Page Speed and SEO – 2021 Website Best Practices
Page Speed and SEO – 2021 Website Optimization Best Practices
As a web designer or the owner of an active domain, your job is to create and supply a webpage that will drive customers where you want them to be. That’s not always an easy thing to do given the tremendous amount of competition you will encounter along the way.
One of the things you should always be focusing on is user experience. Is the website functional and easy to navigate? Is the marketing content representative of what is being offered? Oh, is the website responsive? It’s this last question we would like to focus on because page speed and SEO have jointly become hot topics within the website development community in recent years.
Website Optimization Best Practices
Over the last 10 to 15 years, search engines like Google have vastly improved the kinds of metrics they can now offer to end-users. This higher level of information has given rise to the development of what the web design community refers to as “website best practices.” These practices have essentially become a guideline that web designers can follow in their quest to beat search engine algorithms and score favorable search engine results.
SEO 2021 is still at the top of the list when it comes to securing the best search results possible. However, page speed is starting to play a bigger role when it comes to search results and user experience. Why? It’s measurable now in a meaningful way.
Introducing PageSpeed Insights Tool From Google
As a top digital marketing agency, WebCie is obligated to have a thorough understanding of how Google algorithms operate. Through this understanding, we are then able to develop websites that register well in search results.
In the past, search engines like Google weren’t yet able to produce meaningful metrics related to the combination of page speed and SEO. That often puts a digital marketing agency like ours at the mercy of effective SEO with little regard for page speed. The introduction of Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool has changed the way we approach the design and development of websites.
First, we feel the need to define “page speed” in terms you can understand. Simply put, page speed is the amount of time it takes for an end-user to request a website page and get a response.
To be clear, there are a lot of different factors that can affect page speed. The list includes:
• Speed of internet connectivity
• Graphics and visual aides on webpage
• Internet or data provider
• Internet package chosen by end user
• Device’s processing power
• Browser selection
While this is a lot to consider, we don’t feel it’s prudent to try to account for all of these factors. Instead, we prefer to focus on page speed in terms of how long it takes a page to load in a typical internet environment.
When we use the PageSpeed Insights Tool, we are looking to secure two scores. By score, we are actually referring to loading time reported in seconds. The first score is the page speed score for mobile content. We always assume this score will be the lower of the two scores because of differences related to the speeds of 3G and 4G. With tens of millions of prospective end-users still using both of these connections, it’s impossible to determine how it actually affects page speed. That creates an additional issue because it clouds whether or not a speed performance problem lies with the website or end-user connectivity.
The other score we look at is the page speed for desktop or PC connectivity. We find this number more representative of the actual page speed because most PCs are operating on very stable internet platforms.
It is our belief that focusing on page speed is very relevant. That has been made clear to us based on the fact Google now uses this information for its search engine ratings. Website best practices dictate we follow where search engines like Google are leading us. We consider improving page speed one of our areas of specialization.
Does Page Speed Affect SEO?
In theory, page speed and SEO must be interrelated. After all, both are now considered major ranking factors for Google’s algorithms. We can only assume the same thing across other search engines because as goes Google, so goes the rest of the search engine community. How does page speed affect SEO?
It’s difficult to get specific because of the unknowns related to Google’s algorithms. There are plenty of examples of websites with a great page speed score but running low in search engine results. There are also plenty of examples of the opposite scenario with a low page speed score but high rankings.
What we do know is this. Everything Google does is geared towards user experience. When the page speed score is high, it usually means users are experiencing a good bounce rate and reduced dwell time. If that be the case, SEO can be deemed to be an effective part of the result.
As a top digital marketing agency, we share this general overview of page speed and SEO as a means of education. It’s incumbent on our developers to take this information and apply it in a way that can bring meaningful results to customers like you.
At the end of the day, we want you to understand that we are always looking to maintain the best website development practices at all times. When evolution dictates that page speed has become an essential factor in search engine results, we intend to maintain a high level of specialization in such areas at all times.