Google Page Speed as a Ranking Factor in Google


When we built #renaissance one of the most critical factors we focused on was page speed.

And the reason why is quite obvious… There is nothing worse than a slow website!

Conversely, a fast website is well… excellent!

But did you know that it also affects your SEO?

IE, your ability to rank in Google?

Here’s a simple explanation. Google is in the business of providing quality experiences to their customers (those that use their search engine). As such, they want to ensure that any sites they recommend will make the user happy. Not just be relevant to the query, but also be intuitive, easy to use, and FAST!

So in 2010 Google announced for desktop users, Page Speed would be a ranking factor. And then in 2018, they announced officially that it is a ranking factor for mobile as well.

Google does not always confirm what their ranking factors are, but the nice thing about page speed is, that they have. And so there is no debate here: Page Speed Affects Google Rankings!

When thinking about page speed, you need to consider 2 things:

  • The platform or service provider you select

  • What have control over within that platform (directly or through services)

The first item: The platform you are using, is the ultimate determining factor in terms of just how fast you “could” make the site if you did everything correctly, and worked hard on your WPO (Web Performance Optimization).

If you make a mistake and choose a web platform (CMS, full package site, etc) that does not at least have the capabilities of being fast (with some work), then you ultimately will be in an uphill battle investing time trying to increase page speed and you will likely be disappointed with the results.

So make sure when considering platforms, that you choose a platform that can demonstrate exceptional page speed on BOTH desktop and MOBILE. (Don’t let them fool you with just desktop numbers, the desktop is EASY to WPO, Mobile is much harder, and it matters more).

Once you have a platform you can work with that IS Google Page Speed friendly, and you’re ready to start working with it, the next part is all on you.

Your site will be fast or slow depending on what YOU do with it.

Let’s unpack this a bit…

Often times Realtors® will buy a super fast site (at least it was super fast during the demo), and they will start working with it, filling it up with content, using the features available, hooking up listings, all the things.

They go live, they are all excited, and then they run a google page speed test, and BOOM (not)… it’s a 35! What? I thought I bought a super fast site.

Before you get all upset, chances are it’s not them, it’s you! (But it’s not your fault, you’re not a WPO expert, that’s why this article is here). Let’s help you understand what happened.

Google Page speed is 2 things:

  • The base platform itself
  • What you add to it

Typically what you’ll find when you run your Google page speed test is that almost all of the items that Google is calling out are things you probably added to the site.

Ask yourself a few questions:

Did you add a huge video to your homepage? Videos are huge (and thus slow). They are NOT conducive to fast-loading sites.

Did you add images to the site? Of course, you did! (as you should). But did you properly compress those images for the perfect balance of visual appeal and file size?

How many images did you add? Each image adds filesize to the page and therefore increases the time it takes to load.

Did you experiment with custom HTML? Did you go to the internet and Google how to custom code something, grab some HTML and paste it into your site without knowing exactly how it works?

Are you using any third-party scripts or tracking codes? Do you have a chatbot that you copy pasted javascript into the page? Do you have the “FUB Widget” on your site? How about some mortgage partner banner form thingy that connects to a third party?

These are all examples of things that if done incorrectly can greatly impact your page speed.

Top tips for having a faster real estate website

  1. Avoid videos on your most critical SEO pages (including your homepage). If you want to use video, put it on a sub-page where you set the expectation with the consumer they are going to see a video “click here to watch my video on neighborhood x”. They will wait, and not be upset if they know a video is coming. But don’t make the video page an important SEO page.
  2. Limit your use of images to just critical images. Don’t make the mistake of using an image where well-formed text and CSS-enabled visuals will do.
  3. Resize your IMAGES! This is perhaps the easiest thing to learn and the most critical thing to do. If you want to get REALLY advanced, you could have your webmaster/retainer team implement them in WebP format.
  4. Write more, code less. Google loves content (and so do consumers) so don’t be afraid to put effort into writing more content to fill the page instead of trying to take up space with huge images or other filesize heavy elements. Get really good at formatting, and use H1-H3, bullets, bold, italics, links etc. You can make the content look really nice without having to jazz it up with images.
  5. Avoid any third-party scripts you can. If it isn’t critical to your business, and is not 10X’ing your leads, get it off your site. It’s not worth hurting your page speed to have the latest widget on there.
  6. Work with your webmaster: Some things you can’t control, but might be slow. For example, if you’re a Realtor® and you have listings on your site, the images for the listings are fed from a third party (The MLS) and so you can’t control their size, clarity etc). It may be possible (with programming) to dynamically resize those images and increase performance on pages with listings. But if it’s not for some reason (or they just don’t offer that service) you can at least improve page speed by limiting how many listings you show on the page.

So there you have it - a starter guide to making sure that your site is as fast as possible and gets any ranking boost that Google provides for having a fast site.

I will leave you with one more tip though: Stop shooting for perfect. The goal is to be considerably faster than any other site in your market (you want that green score on page speed) but don’t give up your CTA’s or listings on a page to try to get 100/100.

You probably don’t need it.

If you’re 80-85+ on mobile and 90-95+ on desktop, chances are you’re crushing it. You can probably move on to another SEO element once you’re there.

Don’t obsess over the last 5%, it’s REALLY hard, you need a WPO expert to get to that level, and it’s expensive.

Did you like this article on location targeting? Do you want me to write more content on PPC for Realtors? Leave me a 5-star Google review and let me know :slight_smile: \

1 Like

Is WebP supported? It is not listed in the MoxiManager or anywhere I upload images on the site.

I will have to check with @Aayaam I don’t think WebP is supported by MoxiManager, hence why I suggested having your webmaster/retainer team work on that for you.

Aayaam can you confirm?

And if it isn’t, it should be!

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Hi @PuertoRealty, Morgan is right. Our image resizer accepts webp format images that come directly from the MLS however we don’t support the webp format for user uploaded images to the website from CMS backend today. I have added it to our roadmap for next R&D discussion. Thank you

Great to hear! Thank you!