It is the time a web page takes to load. Assigning a single number to page speed is difficult. This is because several metrics capture elements of the page load with different test conditions, for various purposes, and in different ways.
Why Care About Page Speed?
Google recently renewed its focus on page speed. That is why there is a Speed Report in Google Search Console, mobile speed has become a ranking factor, and Chrome announces they may flag slow websites. However, you may not know that page speed has been Google’s ranking factor since 2010.
The following are some of the reasons why you should care:
Influences User Experience – You want a fast and smooth experience for your visitors. Visitors can notice any lag or delay in their actions.
Impacts Analytics – In general, a fast website records more visitors since the analytics tag loads quickly. The analytics system does not record if a person leaves a website before the tag is fired.
SEO – According to the official statement, the Speed Update only impacts slow websites.
Several studies show that increasing page speed shows an increase in things such as click to visit ratio on ads, organic traffic, increase traffic in general, and several other benefits. There are several examples of studies on page speed improvements in WPO Stats.
However, I will caution you that most of these studies can be a bit misleading, so they can mislead you. Google says that improving your web page speed will not impact your rankings unless your web page was extremely slow before. As you can see – no matter what your website, page speed is important.
You May See an Increase in Traffic! Why?
It is because the analytics tag fires sooner than before, so it records more people before they leave the web page.
How Fast Should A Web Page Load?
Even though there is no official threshold, it is highly recommended that your web page should load in under three seconds. This is because 53% of mobile visitors leave a web page that takes more than three seconds to load. This is according to the Google study.
I speculate that this recommendation is more likely from the Speed Index metric since it is based on what was a popular measure when the study was done. I do not believe that there is a particular metric mentioned by Google when giving a number for page speed. These recommendations are usually from Google and they are generic such as “make your websites as fast as possible” or “make websites fast for users.”