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Laura Phillips

La Vitesse: Sort Out Your Site Speed

17th Feb 2015 SEO 3 minutes to read

La Vitesse: Sort Out Your Site Speed

Site speed. Forever on the ‘To Do’ list, rarely prioritised, especially by the over 30s. I am one so I can say that. It doesn’t matter how many times I bemoan site owners for not treating it as a priority, the sheer finickity nature of improving site speed means they often avoid addressing it for vast swathes of time.

In my last post, The Importance of Technical SEO in 2015, I wrote a little about site speed:

We have such short attention spans these days, not to mention barely a nano-second of patience when searching online. If your site is too slow people will leave and go to your competitors, within seconds, regardless of where you rank.

Here’s a few speed related facts as relayed by SEJ:

  • According to a case study from Radware, 51 percent of online shoppers in the U.S claimed if a site is too slow they will not complete a purchase.
  • Radware also discovered in another study that the demand for loading speed has increased over time. For example, in 2010 a page that took six seconds to load witnessed a -40 percent conversion hit. In 2014? That same loading time suffered -50 percent conversion hit.
  • Research has found that 47 percent of web users expect a website to load in under two seconds.
    During peak traffic times, 75 percent consumers are willing to visit competitor sites instead of dealing with a slow loading page.
  • Besides making visitors happy, having a website that loads quickly is good for business. In fact, Strange Loop has stated that just “a one second delay can cost you 7 percent of sales.”

Organic Search

Us older ones grew up with computers that came with cassette players which screeched at us like this for over 20 minutes before our 8-bit games loaded up, if they loaded up at all.

After that, the Internet became available to the masses, and it made this noise.

If your Mum picked up the phone while you were using it, you were cut off. No, really.


So we would wait. But things have changed, and the world ain’t like that anymore. As per the above, not only is site speed a ranking factor, however big or small, but as important/more importantly users hate waiting, and they will leave if they become impatient.

According to this rather good infographic from KISSmetrics you are likely to lose 25% of users within four seconds, and a one second delay can result in a seven percent reduction in conversions.


KISSmetrics also tell us that:

  • half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less
  • they tend to abandon a site that hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds
  • 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again
  • around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online

This means you’re not only losing current users but potential ones too.

Frustrated Dave

Paid Search

Taking all of the above into consideration, it’s clear that users are more likely to covert on a quick loading page.

But aside from that, Google are flagging site speed as an important factor, and it is taken into consideration when they amble through your landing pages too. Page speed affects your quality score. Your quality score affects your ad position, and cost. Poor page speed can result in lower positioned, more expensive ads, and no one wants that.

“The AdWords system visits and evaluates landing pages on a regular basis. If you’ve made significant changes to improve your landing page experience, it could lead to higher Quality Scores over time. You might not see an impact within the first few days, but you may see results over the next several months.” – Google

Site Speed Tools

There are a number of tools freely available to show you how you’re doing:

Check your site speed in Google Analytics:


GTMetrix analyses your site and gives a detailed breakdown of potential issues:


Alternatively you may prefer WebPageTest which is a bit more visual:

Load Time

Connection View

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Site speed is important, not just to Google but to your users too. Ask yourself again, can you afford to leave site speed at the bottom of your To-Do list?

To talk more on technical SEO and site speed, leave a comment below, tweet me, or get in touch.

Image Credits

Feature Image taken from BigStock

James Van Der Beek Image taken from QuickMeme

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Laura Phillips
About the author

Laura Phillips

Laura has experience of SEO, PPC and Social Media both in-house and within an agency environment. Having worked across a variety of industries from travel to law, and retail to education she is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the search and social visibility of her clients across various platforms.

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