Website Loading Speed Can Affect SEO

Most search engines are constantly evolving and improving. They continually change the algorithms used to determine the importance of and rank of a website among the zillions of sites out of the web today.

While it sometimes it feels like SEO is a constantly moving target, it’s important that the SEO strategy you use on your website evolve too. What might have worked for your website in the past for your SEO might not work well today, and you’ll need to continuously work to improve the usability of your website and to create quality content for users along with regularly staying on top of your SEO.

One factor that has become increasingly important for usability, and subsequently for SEO, is the speed of a website. Google announced in 2010 that it would start incorporating site speed into its’ search algorithm and use it as a factor in how it returned search results. Of course, no one outside of Google truly knows the full extent or details of its’ on-going changes, but this announcement meant that Googleâ’s algorithm would start rewarding faster-loading sites by indexing them higher (as part of their full ranking algorithm) than slower loading ones.

Your Website Needs Fast Load Times

In a 2013 study, Moz found that page load times themselves did not have an impact on a site’s SEO ranking, but Time to First Byte (TTFB) did. So what the heck is Time to First Byte? It is the time it takes for a web server to return the first byte of a web site from a URL request. Moz’s findings showed that Google’s search algorithm did, in fact, award websites for the speed of their back-end structure. The speed of the server to load a website was important to SEO.

While Time to First Byte happens behind the scenes on your web server, front end page load times can vastly affect the bounce rate of your site too — and that can certainly affect your SEO.

Fast loading websites equal happier users and potentially better search rankings

Having a fast loading website can be a very important factor in the usability of your website. Seems like a no-brainer, right? How many times have you quickly left a website that took forever to load? It’s simply human nature. We’re busy. We don’t want to wait around just for a website to load. If the web page takes a long time to load up, users may quickly leave (bounce off of your site) and your SEO bounce rate goes up. Since high bounce rates can negatively affect your SEO ranking, it’s important for your website to load quickly and to be optimized for user experience.