Even those with a casual knowledge of online digital marketing would know one or two commonly used search engine optimization techniques that improve a website’s ranking in organic relevant searches. The usual suspects would be using the best “keywords” within a page title and page content, optimizing meta-description throughout the website, or – if one is particularly savvy with SEO methodologies – internally linking web pages.
But did you know that a website’s page speed has a direct impact on search engine ranking?
Page speed is how fast a website can load. It can be described as “page load time” or how long it takes to display the complete content of a web page. It can also be described as “time to first byte” or the time it takes for a browser to get the first byte of website data from the web hosting server. Different pages can have different load speeds due to many factors. For example, an image-heavy web page will take longer to resolve than one that only has text. This example is more of an internal factor that has something to do with the website’s programming. External factors affect page speed as well. Examples of these would be network traffic, web hosting server performance, or even how good is the device used for browsing.
The page speed of a website directly affects its ranking in different ways. For one, a search engine “sees” a website’s visitor dwell time and bounce rate. Dwell time is the duration of a website user’s visit. It starts from the time a link to the website is clicked (or the website’s name has been manually entered in the address bar). From that point, a website is expected to load and be functional in just 3 to 4 seconds. The more seconds it takes, the likelier that a visitor will abandon his/her visit. This abandonment rate is the bounce rate. Slow-loading websites have low dwell times and high bounce rates, metrics that a search engine sees and uses to rank a website lower.
How can a website-dependent online business know its website’s speed performance? The simplest, most intuitive, and cost-effective way is using Page Speed Monitoring package from WebsiteSuccess.Tools.
Their Page Speed Monitoring package tracks and measures a website’s overall speed performance. It measures different speed metrics to provide a clear picture of a website’s overall health. There is First Paint or the time it takes for the first non-black pixel color change to happen. There is First Contentful Paint or the time it takes for a web page content or feature to appear. There is also Time to Interactive or how long it takes for a page to become visually usable and capable of being engaged with. Then there is Document Object Model (DOM) Content Loaded which is the time it takes for the web page’s entire HTML to completely load and sparse. There are other metrics that WebsiteSuccess.Tools uses but these are the most important.
The data collected and analyzed by Page Speed Monitoring service of WebsiteSuccess.Tools can be utilized to troubleshoot page speed issues. It can be used to pinpoint problems such as issues with scripting or data volume concerns but it can also be used to determine other speed optimization methods like applying prefetching and preloading functions, or even enabling caching and content delivery network functions.
The monitoring’s data report may get too technical and it is probably most useful to a website’s administrator. But there is one functionality with Page Speed Monitoring from WebsiteSuccess.Tools that is easy to use and understand. The service has an automatic alert system if performance issues are detected. Thresholds are set among the monitoring service’s measuring functions and once these thresholds are reached, an alert is sent to the client via SMS or EMAIL.
Shortening the response time to a performance issue is critical. Website performance degrades over time because of changes to the aforementioned speed factors. Without monitoring, owners or administrators may notice a decline in business activity (lower visitor traffic, high bounce rate, low conversion rates) without realizing the underlying website performance issue (slow website speed). Having a performance alert system ensures that a website is running optimally all the time which improves customer experience and search ranking.
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