I see a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Pagespeed and SEO.

How fast a website loads is a ranking factor, but it's only a small part of the complete picture.

The best way to describe it is to compare it to a restaurant. When you eat at a fancy restaurant, it's normal to wait 20 mins for your meal to be prepared and be served. At fast-food restaurants, you expect to wait 2 mins for your food to be served. But you aren't willing to wait 20 minutes for fast-food, nor does it mean just because it's fast, it's better.

So what does this have to do with SEO? A lot, because it all comes down to expectations and frustration rates.

At what point do you become frustrated with website load speeds? Are you willing to wait a bit longer while a website loads to buy just-released concert tickets? Anything that is in high demand and low supply is worth waiting for. The opposite is true when shopping for everyday items. Why would you wait to buy something when you can go somewhere else that's faster and easier?

This is why webpage speed tests only show you half of the picture. It always feels great to get a perfect score on a website test, but what does that score tell you? Did you test your website under heavy traffic? What is the user's average load time in Google Analytics? Have you tried loading your website from somewhere with a poor internet connection? How do most people access your website (OS, Browser, mobile, desktop...)? All these test a user's experience.

Your website needs to offer solutions and answers, also known as search intent, before fixing user experience.

Four types of Search Intent:

  • Informational (e.g., who is ... ?),
  • Navigational (e.g., insurance login),
  • Transactional (e.g., best used macs for sale), or
  • Commercial (e.g., Ahrefs vs. SEMrush)

"Sell the Sizzle NOT the Steak"

Like a restaurant, start with what is important (the meat, the steak, the content of your site). Load speeds isn't going to fix a website with thin content and no organic traffic, same as 7 seconds tacos isn't going to revolutionize the food scene unless they also taste amazing!

So please, stop saying I'm doing "SEO" when really, all you are doing is increasing an arbitrary score designed to help guide you, not determine actual page rank.