The 2022 Ultimate Guide to Website Speed and Optimization

How Poor Page Load Time Is Could Be Killing Your Business and How to Fix it


Why Speed MattersWhat is Website Speed? Core Web Vitals, metrics simplifiedHow to Improve your Site SpeedWhere to measure your site’s speed?

Why Speed Matters

“A 10-second delay in page load time can increase your bounce rates by 123%” - Think With Google.

By the time you finished reading that statement, more than 3 seconds have passed. If you’re on a mobile device, you’ll spend about 2.2 seconds just to load this page. If you’re on a desktop then the page should be ready in around 1.5 seconds. 

Figure 1 Google Lighthouse Results for

Now that you’re thinking about it, you’ve spent about 8-10 seconds in total reading this far. For a moment, imagine if instead of reading this guide you were still waiting on the website to load. You’d be pissed off, right? Well, the 46% of web visitors who hate waiting for pages to load agree with you. But we’re talking about a few seconds, why does it matter? It matters because of the 1-second impact on your business.

The 1-second impact

" 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their likelihood to buy.” - Unbounce

70% of consumers freely admit that site speed directly impacts the likelihood to buy. How fast is fast enough? The average mobile user expects a website to load in less than 3 seconds, meaning more than 50% of mobile users will give up after just 3 seconds—and every fraction of a second in delay impacts conversion rate.

“Your website should load as fast as possible. If you’re an eCommerce website, you should shoot for less than 2 seconds or you run the risk of losing potential customers”  - John Muller, Google

One second might not look like a lot to you, but to your business, it makes a huge difference. Amazon, the retail giant, while talking about the importance of page load time to their business, said it would cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year. That’s a whole lot of money, right? There’s more.

Take a look at these 1-second stats by Hosting Tribunal

  • 1-second delay reduces page views by 11%.
  • 1-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16%.
  • 1-second delay eats away 7% of the coveted conversion rate.
  • 1-3 seconds in loading time see a very low bounce rate probability – only 32%.
  • Add 1 second more to that and the chance for users to bounce triples, reaching 90%.

How about we make it practical on the importance of 1-second to your business? 

When you’re in business, you have to understand that speed is important in all areas of customer-product interaction and engagement. These little seconds you don’t measure affect everything from conversions, revenue, churn rates, customer retention, customer lifetime value, all down to the overall growth of the business.

Understanding website speed is a complex topic that encompasses both a technical focal point and a business perception based on its customers. In this guide, we’ll try to cover all there is to get you started on website speed, its importance, impact on your business, and how you can optimize yours to run faster.

"70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their likelihood to buy.” - Unbounce

Core Web Vitals, metrics simplified

This now brings us to the hot new term in search – the Core Web Vitals. This new program from Google “Web Vitals,” focuses on providing unified guidance for search engine bots in providing an excellent user experience. 

With this, Google put together a common set of signals that are of top priority, which are called “Core Web Vitals.”

The core website vitals encompass all web experiences in other to unify all metrics and are based on 3 factors, namely: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift
TimelineDescription automatically generated
Image credit: Chromium

Google defines all these 3 factors as of primary importance in a users’ web experience, as it takes into account loading experience, interactivity, and visual stability. You should note that these are a subset of the metrics we defined above in the more general User-Centric Metrics. That’s not unintentional, as the “Core Web Vitals” are the three key metrics Google is asking customers to focus on (and bringing into the search rank). But having a deeper understanding of all the field measurable (meaning can actually be measured from real user behavior) is critical. 

Ilya Griogorik, Google Web Performance Engineer, had this to say about the Core Web Vitals: 

“All of these metrics capture important user-centric outcomes, are field measurable, and have supporting lab diagnostic metric equivalents and tooling. For example, while Largest Contentful Paint is the topline loading metric, it is also highly dependent on First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Time to First Byte (TTFB), which remain critical to monitor and improve.”

Where to measure your site’s speed?

Your website’s speed is dependent on how, and from where, your users access it. Mobile customers on a cellular network will have an entirely different experience than a laptop connected to broadband. So how fast would a server in a data center load your site? Answer—who cares. This is the world of synthetic page tests.

These synthetic user metrics, or "lab metrics,” provide a deep and detailed analysis of page performance in a controlled setting (a datacenter with simulated network effects). Testing your website's speed with synthetic audit platforms (GTmetrix,, and Google Lighthouse) are great ways to help guide the development of your site and identify early opportunities to employ best practices before you go live —but they do not actually measure your site’s speed.

However, the internet is a complicated place and your website will not perform the same on every network, across every device, and in every geography. You need real performance metrics from real users in the field to understand your actual page performance in the wild. By definition, if you are not looking at Real User Metrics then you are looking at Fake User Metrics.

Where to get real user metrics

The Page Speed Insights tool is a web analysis platform run by Google that lets you run a test on your website to see how it compares to industry recommended standards. It analyzes all the content on a webpage, then generates suggestions on how you can make it faster. 

Page Speed Insights

Head on over to to start a site audit. To begin, simply type in your website address (don’t forget the HTTPS://) and click analyze.

After a few seconds, you will see a screen like the one below.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

See that big number that goes from 0 - 100 in the center there? Ignore this number completely. This is an Audit score — meaning this is a number representing the opportunities or best practices employed by your site. It does NOT mean your site is fast or slow.

Don’t believe us? Here’s our conversation with Google about this exact topic.

The most important, in fact, the only actual speed data here are under the ‘Field Data’ section. 

And here we will see our familiar friends from our User-Centric Metrics section. 

The data shown here comes from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). Google’s CrUX provides real-world, Real User Metrics gathered from the millions of Google Chrome users who load billions of websites (including yours) each month.

It is this data, and ONLY this data that Google uses to determine how fast your website is and ultimately, your search and ad rankings. 

Edgemesh Can Help

For ecommerce businesses, optimization is everything. And speed is the critical foundation.Edgemesh is an optimization solution that delivers the speed ecommerce businesses need to drive real business results. We start with the foundational metrics in this guide and continually help our customers measure, achieve and sustain their performance goals.

With Edgemesh’s head(ache)-less approach, get to results quickly (think days, not months) without changing what already works. Costly, complex and time-consuming redevelopment is no longer necessary. This is the first comprehensive, easy-to-deploy ecommerce solution that combines superior technology, support and insights for highest-impact benefits: optimized experience, engagement, conversions, average order value and ad performance.With expert guidance, backed by the most advanced analytics and insights available, we’ll help you turn up performance to win loyal customers, increase revenue and sustainably grow your online brand.

Want to learn how Edgemesh can help you? 

See for yourself how Edgemesh can help you leverage speed to drive a better shopper experience and stronger business results.

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