One of the most important ranking factors in the google search results is currently the loading speed of a website. Therefore, it is mandatory in every modern SEO-audit to subject your WordPress site to a speed test.
Why is speed optimization so important?
The Mobile-First Index was introduced for the first time in 2018. The key change here is that when a search engine looks at your website, the search engine rates two different versions of your domain. Firstly, your website is rated as it would be found by a mobile device and secondly, the desktop version is rated.
The traffic generated by mobile devices has long overtaken traffic from computers. Google has also recognized this and gives the mobile version of your website a higher weighting. The effect is that search engines crawl the mobile version of your website first. This is why we also speak of Mobile-First Indexing.
Your website can achieve completely different positions in the search results for mobile devices as well as for desktop devices! Therefore it is important to optimize both versions. Experience shows that the mobile version of the site is too often neglected.
Google is pushing new technologies to reduce page size
Google is trying to inform all webmasters that you should optimize your web pages for mobile devices as well. Besides several announcements, Google has developed and updated dozens of tools in the last years to help you optimize loading times.
What you as a webmaster can derive from these efforts: Loading time and speed are extremely important for websites & search engines. Studies of shop operators even show that the loading time of websites has a direct influence on the achieved turnover.
In addition, user experience plays a huge role in search engine optimization. Search engines can evaluate the usefulness of a page by means of retention time and jump rates.
Tools like pingdom.com show you the actual loading time of your website.
The Search Console also displays data on how quickly your website loads.
Tools such as Test my Site with Google focus on showing what impact speed has on your sales.
A tutorial for optimizing WordPress speed would go beyond the scope of this article. Therefore we recommend to read our separate tutorial on speed optimization at this point.