SEO Technical Audit: Analysing Page Load Speed

January 12, 2015 - Digital State Marketing

Here at Digital State Marketing, page load speed is just one factor that we look at in our SEO technical audits. A slow loading website is one of the major reasons people leave websites in search to find another. Due to their being so much competition and so much choice on the Internet, people tend to develop very little patience when browsing online. According to Kiss Metrics, if a website takes between four and five seconds to download instead of the ideal three or less, it can lose a national retailer millions of pounds in loss of conversions. Just a one-second delay has caused some companies to make a seven percent loss in sales.

Analysing Page Load Speed - 1

As well as user experience and conversion rates, page load speed is also important due to the fact that Google announced that they introduced it into their search-ranking algorithms in 2010. Although this factor doesn’t directly hold the most value in the search ranking algorithms, it still holds influence that can have great effect on traffic volume and the amount of conversions that are being made. For these reasons alone Digital State Marketing feel that this is an integral part of our SEO technical audits to help optimise your website.

For example, the retail giant Walmart found that when their website took a few seconds longer to load there was a sharp decline in conversions. However, for each second they improved this time they saw a 2% growth in conversions. The popular internet browser Firefox saw a similar rise when it decreased its load time by 2 seconds and saw a 15% increase in total downloads. Even the smallest amount of time reduced off of total load time can have huge impacts on the amount of conversions that a website will receive.

Indexation is the process of search engines showing your page in the search engine results page and this is one of the factors that benefits from improved loading speeds. This is because, just like a human visitor, search engine bots can crawl websites much faster if the website pages load efficiently. Due to the fact Google provides only a limited crawl allocation for each website (which depends on a variety of factors), having a fast loading website will allow bots to download and crawl more pages which will ultimately lead to having a higher number of pages indexed. Having search engines index more webpages will theoretically lead to an increased volume of traffic. Our SEO technical audits focus, initially, on your top five landing pages and provide feedback on how these pages can be optimised to enable search engines to crawl them faster.

Overall, whilst page load speed may not hold significant direct value in Google’s algorithms when ranking websites, it certainly has a major indirect impact by virtue of improving a website’s traffic and conversion rates (which Google strongly values).

The SEO technical audit concentrates on how we can maximise the traffic volume and the conversion rates of a website – and improving the load times of a website has proved to be successful in this endeavour.  However, this is just one of the factors that we cover to achieve the best user experience and SEO campaign – to find out more information about our SEO technical audits or for any other questions you may have, please contact us right away and we will be more than happy to help you.