If you’re a lawyer, you might already know that having a great website is important. You may even have heard of the phrase SEO.
Page Speed Affects SEO & Google Rankings
However, you might not know what goes into SEO or how to beat the competition when it comes to legal SEO. One of the many factors of great legal SEO is page load time. It’s important to understand how page load time can impact SEO in the legal industry.
What Is Page Load Time?
Page load time is the time it takes for the content to load on a site. In other words, from the time that the searcher clicks on your link, page load time measures the time it takes for the searcher to see your site. It measures how fast the page loads once a person clicks to go to the site.
Generally, when a website owner measures page load speed, they look at something called the largest contentful paint, or how long it takes for the largest content of the page to load so that the user has a meaningful experience.
Even if the entire page doesn’t load, the user needs to have enough information load in order to have a meaningful experience with the page.
Page Load Times Impact SEO
Page load times impact legal SEO because they impact the retention of users that click to the site. If a page doesn’t load soon enough, the searcher is going to lose interest and bounce back to choose another site.
Searchers expect to see pages that load quickly. If a page is too slow, you’re going to lose a client before you’re even able to conduct a consultation.
When someone needs an attorney, they want help quickly. In fact, pages that are even a few seconds slower than average may have a much higher bounce rate than pages that load right away.
You want the user to connect with you and your law firm as quickly as possible. Ultimately, slow page load times may mean lost clients.
Things that Impact Page Load Time
There are a number of things that impact page load time in legal SEO. Images that are too large can be a major factor. The number of items on a page can be a factor as well as available bandwidth.
If a page performs slowly in page load time, it’s critical to determine the cause of the slow performance in order to determine how to rectify it.
How to Measure Page Load Time
Once you know page load time is important, the next question becomes how to measure it. Of course, you can unofficially measure page load time by clicking on the links yourself and seeing how long they take to load.
However, this method may be unreliable because a page may load differently on different kinds of devices like a laptop or a mobile. The speed of your internet connection or the strength of your signal may also give you an inaccurate load time compared to what most of your visitors are experiencing.
Fortunately, there are tools that you can use in order to measure page load time for your site. In fact, Google makes some of these tools available to the website owner. Within Google Search Console, you can access Core Web Vitals in order to take a deep dive into the speed of your site.
In addition to reporting on load time, the report can also tell you whether you have urls that Google is unable to crawl in order to index them in search rankings. Lighthouse is another tool that may give you insight into various metrics of your website including page speed.
Legal advertising is no longer as simple as taking out an ad in the phone book. Page load times are just one of the factors that are important to a good legal SEO experience.
When you pay attention to load times on your pages, in addition to the many other important factors, presenting an optimized online experience can be an advantage to your law firm. Fast page load times can help you stand out from the competition.