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Serve and Volley – Don’t let it Bounce!

Overlook your page speed and bounce rates at your peril.

The key to winning a game of tennis is to minimise the amount of time your opponent has to critically evaluate your own game or position. Serving fast, and following that with a strong volley, where you don’t let the ball bounce, is one way of doing that.

Serving fast, avoiding bounces. That’s not a bad lesson for SEO, and in particular, the importance of page speed.

People on the internet want to find information and they want to find it fast. When they can’t do that, because they are met with a page that is slow to load, they become frustrated.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We see an article, perhaps on a Facebook feed, that catches our interest, we follow the link and are met with grey and white blocks painstakingly printing themselves onto our screens. It only takes a couple of seconds before we abandon our visit, deeming that the content on the page cannot be worth the wait.

This is what we call a user who “bounces” – in other words, they land very briefly on the site before taking off again, unsatisfied with what they found. A high bounce rate can suggest a number of things about your digital presence – none of which are positive.

Google knows this, and pages with high bounce rates are unlikely to rank well in its results pages. In fact, Google has been using page speed as a factor for rankings since 2010, and in 2018 even released “The Speed Update”, demonstrating just how important page speed is to Google – and, in SEO, if it’s important to Google, then it’s important to you.

What’s more, Google’s crawl bots can only read a page that loads, and only spend so much time on a website during a crawl. The lower your page speed, the fewer pages they’ll be able to read and index before they move on. So not only will your pages appear lower in search engine results, but some pages might not appear at all.

So, what can you do about it? Well, Google built a free-to-use tool to help you see how your site is doing, PageSpeed Insights. What’s more, this tool gives you ideas and tips to reduce your page speed in the “Opportunities” section. Be careful though – some of these ‘opportunities’ aren’t contextualised – so whilst uploading images in next-gen formats might sound like a forward, positive step, they aren’t supported by some common browsers, such as Safari. Swapping to them might cripple your user experience scores, and see your page plummet out of search engine results.

That’s why it’s important to understand page speed as a part of SEO. The impact of having a slow page speed doesn’t just mean people have to wait longer to see your page, but that they won’t see it at all. Google only wants to provide the best experience to its users, and sending them to a slow page is not doing that. It’s also important to understand how the factors affecting page speed impact on each other, too, and what the right decisions to make for your website are. At AsOne, we have an experienced, professional team of web developers and marketers – meaning that we have all the knowledge and tools to help with your page speed problems.

Don’t believe us? Check out this case study, where we reduced the bounce rate of our client at the same time as almost doubling their traffic.

If you are interested in partnering with AsOne to boost your business, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 368 9100, where you can speak to our expert team and talk us through your business and how we can help you.

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