If getting your website ranked highly was a simple matter, there would be plenty of search engine optimization (SEO) companies out of business. Fortunately for the SEO companies, and unfortunately for you, there are plenty of different factors that go into getting your website ranked on the most popular search engines, including Google.

One factor that can help determine your site’s rankings in the eyes of the search engine is your site speed. If you’ve taken the time to polish everything else up on your website, why would your site speed matter to Google? Let’s review with site speed matters to Google and steps you can take to speed up your own site.

Why Does Site Speed Matter to Google?

Site speed is not the number one factor in determining your rankings but it is one factor that can make or break your site. Site speed is not new criteria for Google, in fact, Google itself announced that how fast a page responds to a Googlebot and load time as measured by Google toolbar were to become a factor in rankings back in 2010.

The reasoning that Google gave for making this a factor had to do with actual consumer feedback. People do not like slow sites. The fact that people do not like to wait for a web page to load is likely nothing new to you, but how much it impacts your site might be. Google’s own Maile Ohye has demonstrated that site slowdowns as much as half a second can greatly raise your site’s bounce rate (when someone visits your website but navigates away without browsing) significantly, and high bounce rates are never good in Google’s eyes.

There’s good news and there’s bad news when it comes to your site’s speeds. The good news is that site speed is only one of the nearly 200 factors that Google uses to determine site rankings but the bad news is that slow site speed will still negatively affect both your customers and your Google rankings.

To fix all your site speed woes you should take your issues to a web developer or SEO service to get their expertise. Developers and SEOs can use their familiarity with Google’s best practices, webmaster guidelines, and expert eye to explore deep into your website to figure out what’s slowing you down. When you get your site speed tuned by an expert, your site will look better in both Google and your customer’s eyes.