Is Page Speed the Most Important Google Ranking Factor?
Page load speed has always been a defining factor in determining the search habits of online visitors. It is an important search ranking metric, even when SEO developments tend to give greater importance to content relevance and usability. That’s because it comes as no surprise that online visitors hate to wait to engage with content. A web page that takes too long to load up on either a desktop or mobile browser can literally be quite frustrating. When you have a website that stalls while loading and is disappointingly slow, it just may drive away huge numbers of visitors and that reflects on a high webpage bounce rate—i.e. when you have a number of people who visit the page only to leave within a few seconds and having not even engaged with any of the content on the page. When you have such high bounce rates to a website that simply shows the result of a poorly performing website or individual webpage.
Key Metrics in Search Ranking
While content relevance remains primarily important as a key metric in search ranking, Google is increasingly acting upon what is intuitively obvious—that, a poor performing website results in a poor user experience, and sites with poor user experiences do not rank well in search results. Google has introduced a free tool that websites can use to measure the performance of individual web pages on both mobile and desktop devices. The PageSpeed Insights application is user-friendly, you enter the URL for the web page you want to measure and click “Analyze” for you to get a full report about the performance of the web page being analyzed to provide a score of 100 points. Google maintains fast and optimized web pages that aim for a score of 85 or above lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions.
Even though, network connection to a page can be a hardware issue that can slow page load time, expert web design and development has important technical fixes to do to make sure a website and its pages are optimally configured to provide the best performance. The PageSpeed Insights tool does the web pages performance analysis and optimization to implement the web performance best practices.
Useful Tips on Optimal Page Performance
The Google PageSpeed Insights underscores the importance given on page speed by Google and even provides a wealth of useful tips on how to fix any issues that it finds, to ensure optimal page performance. These tips include:
- proper format and compress all images;
- reduce number of redirects as much as possible;
- minimize the number of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests required to render page;
- avoid redundant Domain Name System (DNS) look-ups by reducing number of host names;
- minimize the number of plugins and widgets if CSS is used; and
- prioritize the most relevant content by styling with a separate (CSS) file.
From these tips, you can see that, professional web design is what is required because it comes with the capacity and knowledge on how the above issues are skillfully integrated to provide the desired benefits for individual web pages; also with the know-how to choose the right hosting package that can influence the page speed of your website as a whole. The creative company Simplemachine is a leader as the go-to company that can provide support in web design and web development, and with all the tools necessary to provide your business with a website that delivers optimal page performances that should rate well on Google search ranking.