Is Website Page Speed Killing Your Google Ranking?

Google doesn’t like slow loading pages, especially when it hinders the experience of its biggest customer –
the mobile user.

What most people don’t understand is all that flashy, glitzy eye candy they’ve invested in – such as sliders, pop-ups and floating calls-to-action (CTA) – take time to load and launch on your page and that frustrates Google.


The Cost Of Slow-to-load Websites

Speeding up your website’s responsiveness to desktop, tablet and mobile browsers could generate significant rates of return considering that:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less;
  • 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load;
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to visit again;
  • 52% of online shoppers state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty;
  • 3 seconds of waiting decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%; and
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/

Test Your Page Load Speed Regularly

Google’s artificial intelligence is always evolving in terms of the criteria and algorithms it uses to measure page speed.

Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights Testing Tool on a regular basis and track the metrics over time to ensure that your page load times are favorable.

Remember that every page has its own unique ranking inside of Google’s cached memory banks, especially if you are being diligent in your page-level SEO encoding.  So, monitor your Google Analytics tracking information and measure your most popular pages as often as you deem necessary to minimize any risk of Google passing over the opportunity to refer your content when someone begins searching for the individual key words and  long-tail keywords that you’ve embedded into that content.

Test Your Site On Your Own Mobile Device

Your site has to be compatible with three “view” experiences:

  1. Desktop;
  2. Tablet; and
  3. Phone

The underlying code on your website has to first  recognize how much real estate is available to present your message and then reformat it on the fly to fit that mobile “footprint”. And, Google ranks your website’s mobile friendliness and will actual filter out those that don’t conform to its standard.

What many people who manage their own websites don’t understand is that you often have to literally build 3 separate views for every page. Now, most WordPress themes do the heavy lifting for you, here, but you still have to test the experience for each of the 3 views. And, sometimes you have to provide 3 different versions of images to ensure that the message you want to present is received effectively in all three of those experiences.

You can test your website against Google’s mobile-friendly requirements using Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool.

Start With Good Image Discipline

Here’s what Google tells us:

Optimize Images

This rule triggers when PageSpeed Insights detects that the images on the page can be optimized to reduce their filesize without significantly impacting their visual quality.

Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a page. As a result, optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements: the fewer bytes the browser has to download, the less competition there is for the client’s bandwidth and the faster the browser can download and render content on the screen.

Finding the optimal format and optimization strategy for your image assets requires careful analysis across many dimensions: type of data being encoded, image format capabilities, quality settings, resolution, and more. In addition, you need to consider whether some images are best served in a vector format, if the desired effects can be achieved via CSS, and how to deliver appropriately scaled assets for each type of device.

Optimizations for all types of images

Optimizations for GIF, PNG, and JPEG images

GIFPNG, and JPEG formats make 96% of the entire Internet’s image traffic. Because of their popularity, PageSpeed Insights provides specific optimization recommendations. For your convenience, you can download the optimized images directly from PageSpeed Insights (which is using image optimization library from modpagespeed.com).

You can also use tools such as the convert binary made by ImageMagick which can apply similar optimizations – see example instructions below.

If you use third party tools, please be aware that the transformation might make your images larger, if yours were already very well optimized. If that happens, please use your originals.

GIF and PNG are lossless formats, in that the compression process does not make any visual modification to the images. For still images, PNG achieves better compression ratio with better visual quality. For animated images, consider using video element instead of a GIF, to achieve better compression.

  • Always convert GIF to PNG unless the original is animated or tiny (less than a few hundred bytes).
  • For both GIF and PNG, remove alpha channel if all of the pixels are opaque.

For more detailed discussion about image size and optimization, please check out this Google article on the topic.


DIT’s design & development team can help you speed up your website and excite mobile users. Call DIT, now, @ (905) 209-9079 to discuss your needs.

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