The Impact of Web Site Performance on SEO

by | February 26, 2014

Poor web site performance can result in a variety of issues for a business, ranging from high bounce rates and reduced visitor engagement to an increasingly less reputable perception. These negatives are largely based upon expectations, since the high-speed internet of today is accommodating to those with short attention spans. Web site visitors expect speedy results, and they are more than willing to click away if a site’s performance is noticeably lacking.

What many tend to overlook is that a web site with excellent performance, uptime, and speed is likelier to show up higher on search results. This has been apparent since 2010, when Google announced site speed as a ranking factor. In addition to increased search engine visibility, there are several positive aspects that a quality web site performance has on search engine optimization. They include:

Improved Algorithmic Analysis

A web site’s SEO strength is contingent on factors beyond performance, such as the number and quality of links pointing toward it. Google’s secret algorithm to determine search engine rankings is very complex, so a well-performing site is likelier to have all their inbound and outbound links counted, since it will be quicker and more efficient for Google to analyze each page on the web site.

Expanded Reach

Management in corporate IT and marketing seek to ensure stability and performance, but they also value the reach of content. If a web site’s servers go down frequently, a corporate web site is rendered irrelevant, no matter the strength of its content. Similarly, search engines like Google will pass over site content if it fails to load, an error important enough that they log it in Webmaster Tools. Analyzing the load, optimization, and performance of a web site using analytical systems can help management expand their company’s reach, as well as strengthen SEO.

Improved User Behavior Detection

In the past several years, Google has ushered in user behavior as a very important factor in its algorithmic formulation of search engine rankings. Having a well-performing web site makes it likelier that a visitor will engage with a post, such as sharing it on Google +, which is an additional SEO-strengthening perk.

Still, it is worth keeping in mind that relevance remains the predominant force in a SEO strategy. Although targeted keywords and inbound links currently hold more weight than web site performance, the latter can impact everything – from how effectively Google picks up a page’s target keywords, to whether or not a Google bot skips over an RSS feed. As a result, it is highly recommended to use a cloud-based performance monitoring tool and load tester to improve site performance, and strengthen SEO in the process.

Apica Product Team