The amount of time that it takes for a web-page to load and display all of its content is known as page download speed.
The amount of time that it takes for a web-page to load and display all of its content is known as page download speed. According to Google, the ideal speed index is anywhere below 3 seconds, which is 1.7 seconds slower than the average calculated speed of a website in 2020. This single metric can severely impact a site's SEO and user experience - here's how.
Studies show that 47% of people expect a website to load in no longer than 2 seconds - this percentage increases further for mobile users. When the process is slow, the visitors immediately form a poor first impression, which ultimately affects the conversion rate. In most cases, this will cause them to switch to a competitor's website - even if they stay, it'll be only until they find the wanted information, after which they'll associate your website with the poor initial experience. For users, slow loading times are equivalent to crashing or freezing.
With over half of user traffic coming from mobile devices, page download speed becomes even more important. Due to the nature of mobile networks, load times are increased compared to their desktop counterparts. It's vital to consider how each element will impact the performance, especially since most people surf the Internet in short bursts at a time. Ideally, a mobile-first approach should be implemented.
Alongside backlinks, keyword relevance, and security, Google introduced site speed as a search engine factor back in 2014. It was exclusive to desktop site indexing for 5 years until its integration to mobile. Specifically, Google measures the so-called "time to first byte" - a duration from the user's request to the first received byte from the server's response. The slower a website is, the lower it'll be on the Google search results.
Additionally, page download speed plays a large role during the indexation process. If the loading time is poor, the website won't be able to keep up with the speed of the web crawlers, which will leave certain pages unindexed. Also, if the algorithms determine that your website is the quickest among all the competitors in that specific niche, you'll be awarded additional points for even higher placement.
SEO and UX go hand in hand when it comes to the search engine placement and the number of regular visitors. Although there's no concrete evidence of exactly how high a role page speed has on rankings, it's undoubtedly one of the more important aspects.