SEO: How a slow loading time on your website can ruin your conversion rate

You know it. If you don’t improve the loading speed of your website, you’re risking your conversion rate. In fact, did you know that just 100 milliseconds of additional loading time can cause a 7% drop in conversion rate? Furthermore, speed not only influences whether users stay longer or shorter on your website, it’s also a new ranking factor for Google. In mid-2021, the search engine updated its algorithm and indicated that Core Web Vitals are key to SEO ranking.

What are Core Web Vitals and why are they important for SEO?

Core Web Vitals are the three metrics imposed by Google to measure and analyze the user experience on a website, taking into account loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability of the site:

  1. LCP or Largest Contentful Paint: Measures the loading time of content, referring to the largest content element without the need for scrolling. For Google to recognize compliance with the recommended guidelines, the loading time should be less than 2.5 seconds.
  2. FID or First Input Delay: Is the time elapsed from when the user performs an action on the website, such as a click, until the browser responds. The FID of a URL should be less than 100 milliseconds.
  3. CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift: Refers to visual stability and measures the amount of unexpected changes in the layout of visible content. It should be 0.1 or less to provide a good user experience.

Loading time influences user experience

Users hate slow websites. Studies show that more than 50% of mobile users abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. And one to three additional seconds in loading time can increase the bounce rate by 32%. Beyond bounce rates, loading time matters when it comes to making your customers feel satisfied with their experience, so adding more seconds to your website’s loading time will generate negative results, making it more difficult to offer a good web experience.

How your website’s loading speed directly impacts your sales

Keep in mind that Google devalues websites that take too long to load, so conversions are affected by speed. Customers and visitors will stop returning to such sites or leave if pages take too long to load. As a result, potential customers and revenue are lost. Additionally, a page that takes a long time to load not only affects the number of users, as we’ve seen, but can also discourage others from buying on your website.

On the contrary, offering smooth and fast navigation to users can make them become repeat customers. In short, the faster a website loads, the more likely a user is to take a specific action.

So, how can you use these metrics to improve your website’s performance?

Core Web Vitals are here to stay, as Google’s rigorous requirements are focused on improving user experience. You should pay attention to these metrics in terms of SEO strategies, as they aim to improve user experience regarding navigability and also help ensure that your website provides fast and stable performance, which can increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates by ensuring a good experience.

Free tools to measure your website’s loading speed

As we’ve seen, Core Web Vitals have become a key ranking factor, so SEO experts must monitor their scores and ensure that metrics perform well to achieve top positions in Google search results.

You probably want to know the loading speed of your website. You can use any of these free tools to check the loading speed of your sites: PageSpeed Insights (enter a URL and click the Analyze button), Search Console, or Lighthouse.

How Known Online can help improve your SEO strategy and your Core Web Vitals

If you want to succeed in Google’s ranking, you should adapt to its new proposals such as Core Web Vitals. Improving these metrics requires in-depth analysis of the optimization needs of a website to then start working on those that most affect performance.

If you need help optimizing your website to increase your conversion rate, at Known Online we can help you achieve a competitive loading time that will position you on the first pages. Our expert SEO team can help you with these metrics and work on search engine optimization strategies to bring quality traffic to your site, improving your sales in a sustained and scalable way. Our comprehensive SEO service combines strategy, implementation, and analytics.

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Are you interested in developing and implementing an SEO strategy for your business? Contact us.