Who knows how high up page speed is in the Google algorithm factors? One thing that we do know however is that it can greatly benefit your site. Here are a few cool tools that can help you understand the importance of site speed as well as improve it.
Page speed affects more than rankings
On a case by case basis, improving page and site speed can either mildly or drastically improve your rankings. Even more importantly in most cases improving site and page speed can improve your conversions. When I think about it (and I may just be nit-picky), if I am balancing on whether or not to buy a product, an extra few seconds or even just a second may be just enough time to persuade me to hold out and continue shopping. In addition, we really need to keep our users in mind more than anything. Speed directly influences usability and enhances the user experience.
Check out this information regarding loading time and how it affects users on your site. This infographic is found on KISSmetrics.
You vs. Your Competition
One good thing to think about is how your competition is doing speed wise. There are some people on the web that have mentioned they didn’t see too much of a difference in ranking when improving site speed. Many of those people also were competing with competition with already better site speed though. If you are at the tipping point of outranking your competition but need that little nudge to make it, an increase of your page speed ahead of your competition can possibly nudge you over. One cool and fun tool to play around with when measuring your site speed vs. your competitor’s is called http://whichloadsfaster.com/. The premise is simple. You input your URL as well as your competitor’s URL to see which loads faster like so:
PageSpeed Insights is an incredible tool for determining page speed as well as providing suggestions to improve. I initially used this tool from the developers.google.com page, but was very happy to find out that they have both Google Chrome and FireFox browser extensions. In Google Chrome the extension runs through the Chrome Developer tools. Basically once it is installed, you simply need to click on your wrench icon followed by “tools” then “developer tools”. For FireFox PageSpeed Insights runs through the Firebug web development tool, so be sure to get that extension as well. These extensions make it easy to analyze page speed. You can find out more about PageSpeed Insights here. I definitely suggest checking these tools out and utilizing them.