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What is Page Speed?

Page Speed is the loading speed of a website. This loading time or performance is now one of the most important ranking factors, especially in mobile search. In the field of technical SEO, improving page speed is one of the most urgent tasks.

  • Has a significant influence on the conversion rate
  • Is one of the most important factors for the ranking
  • Can be improved in many ways
  • Short loading times increase the user experience

Page Speed – an important and influential key figure

It has been known for a long time that users abort their visit of a website if the loading time is too long. So there is a direct connection between the page speed (sometimes called site speed) and the conversion rate. This means that operators of websites and online shops run the risk that customers will abort their visit to a website and buy from a competing provider if loading speed is too low. Particularly in the e-commerce segment, therefore, great efforts must be made to optimise page speed, as here one key indicator influences the next. Experience shows that 25 percent of users abort the page structure if they have waited longer than 10 seconds. But even every fraction of a second of waiting time can mean lost sales. Studies have shown that page speed is also very important for the user experience. Googles own research has shown that the bounce rate almost doubles when the site speed increases from one second to five. (By the way, the term “page speed” has also become widely used by the tool “Google Page Speed”). Bounce rates are even higher for customers who go shopping online on mobile devices. Practice has shown that 40% of potential customers abandon their purchase attempt if websites do not respond for three seconds. Page speed is also very important for Google and other search engines. Google has regarded the loading times of websites as a ranking factor since 2010. According to the search engine company, faster loading pages are responsible for an increase in usability and thus also the basis for a better user experience. In the meantime, this view has been extended to mobile friendliness, which means that since 2016 the site speed of mobile-optimized websites has also been taken into account. Loading times on mobile devices are usually somewhat slower than on desktops.

How can the page speed be improved?

If a page is too slow, this can have various causes. Often it is images present on the website that cause the page speed to decrease. Too many images delay the page speed considerably. Among other things, the compression of images can help here. Slow databases, e.g. for product advertisements or forms, can also have a considerable impact on page speed. Another possible cause is slow server response times. If requests are not processed fast enough, waiting times can also occur at server level. In addition, the loading time can be reduced even further by bundling JavaScript files. Another issue in terms of speed is superfluous source code. For example, superfluous comments or characters also have a negative effect on page speed. If CSS files have not been bundled, numerous server requests can be generated in this way, which in turn slows down the loading time. The removal of superfluous social plugins is also recommended in this regard. For the webmaster the Page Speed Tools in the Google Console are of interest. This is because tests of your own page speeds – desktop and mobile – are a must. In addition to the test results (points scale), the site operator also receives useful tips for optimisation. Successful search engine optimization must therefore always take care of more formal and technical factors such as page speed. Of course, page speed always refers to the complete loading of a website. What is fast and slow, however, can only be answered relatively, because the loading time of a site is not so meaningful in isolation. For classification, similar to the visibility index, meaningful comparison values must be used

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