For years there have been rumors that Google would at some point make page speed a factor in search rankings, giving better search rankings to faster loading sites and lower rankings to slower loading sites. But the question remains…
Does Page Speed Affect Search Rankings Now?
Yes, at least to some extent. Google officially announced page speed as a ranking factor back in 2010.
However, Bryson Meunier recently shared the results of some research in which he analyzed the Page Speed of the top 1,000 sites with the most organic search traffic. He used Google’s Page Speed test on those 1,000 sites and compared those scores.
The Google Page Speed test returns a score between 0 and 100 for each site. So what was the average score of the top 1,000 sites? 55. Not particularly impressive. Here’s how the scores charted.
It seems that top-ranked sites are very similar to other sites that don’t rank well when it comes to mobile page speed. What this means is that at the moment, page speed on mobile is much less important than a number of other signals that determine ranking.
But Wait! Page Speed Still Matters Because…
While the impact of Page Speed on search rankings is debatable, there’s no doubt it has a huge impact on user experience and visitor retention.
David Moth of Econsultancy reported this chart which shows how conversion rates dramatically drop as load times increase:
The bottom line is page speed and load times do matter. I encourage you to use Google’s Page Speed test. Not only does it give you a speed test score, but it provides recommendations on how to improve your website’s load times.
Web Design and SEO Working Together
Page speed is another example of how your website’s design affects its search rankings (along with mobile-friendliness and many other design factors). Because of the way web design and SEO are interrelated, it’s beneficial to hire a company that understands and provides both. OurChurch.Com offers website packages that include web design, SEO, hosting and a domain name, so when you have questions or want to take that next step you know exactly who to talk to.
- What is your website’s score in Google’s Page Speed test?
- What if anything are you going to do about it?