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The impact of website speed on user experience and search rankings

Arriving on a slow-loading page is annoying and enables your clients the option to leave and visit a different page. As a result, site speed is critical to both user experience and search ranking.

Speedy loading pages make site visitors less frustrated and less inclined to leave! This demonstrates to Google that your site is valuable to users and elevates you in the search results.

Since 2010, Google has considered speed as a search engine ranking factor. In 2018, it even launched Page Experience signals and Core Web Vitals, trying to raise awareness of how much speed affects search ranks.

Do you know well how your website is performing right now? To test, use the PageSpeed Insights tool.

The impact of slow site speed on user experience and search engine ranking

Customers, as well as search engines, will abandon a website that takes too long to load.

In one study, three different domain names were evaluated, each with a different site speed:

  • A page with a load time of 0.8 seconds ranked first for its primary keywords.
  • Pages with load times of 2.3-2.6 seconds or less were rated #51 or lower.

According to this study, even a minor delay in load times has a significant impact on how your website ranks.

Slow load times irritate users, causing a negative experience and poor conversion rates.

Furthermore, Google promotes pages that load quickly as they provide a better user experience. Your page may include the most up-to-date information on a given topic, but if it takes a long time to load, Google will move it down the search engine result pages.

The most common causes of delayed page loading

Here are a handful of the most common causes of delayed website rendering today:

  1. Delays on the server

Server response time estimates how long it takes your server to load the required HTML to begin rendering the page. In general, the server response time should be less than 200 ms. There are many of potential factors that could slow down your server’s response, however they can be divided into three categories:

  • Application logic that is too slow (not optimised database queries, code, etc.)
  • Inadequate hardware requirements (not enough CPU, RAM, etc.)
  • The network connection is slow.

The second and third groupings of criteria are directly related to hosting. As a result, the choice of hosting, as well as its physical location, has a significant impact on loading time.

   2. Redirections that are not required

When a page transfers to another page, your visitor must wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to finish. It is essential to detect and reduce redirection. Yslow will tell you how well your website is doing.

    3. CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files that are large

Any CSS, HTML, or JavaScript files that are greater than 150 bytes must be reduced in size. Using gzip compression can minimize the size of the sent response by up to 90%, resulting in a significant reduction in download time. But, never use gzip on picture files!

   4. Images with a lot of detail

GIF, PNG, and JPEG image formats account for more than 90% of all image traffic on the Internet. It is essential to optimise photos for web use – to reduce file size without sacrificing visual quality. The fewer bytes downloaded by the browser, the faster it can download and present material on the screen. It’s extremely crucial for mobile users since images might still create delays on mobile devices.

Use the correct file types. Some image formats are larger in size than others. PNGs are preferable for graphics with fewer than 16 colours, while JPEGs are better for pictures. GIF and PNG are clean formats that are larger in size than JPG.

Use TinyPNG to compress images without compromising visual quality.

Make use of content distribution networks (CDNs). CDNs are server networks that divide the strain of delivering content. Inherently, copies of your material (typically photos) are stored at various, geographically different data centres so that users may access your site more quickly and securely.

  5. Page widgets or fancy animated effects

Beautiful animation and complicated widgets require significant data processing on both the server and client sides. Many web designers believe that dynamic loading (the process of rendering animation or widget data after the page appears on the user’s screen) can save the day. In actuality, visitors may skip the widget with interactive web since they believe the container containing the widget is empty.

Subtle animation effects are helpful not just in terms of usability, but also in terms of page loading time. For example, if you want to warn viewers that the content is loading, it’s best to have a blank screen.

  6. Calculate your loading time

The speed optimization technique starts with research and analysis of the present loading behaviour. First and foremost, you must obtain a high-level evaluation on how well your page functions in terms of loading speed. PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix are suggested for this. Both programmes examine the web page’s content page and give recommendations for how to make it faster.

Second, you must conduct extensive research on loading and inspect each item loaded by your page. When you know how long each item takes to load, you can easily select which content to eliminate or optimise to improve loading time.


The user experience and how your site ranks for relevant keywords are both affected by site speed. When your site loads swiftly, you give a stress-free experience for users and demonstrate to search engines that your site is relevant to them.

Accelerate your site by using responsive pictures, compressed text, and an evaluation of any data that may be slowing things down.

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