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We’ve all experienced it.
Waiting one second, two seconds, three seconds or even four or more seconds for a website page to load.
Chances are unless we are highly committed to the information that could be on the page we will hit the back button and continue our browsing on another website.
Recently Microsoft computer scientist Harry Shum found that internet users will visit your website less if its loading time is 250 milliseconds slower than your competitors.
To put that into perspective that’s faster than the blink of an eye or the time it takes a baseball pitched at 99 m.p.h. to reach home plate. This means that if your slight loads even a blink of an eye slower than your competitor your visitors will go elsewhere.
Source: NY Times
Google was already ahead by a couple of years in accounting for this user preference for fast loading websites. In 2010 Google confirmed that site speed counts as a ranking factor and just more recently Google’s Matt Cutts has hinted at site speed penalties for slow loading mobile websites.
So we know that website speed not only affects user behavior on your website but that a slow loading website will also hurt your rankings.
This is why we check Site Speed and service response times as part of our SEO Site Audit process.
If you are unsure of your website speed there are a few site speed tools you can use:
Web Page Test Tool (a tool that creates a video comparing two website’s page load time side by side)