1. Keep Them Waiting, And They’re Gone.
In the early days of the internet websites were generally pretty clunky and slow. This was due in part to the still developing infrastructure and the fact that many early web designers tended to create large, bloated, resource hogging sites. But at that point in the internet’s life all of that was somewhat acceptable.
Fast forward twenty years to the present day and it’s a whole different story entirely. Today there are billions of people online consuming millions of pages daily. And online behemoths like Facebook and Amazon have set the standard for site speed, serving up pages in mere millisecond, and optimising them constantly. As the majority of the online population visit these major sites, often daily, many of them then expect the rest of the web to serve them what they want and just as quickly.
As reported by Kiss metrics, surveys completed by Akamai and Gomez.com show that nearly 50% of web users expect a site to fully load within 2 seconds. More scarily however is that the research found that they are likely to leave a site that hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds. And it gets worse, a staggering “79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again” and “around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online”. These clear statistics show just how critically important having a fast site is.
2. Search Engines Love & Reward Fast Sites.
This isn’t much of a shocker if you follow on from the points above. If web users love fast sites and quickly leave slow ones then it’s in the search engines best interest to present them with faster sites more often in order to continue meeting their searchers needs.
The exact criteria the major search engines use to rank pages has largely been shrouded in mystery. Further, there is no definitive information on how much weight is given to site speed over other factors, there is however official mention that site speed is counted in rankings. This dates back all the way to 2010 when it was mentioned in the blog of Google Software Engineer & Webspam Team Member, Matt Cutts. The post is titled “Google incorporating site speed in search rankings”; you can’t get much clearer than that.
3. If You’re Running PPC Campaigns, Site Speed Matters.
Many have mistakenly assumed that page load speed only affects organic search results, this is false. Google has stated that a high quality landing page is crucially important to PPC campaigns, so much so in fact that it “affects not only your Quality Score, but also your Ad Rank and advertising costs.” When referring to page speed in relation to landing page quality they have stated in their official PPC help pages that;
If it takes too long for your website to load when someone clicks on your ad, they're more likely to give up and leave your website. This unwelcome behaviour can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could negatively impact your Ad Rank.