Please take a minute and check out your website’s speed at Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It really does only take a minute or two and it is paramount to your business’s success. (And also consider a more in-depth, free website analysis for more actionable tips to improve your complete online visibility.)

Why? Page speed is and always has been important to how your website gets ranked in organic search from desktops because people care about how quickly they can find answers to their questions.

Now as more people have moved their searches to mobile devices, this metric is now becoming imperative to searches of this nature as well. This was the impetus behind Google’s mobile-first index, which prioritizes how your website displays and work on mobile devices over how it displays and works on desktops.

Therefore, Google’s announcement comes as little surprise. In July, it is making page speed a critical factor in how it ranks your site. If your page speed is slow, and we’re talking three seconds or more slow, you’re going to have difficulty ranking well.

So let’s take a step back and clarify what page speed is. The term page speed refers to the length of time that is takes web pages or media content to download from website hosting servers and is displayed onto the requesting web browser. Page load time is the duration between when a link is clicked on and then displays the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser. So essentially it comes down to how quickly content loads when someone visits your site.

Page speed therefore, impacts user experience and website performance. Google has always determined these factors important. Studies have shown that 25 percent of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than four seconds to load and 46 percent of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites.

More importantly, statistics for ecommerce sites indicate that slow-loading web pages kill conversions. According to a Kissmetrics’ survey, about half of ecommerce customers expect website content to load in two seconds before they consider leaving and 40 percent would abandon the site at the third second of waiting.

Furthermore, the survey found that every extra second it takes for content to load reduces conversions about 7 percent. That means if your content takes three seconds longer to load, your company is losing more than 20 percent of potential conversions on your site. These are what customer expectations look like in 2018 and businesses need to be ready to meet these demands.

Your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices and speed. Even if you outsource your website development, this needs to be an in-house concern so that it does not wreck havoc on your local search rankings and conversions. It’s important to Google, because it’s important to your customers.

Ensuring your website is delivering the ultimate user experience means taking a hard look at your site’s performance and responsiveness metrics. Most sites today are transactional based, so first and foremost they must be all about customer convenience. Sure that involves efficiently providing the right information and products at the right time, but this can’t be accomplished with fast page speeds of at least two seconds or less.

In order to meet Google’s new standards, you need to know where you stand and if you have an issue with your site’s performance. Visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine how your site is performing in terms of this metric. Work with professionals to establish a highly responsive website that delivers customers a truly unforgettable user experience. You’re at that point, where every aspect of your site needs to be evaluated and enhanced for maximum performance.