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Does site speed affect organic SEO?

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Does site speed affect organic search engine optimisation?

A common misconception in the world of organic search engine optimisation is that speed does not play a part in your website getting found on Google. Many SEO specialists will argue that ‘speed isn’t that important’, however, Google has stated that speed will impact scoring when the majority of other SEO factors are the same. Remember, if your site loads fast, real users are also likely to explore your site past the first page, leading to improved conversion rates.

Google has also switched page crawling to ‘mobile first indexing’. In essence, this means that if your competitor has a fast site optimised for mobile users and you do not, they will likely score higher in Google searches, even if you have a solid SEO strategy (particularly important for super competitive search terms). Having a faster site essentially means Google bots can crawl it quickly, making it easier to discover and index new pages, ideal for SEO additions.

You can measure your websites speed here, using the Google Page Insights tool. This will give you an indication of how quickly each component on your site takes to load, and if any actions can be taken to improve the load speed.

According to Google, there are four key components to a great website experience. One, your site is fast. This means it responds quickly and smoothly to visitor interactions, without any freezing. Two, your site is reliable. As we discussed above, Google are calling for sites to load instantly, providing a reliable online resource even if the visitor’s network conditions are unreliable. Three, your site is engaging. This means the copy or design/layout of the site is engaging for the visitor, with experiences which look and feel natural. Four, your site is integrated. This simply means the visitor does not need to ‘download’ anything to view your site, they see its full offering on the first visit.

In summary, while page speed does not have a direct impact on your website and organic search engine optimisation, it is certainly worthwhile taking the time to improve the load speed of your site, as it can both have a positive effect on how your site appears in search results, and also enhances the user experience for people visiting your website.

If you are looking for a search engine optimisation specialist in Devon, get in touch for a friendly chat to see how we could help.

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