Site speed affects search engine rankings – and sales.
Site speed – how long it takes a web page to load and show up for people in a web browser window – is now one of Google’s ranking factors. That means Google takes site speed into account when deciding how high a site should show up in search results. Very slow sites will have a much harder time beating out its competitors.
If visitors have to wait too long for your site to load, they’re more likely to leave quickly, and less likely to do what you want them to do – like buy your product or service, contact you for a quote, sign up for your newsletter, or download your e-book.
How fast does your website load?
You can test how long it takes your site to load with various tools. My favorite is Pingdom’s site speed test, and Google also has the new Page Speed Online tool. If you use Google Webmaster Tools, look under “Labs” and click “Site Performance.”
What’s considered slow?
In general, a website that loads within 2 seconds is doing well. A site that loads in 2 to 5 seconds isn’t really fast, but it’s probably good enough.
A website that takes more than 5 seconds to load is likely to annoy some visitors, and may be ranking lower than it could. If your site takes more than 10 seconds to load, you really need to speed it up.
How can you make your website load faster?
1. Use compression to reduce the time needed to send your site content to visitors’ browsers.
2. Optimize your images so they take less time to load and still look good.
3. Put your website’s code in optimum order.
4. Remove unnecessary widgets or plug-ins that could be slowing your site.
5. Get specific recommendations for your site from several free tools, listed in our article.