What impact can site speed have?
Back in 2008, Google made an announcement that site speed plays a role in assessing PPC Quality scores. They said:
Keywords with landing pages that load slowly may get lower Quality Scores (and thus higher minimum bids). Conversely, keywords with landing pages that load very quickly may get higher Quality Scores and lower minimum bids.
Basically, every second your website page takes to load up over three seconds, you’ll get a 16% reduction in conversion rate. Doesn’t take a genius to realise that by making your site load up faster, the more money you’ll have to use for your campaign budget and the more you can bid on keywords.
How fast is your website?
There are two useful tools to use to determine site speed – Google Analytics and Google PageSpeed Insights for Developers.
In Google Analytics you can take a snapshot of your website’s average page load time over a set period. For example, over 12 months you can set monthly intervals to generate a graph that will give you an overview of how your site is performing.
If you’re focused on generating conversions, you’ll be looking for faster load times. Where there are spikes in performance you can determine whether things are going well or badly.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to find out what Google thinks of the load times of your landing pages.
Once it’s generated its report, you’re given a score out of 100 along with suggestions on how to improve things.
These useful tips are ranked in priority with ‘high priority’ suggestions giving the most improvements to speed while ‘medium’ to ‘low’ priority tips having less impact but combined will give a definite cumulative boost. With this report your web development team will then have some useful ideas on how to speed things up.
What should you do now?
You’ve probably been trawling the net for specific information before and found yourself directed to a website that is slow to load. What did you do? You probably closed the tab and looked elsewhere. This is what could be happening to visitors of your site.
Check to see if there are any correlations between your site speed and conversion rate as Google could be adjusting your Quality Score down based on slow page load times.
If you don’t address the speed issues with your site then you’re making life more difficult and expensive for yourself, and leaving the door wide open for your competitors to gain an advantage (and clients!).