Website Speed: Why it Impacts User Experience and SEO

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Website Design + Development

Have you ever navigated to a website just to wait for it to load for what seems like forever? Us too. Google has found that 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. With Google’s mobile-first indexing strategy, the speed and responsiveness of your website are more important than ever.

Not only is a slow loading website off-putting to a user, but it is also a major factor in determining a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Websites with slower speeds or load times tend to have higher bounce rates which decrease overall time spent on the site. With poor user engagement, it is unlikely that it will be displayed in the top pages of Google search results, missing out on valuable qualified website users.

When Google runs your site through its Page Speed Insights tool it gives your website a performance score between 0-100. If your website receives a score of 90 or above it is considered fast. Only 10% of websites achieve this goal. A speed score between 50-90 is average while a score below 50 is considered slow. The best indication of a well-performing website is a score of 85 or higher.

Check your website’s speed here: Page Speed Insights Tool

Examples of Speed Scores from some of the most popular websites:

Website Speed
Wikipedia  98
Pandora  97
LinkedIn  93
PayPal  90

Page Speed Insights will also categorize your website into one of three buckets: Slow, Average or Fast based off two metrics, First Contentful Paint (FCP) and First Input Delay (FID). FCP measures the amount of time between navigation and when the browser renders the first bit of content while FID measures the amount of time between when a user first interacts with a website, such as a click, and when the browser is able to respond to the action. Below are the thresholds the Page Speed Insights tool uses to categorize each site.

  Fast Average Slow
FCP [0, 1000ms] [1000ms, 2500ms] Over 2500ms
FID [0, 50ms] [50ms, 250ms] Over 250ms

For your site to be categorized as fast, both the FCP and FID must meet the requirements, while for your website categorized as slow either FCP or FID have to be within the above slow threshold. For all other cases, websites are placed in the Average Speed bucket. There are some best practices that can be used to help increase your website speed. Some include:

  • Cleaning your code to remove unnecessary commas, spaces or other characters
  • Compressing large your HTML, CSS, and Javascript files.
  • Reducing redirects
  • Using browser cache for returning users

When TechArk designs websites for our clients we leverage these techniques and more to ensure your new website is always front and center when it matters most. Learn more about TechArk’s custom Web Design & Development solutions.

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