We’ve talked about site speed is an important factor in SEO, and we’re going to reiterate it now. Are you ready? SITE SPEED IS IMPORTANT! Anyone who tells you otherwise is either selling you something you don’t need or just flat out wrong. Google and other search engines measure how fast you load, and if you’re slow, you won’t rank as well as someone comparable who is faster. We’re bringing this back up because we have some interesting new data. Not only does it confirm that fast load speeds are important, it quantifies exactly how important they are.
Let’s check it out.
Originally the site speed info came to us from Amazon, but this updated data is from Velocity 2013. They did a second by second study, changing nothing but their load speeds, and analyzed how it affected both their rankings and their conversions. It turns out, there is a direct relationship, and it’s more substantial than you might guess:
- +3% conversions for every second reduced from 15 seconds to 7 seconds
- +2% conversions for every second reduced from seconds 7 to 5
- +1% conversions for every second reduced from seconds 4 to 2
This study, combined with some other recent research, shows us that you need to be, at least, under 10 seconds. If you don’t have many images, you’re under 5 seconds. If that sounds difficult, you’re doing something very, very wrong. Of course, there are always exceptions. If your site is image heavy or has some strange script, maybe you add a couple seconds to the average, but every site should at least be under 10 this day and age.
The requirements from users are even harsher than ours. According to the Amazon and Velocity studies, most users expect sites to load to the point of usability in 2 seconds or less.
Want to know your speed? Check the Google sponsored WebPageTest.org for a quick look, and talk to your webmaster to get a more detailed idea of where you stand.