerful servers on the planet is a good enough reason for me.
There are of course a few other steps you can take in order to make your site load faster, but I will cover those in another post which I plan on doing quite soon. You can also find additional assistance if you click here.