How many times have you left a site or a webpage because it was just too slow? Research shows that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.  While common sense might tell you that speed is a factor in creating a positive user experience with your site, it is also a ranking factor used by Google.  Since site speed is a result of page speed you often see them discussed together.  Page speed can be measured in 2 ways—the time it takes to display the content of a specific page or the time for your browser to receive the first byte of data (also known as first byte).  Site speed is the speed of a sample of page views on a site.

Site speed ultimately affects user experience and your bottom line.  Longer load times per page mean fewer indexed pages, higher bounce rates and less time spent on pages.  When a user leaves a slow page before making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, you lose revenues and conversions.  Good user experience also promotes linking, sharing and repeat visits; which are additional factors that affect site ranking.  At Dirxion, our digital pages load faster, resulting in more page views per session and higher user engagement levels.  We do this by using multiple servers to balance traffic across our products, and we monitor server response times for performance issues to continually tweak any areas that need adjustment.  Dirxion also utilizes top rated CDN (Content Delivery Network) services for caching content at multiple data centers around the world which allows us to deliver information twice as fast to each user from a location that is as close to them as possible.  Dirxion digital pages provide users the best possible performance with reduced risk of site outages due to traffic surges or attacks.  Our products are built for speed and reliability.

Beyond the user experience, site speed is one of approximately 200 ranking factors used by Google.  Although Google is unclear about the specific impacts of page speed in rankings, researchers at Moz studied the relationships between page speed and rank in order to develop a better understanding of what they referred to as the ‘probable influences’ that site speed has on ranking.  Not knowing which page speed method Google might be using (content display time or first byte time); Moz first set out to see if they could determine which page speed exhibited a correlation to search rankings.  In their study, Moz reviewed 2000 sites and found that there was no apparent connection between when a page load completed and how well it ranked in search results for a variety of search terms; but, there did seem to be a connection between server speed and search rankings indicating that Google could be using the first byte measurement to determine site speed.  If their findings are correct, this means that in terms of page speed influence on search rankings, the backend set up of your site is just as important as front end performance and design.  You need to have both aspects of your site in line with current best practices for optimal performance.  To learn more about best practices for improving site speed, visit https://moz.com/learn/seo/page-speed.

If you are looking for a new solution for your digital publishing needs or just want to learn more about Dirxion, please contact us.

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Written by Ruth McMahan