A closeup of a digital timer counter on tablet—the timer reads 00:03.18

Speed usually seems like a luxury. When it comes to faster cars, faster shipping, faster computers, or faster service, we appreciate the time saved—but we don’t think of it as necessary. In most of those cases, the slower model works just fine if you’re willing to wait.

The speed of your website, however, is much more than a little luxury. In fact, it’s a key factor in your ability to bring in and convert leads. A single second shaved off your website’s load time can be the difference between missing and attracting new business.

Ready to multiply the power of your website? Think fast! Here are three big ways a little extra speed can connect you with more customers or clients:

1. A fast website can improve your search rankings.

Countless businesses compete every day to get their websites to the top of Google Search—and for good reason. Organic searches through Google account for a sizable chunk of the traffic to most websites, putting businesses in contact with potential clients and customers they may not otherwise reach.

In May 2021, Google plans to launch a major algorithm update that puts more emphasis on page speed. In other words, how fast a webpage loads will influence the page’s rank in search results. While page speed has been an ingredient in the rankings mix for a while, this update significantly raises the bar and shifts website load time from a general consideration into a set of detailed metrics.

The bottom line is that, all other things being equal, websites that hit the bar on Google’s speed metrics will rise in the rankings, and slower websites will fall. And, while speed won’t be the only ranking factor that matters, it will soon take up a much bigger portion of the pie.

Want more details? Get up to speed with Google’s 2021 page speed updates here.

2. Faster websites make for better user experiences.

The faster your website loads, the better the experience it provides to your users—including your existing and prospective customers and clients.

To understand why, consider your own experience online: How do you feel when you try to use a slow-loading website? How about when the elements on a page shift around as it loads? Do you usually wait around, or do you back up and try a different website?

We all know what it’s like to wait too long for a website to tell us what we need to know. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant’s menu on your phone or searching for a local attorney’s services on your desktop, it’s frustrating to hit a slow-loading, laggy, or broken website. Moreover, it can shake your confidence in the service that business might provide—and, in all likelihood, prompt you to visit a different destination instead.

When your website is slow to load, it’s likely that your prospects are frequently choosing your competitors over you. Their immediate needs—to find answers, to access information, to get help—almost always outweigh any concerns about who meets those needs.

In terms of online search, it’s not just about finding the right answer—but the fastest one.  

This is especially important for attorneys, doctors, and other professionals who help people with potentially life-changing problems. If prospective clients have to wait for your website to load, or if it’s sluggish as they use it, they’re going to build an impression of your business itself as slow, sluggish, and inconsiderate of their time. 

3. Website speed can accelerate conversions.

Attracting people to your website via Google and providing a great user experience when they get there are the first steps. Now, let’s talk about conversions.

Faster websites are better at getting visitors to convert—i.e., complete a desired action, like filling out a contact form, downloading an offer, or clicking to call.

It’s not just a gut feeling. All kinds of businesses—from auto retailers to doctors and lawyers—have found that shaving even milliseconds from loading speeds can drive an uptick in conversions. Likewise, for every second of delay in load speed on mobile devices, conversions can fall by up to 20%.

Website speed affects retention and referral rates well. Users may convert once on a slow site, but they are less likely to return to the same business again or recommend the business to their friends and family. Ensure your website loads quickly, and you won’t miss out on valuable word-of-mouth marketing!

Get up to speed with award-winning website experts on your side.

These are just a few reasons to invest in your website and considerations for providing your visitors with the best possible experience. Clearly, a speedy website matters. And, thanks to Google, 2021 is the year where it really matters.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours of your time optimizing your online presence alone. Get your website up to speed by getting in touch with the experts at Foster Web Marketing.

Give our team a call at 888.886.0939, or schedule a website design consultation to learn about your current site speed and how to improve it!

For more tips about creating and improving your online presence, check out Ruby’s free guide.


Molly McCormick is Director of Marketing at Foster Web Marketing.

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It is amazing to think that Google was founded almost 22 years ago and went public in August 2004, over 16 years ago! During this time, rapid change has been the one constant in the world of search. Search continues to evolve as consumers shift the devices, platforms, and intent of their search behavior, and that evolution isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. If anything, the rate of change is only accelerating!

This presents major opportunities for growing businesses. By staying current on emerging trends and adjusting your tactics wisely, you can gain an edge in your market.

At DSG, we help clients of all kinds do exactly that. Here are a few insights and tips you can use to improve your SEO performance.

PPC and SEO: unique marketing channels that yield complementary data

If your business is like many, you rely on both paid and organic marketing to expand your reach and generate revenue online. There is a delicate balance between paid and organic marketing.  Often, we encounter businesses who look at the data from their paid and organic search tactics as separate entities. However, when businesses strategize properly, they can use two powerful forms of paid and organic marketing—PPC and SEO—in harmony to maximize efficiency and spend smarter ad dollars.

First, let’s define our terms. PPC (Pay Per Click) is a method of driving clicks through paid search campaigns via keyword bidding. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) aims to increase your business’s organic search engine rank by improving the discoverability, relevance, and authority of your website.

PPC and SEO each have separate roles, but that doesn’t mean that they need to work independently. PPC and SEO share a common goal: attracting people to click to your website. In other words, it’s like chocolate and peanut butter–two great tastes that taste great together.

So, why not mash ‘em up? Let’s look at how SEO and PPC can support each other. A holistic approach to search will help you navigate an increasingly complex landscape.

Keyword trends can inform strategies.

Here are some strategies you can use to intertwine your SEO and PPC data to gain a holistic view of your campaigns:

  1. First, identify high ranking keywords from your organic search campaigns. Use this data to reduce or eliminate your bids on these same keywords in your PPC campaigns—especially if a campaign has a high cost per click. If you’re already ranking well for these keywords organically, it becomes less valuable to spend your PPC budget on them.

  2. Second, analyze data on your PPC click-through rates. Identify keywords with an above-average PPC click-through rate but a low organic click-through rate, and then incorporate those keywords into your SEO tactics. This data indicates that these keywords are highly relevant and valuable, and should be a high-priority target for your SEO strategy. This enables you to extend your digital reach without extending your marketing budget.

What’s your online listing strategy?

The way that we conduct searches is evolving. People no longer search using a singular keyword—they ask questions that reveal specific needs and high intent. If you want to get serious about your search engine optimization, you need to get serious about your online listings.

In fact, 70% of search queries contain three or more keywords. This means your customers are searching with the intent to answer specific questions about your business—they’re not just looking for you, but looking for information about why your business is the best fit for their needs.

Changes in search behavior also reflect the rise of omnichannel customer experiences. These days, a customer may start their search on Google, but experience a journey of many different platforms before arriving at their final purchasing destination.

We all do it without giving it a second thought. For instance, when you’re in search of tonight’s dinner, you may hypothetically start by Googling “pizza places near me.”  Once you’ve discovered a contending pizza shop, you might visit their Yelp page to check out reviews, then their Facebook and Instagram to see if they’re running any special deals. Finally, you plug their name into Waze and drive to your destination. All of these platforms—Google, Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Waze—played a role in your purchasing decision, and you may not have arrived at your destination if the pizza shop had missing information.

For this reason, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your hyperlocal presence is robust and your digital listings are complete with relevant information on your business.

Today, business listings require more than just a business’ name, address, phone number. Search, social, navigation, and voice platforms offer rich libraries of additional attributes that allow businesses to share the information that their customers are searching for. For example, businesses have the ability to specify holiday hours, pickup/drop-off/delivery capabilities, FAQs, products, menus, and much more.

When a business’ online presence is fully populated with hours, reviews, photos, and relevant information like menus or product lists, consumers are 197% more likely (PDF)  to view that business as a place they can depend on. Proactively offering solutions to these queries helps your customers to find you.

These are just a few considerations for harmonizing SEO and PPC, and boosting your business’ performance in search. For a deeper discussion about these concepts, check out our recent webinar—you can watch the full recording here.

For more information about optimizing your online presence, check out Ruby’s free guide.


DSG is a digital marketing agency in Malvern, PA.

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