Speed & SEO More Important Than Ever

by Jim November 25, 2015

UPDATE: Video transcript available for ‘Speed & SEO More Important Than Ever’.

There’s been a lot of announcements and information coming from Google in recent times. Last week we had them share that 60% of users will abandon a page if it takes 3 seconds or longer to load.  Then the news that the released Google Search Quality Raters Guide is telling the raters that they must look at sites on mobile devices only, suggests that speed will be a big issue with them as well.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Unintended Consequences

So speed is something we always look at. Not only for ranking but for conversions as well. So last week one client finally moved to faster dedicated hosting. At the same time I had traced a conversion drop to a page load time increase as you will see in today’s video. The page load times had doubled and the conversion rate had halved around the same time. I was hoping for a 0.5% increase in conversion rate. However when I compared the week before to the week after the hosting change I was a little surprised.

Speed Increased revenue but not conversions
Speed Increased revenue but not conversions

Talk about unintended consequences. Our revenue was up across the site by nearly 27% and so was the average order value by nearly 13%. Look at the conversion rate though it was getting worse. So why the extra revenue? This is a seasonal business so a comparison of year on year (YOY) is necessary to reflect that.

Revenue even better, conversions even worse.
Revenue even better, conversions even worse.

I think I know what the conversion issue is but I’ll save that for another post when I will have better data. But why the revenue increase? Where did it come from?

SEO Traffic Up
SEO Traffic Up

So SEO traffic is way up and along with revenue, even though week on week conversion rate is worse. The conversion issue looks like it is isolated to a few outlying landing pages (which I thank @glenngabe for his technique for using GA to isolate these.) When you see an increase in traffic from organic it usually means rankings are up.

Ranking increase coincides with traffic increase
Ranking increase coincides with traffic increase

The green section above represents phrases on page one, the blue phrases on page two and the red page three and beyond.  This is a screen grab from our ranking tool STAT. We just had ten phrases jump on to page one! From a simple speed increase. For the record the page load times decreased by about 60%.

Be Fast

I’ve been saying this since 2010. You have to keep an eye on it regularly. Your speed stats in GSC should be under a second. Anything slower than that and you’re leaving money on the table. With ecommerce sites this can be a challenge but the effort is worth it.

 

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

« | »
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
ErrorHere