Page speed is a critical SEO factor and refers to the amount of time it takes for all the content on a specific website page to fully load. In fact, since so much traffic is now served to mobile devices, increasing your page speed has never been more important.
Page speed is so important in fact, that Google has made it an actual ranking factor in its ranking algorithms.
Page speed has been a ranking factor for a few years now. Furthermore, as each year passes, the page speed of a website seems to become a more important indicator to the search algorithms and therefore has more of an impact on your ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages). What was originally introduced as an additional metric that was designed to determine the speed at which a user would see the content they requested, has now evolved into a huge indicator of the overall user experience of a website.
The logic is simple: Faster loading pages = faster content delivery = faster user satisfaction = better page speed score = better SERPs*
*assuming all other SEO ranking factors are the same as your rival websites
No rocket science here - if the website(s) of your competitors are considerably faster and therefore more likely to deliver a better UX, which site would your audience be more likely to prefer? UX aside, if your competitor websites have a better page speed, they will gain a better page speed score in the search engine algorithms, which means they may well have a better position in the SERPs for your target search terms.
Most mobile devices typically have slower processors than most desktops and also render pages in different ways, requiring specific programming for different viewport (user's visible area of a web page) sizes etc. This means it's vital that this is factored in when developing your website to ensure your overall page speed score is good. Google, for example, actually throttles back the loading of a page to simulate a 3G connection. The irony here is that a mobile device actually has to work harder to load a page than a more powerful desktop machine does, which is due to the extra device-specific rules that they need to translate. This is why your Technical SEO and Content Optimisation is so important, particularly on mobile devices.
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