Why website speed and performance are a vital part of SEO

Website speed and performance matter to your search ranking, we explore why.

Popular websites (with lots of high quality inbound links) like CNN or the BBC will always rank well on Google, and for many years if you have really good, niche content on your website you don’t even need to be that popular.

However, over the last couple of years, we have noticed some more surprising websites appearing in the top spots for highly competitive and hard-to-reach search terms. What differentiates these ‘new kids on the block’ from their bigger and long-established rivals is Website speed and performance. Google considers how fast your pages load and your website’s Core Web Vitals when determining your ranking in search results.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a set of factors that Google considers important when measuring a web page’s overall user experience. Core Web Vitals are made up of three different page speed and user interaction measurements (Enigmatically called largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift):

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP means how much time it takes for a page to load from the point of view of a website user. This can be measured by the time it takes from the user clicking on a link in Google’s search results to them seeing the majority of the landing page content on-screen.

First Input Delay (FID)

Once your website has achieved fast-loading pages, the next question to ask is can users interact with your page? FID measures the time taken for users to interact with your website. Interacting could mean anything from clicking on a tab in the navigation bar to entering your email into a form.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is how stable a page is as it loads. If the content and elements on your web page move about as the page loads Google will read this as high CLS, which is bad. Stabilising pages as they load means that users don’t have to chase links around the page or re-learn where the text is that they were reading.

Why Core Web Vitals Matter to Your Customers and Business

Company stakeholders can have different priorities. Core Web Vitals can be used to consolidate these priorities by focusing on optimising user-centric metrics and the resulting business growth.

The method of achieving Core Web Vitals varies between websites depending on how complex their design is and how well they are performing. However, all websites benefit from optimising web vitals and it should be considered a long-term investment in the growth of your business.

Optimising Core Web Vitals can turn your website visitors into loyal and returning customers. Creating easy navigation, fast-performing pages and a seamless user journey is satisfying for your customers and increases the likeliness of conversions

Case Study: Verbatim Telephone Answering Services

Verbatim Telephone Answering Services approached MMD to optimise their website and search engine ranking by improving the overall customer user experience scores and increasing their discoverability within Google’s search results.

MMD reviewed the code, content, and plugins used by Verbatim to reduce the loading times of the website’s pages. This improved Verbatim’s ranking score on Google as MMD created an extremely fast, mobile-friendly, fully search-optimised website.

From scores barely registering over 30 (Described by google as poor) MMD have transformed the Verbatim website so that according to Google’s Page Speed Insights tool, The Verbatim website is now scoring an ‘excellent’ is 95/100 and 98/100 for mobile and desktop speed respectively. These are very high scores which means that users can find and access Verbatim’s services easily.

Desktop speed data

Verbatim’s desktop speed breakdown from Google’s Page Speed Insights, 2022.

Mobile speed data

Verbatim’s mobile speed breakdown from Google’s Page Speed Insights, 2022.


Due to MMD’s optimisation work, Verbatim’s search ranking began to rapidly improve. From tracking analytics, we can see that Verbatim had an immediate increase in traffic and ranking scores since MMD’s website changes.

Sign up for a free performance report to find out how MMD can improve your web speed and optimise your Core Web Vitals.

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