If you haven't already, we would recommend you read our article about website optimization. It will allow you to better understand why it matters for PageSpeed and SEO. If you already know everything there is to know, let's start exploring some business cases for optimizing your website performance.
1. The Case for SEO Performance
This one is straightforward: Google uses PageSpeed as a key indicator for search rankings. Fast sites get favourable positioning versus equally relevant, slow websites.
Is it the most significant factor in SEO? No. Is it an important factor? Yes, definitely. If all else stayed the same but your website loaded one second faster, that performance improvement would bear out in your rankings over time over time.
2. The Case for Advertising Efficiency
Google Ads is one of the biggest and most commonly-used advertising platforms in the world. Many small, mid-sized, and large businesses use the platform to skip the SEO line and get their results to the top of the results page.
When we advertise on search engines like Google, our pricing is adjusted based on the quality and relevance of the advertisement and the website the ad points to. Google calls this a 'Quality Score.' Quality scores are assigned by keyword: a single campaign might target ten keywords and have a different quality score for each. Low-quality scores artificially reduce the efficiency of our ad budget — we pay the penalty for poor relevance and poor quality. On the other hand, exceptionally high-quality scores result in a pricing discount, stretching our budget further. We're incentivized to build our campaigns according to Google's standards.
When we've worked to improve website performance for our advertising clients, we have consistently seen a modest increase in quality score even if our keywords, design, and advertisements stay the same. Keywords ranked 5/10 for quality score may improve to 7/10, for example. This alone provides a tangible increase in advertising performance.
3. The Case for Marketing Performance
Improving page speed and user experience has a knock-on effect for all digital marketing campaigns.
Marketers and business owners alike tend to over-value their offering. That is, we tend to expect that people want what we're selling with more urgency than they sometimes have. Especially in the digital arena, clicks are cheap, and attention spans are short.
That makes website performance surprisingly impactful on marketing conversion rates. Take a look at CloudFlare's report on website performance versus conversion rates:
CloudFlare is far from alone in conducting this research. Web page speed has been a factor in conversion rates for as long as digital marketing has existed. The findings have always been the same: speed = conversions.
4. The Case for Sustainability
Finally, website performance impacts the carbon footprint of your business.
In everyday life, we take for granted the physical infrastructure that makes our websites and apps run. We often assume that digital and physical are entirely separate when they're actually two sides of one coin.
Every website exists on a server, which exists in physical space. Servers are powerful computers running 24/7/265. Each calculation they perform to deliver a website to its users has an energy cost associated with it, however small. Servers perform many calculations. The server's volume of work required to display a web page correlates directly with website performance.
Web pages have a measurable CO2 footprint. No, really. Go measure your website.
Just as modest improvements to your lead gen conversion rate can significantly impact your sales and revenue, reducing the footprint of your web pages has a multiplicative effect on emissions. We recently launched a microsite for a client that produces just 0.34g of CO2 per pageview versus just over 1g of CO2 on their main website. In just a few weeks, we've reduced their advertising emissions throughput by approximately 50%. We estimate that our microsite alone saves 4.3kg of carbon per year compared to running ads through the main website. It's a small but measurable impact. If every business prioritized web performance, particularly website sustainability, we'd see significant global reductions in IT-related emissions.
PageSpeed Impact on Advertising
If you would like to get some real-world data on the impact of PageSpeed on Advertising, read our case study on how website optimization for a B2B client resulted in increased leads and lower cost-per-click.