Web Speed and Search – So What’s the Connection?

by | May 21, 2015

When it comes to web performance, speed and search share a lot more than just a couple of letters. The strongest platforms are designed with an awareness of the impact speed and search optimization have on user response, and implement effective tools for performance enhancement.

Understanding the importance of these elements and how they work together can make all the difference between a successful and sub-par online experience.

Speed: Every Second Counts

Our fast-paced society is only getting faster. Whether they’re using an app on the subway or a desktop at the office, users expect to be able to receive your message and interact with your site instantly, in their preferred format.

Load testing is crucial, as a quick loading site helps to ensure user satisfaction and increase visitor retention–and a slow-loading (or non-loading) site will almost certainly frustrate users and cost you business. According to a study by Radware, 51 percent of people shopping online reported that they would not buy from a site that loaded slowly.

In addition, page speed is one of the factors Google uses when determining search rankings. While it is not yet one of the most critical factors necessary to rise to the first page of Google search results, it will surely move more in that direction as time goes on. Google’s recent Mobile Search Algorithm change highlighted how committed the search giant is to rewarding web entities who put mobile accessibility and performance first.

At the end of the day, why put in the effort (and money!) to improve SEO if a difficult-to-use or slow site will just turn users away?

Search: Guiding Buyers Down the Path to Purchase

You can’t have an optimally performing website without search optimization. Quick identification and increased visibility are key factors that drive a site’s traffic and conversions. According to a study by Outbrain, search is still the primary source of traffic to websites, surpassing social media by more than 300 percent.

By implementing relevant keywords into your web content, you’ll ensure that more customers and prospects receive your messaging and offers right at the exact moment they’re most primed for purchase. And once they reach your site, in-site search engines give users quick and easy access to your company materials, blog posts, and products or services, providing even more opportunities to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Connecting the Dots

Once you’ve implemented best practices for both speed and search, it’s important to monitor your web performance to ensure that your optimization efforts are making the intended impact.

First, establish specific goals so you have a benchmark. Then, after a specific period of time, review your progress and alter your approach based on the results.

Below are a few examples of questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my weakest areas? How can I improve these and prevent loss in the future? Is this something I can do on my own or should I hire someone (or an outsourced team) to help with these improvements?
  • What is my greatest success and what specifically enabled it? How can I utilize this successful strategy to achieve other goals?
  • What unexpected challenges arose? How can I use these challenges to my benefit in the future?

Evaluating your goals, results, and overall progress will put you in a better position to create optimal web performance. These elements require a skilled hand and an observant eye to create the exceptional web experience that will encourage the growth of your business and brand. Understanding these concepts will put you on the path to a strong online presence.

If you need personalized guidance in optimizing your web performance, contact us here at Apica to learn more about our load testing and monitoring tools.

Apica Product Team