If you know anything about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), then you probably know that your website has to be fast. But how do you conduct a website speed test?

Why do websites need to be fast?

Did you know that the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now? That is less than the nine-second attention span of your average goldfish. (source: Source Global Research).

Goldfish memory

So with such a short attention span, we need to find the information we’re looking for quickly before our mind starts wondering onto other things.

How fast does a website need to be?

The obvious answer is “the faster the better”. But of course that isn’t particularly helpful when you’re trying to measure results.

The average webpage loading time in the UK is 8.66 seconds:

Average Webpage Loading Times

(Source: machmetics.com)

However, many studies have suggested that over 50% of online consumers will abandon a site after waiting 3 seconds for the webpage to load.

Google has also previously reported that:

8 out of 10 people will not return to a “slow” site

3 out of these 8 people will tell others about their bad experience


A study conducted by Geoff Kenyon compared website speed against the rest of the web:

• if your site loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web

• if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web

• if your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web

• if your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web

So the UK average of 8.66 is looking pretty dire right now!

Where can I test how fast my website is?

You can’t set your goal until you know where you currently stand.

There are hundreds of online tests for your website speed – some better than others. I would recommend Pingdom Website Speed Test to see the load time and what elements on the page are effecting the load time the most:

Ghost Digital Pingdom Website Speed Test

The Ghost Digital website has a little room for improvement!

However, because Google is the number 1 search engine (and you should always be looking to impress Google), I would also recommend running a Google Page Speed Insights test.

Google Page Speed Insights

The recommendations are little more “techy” but your web-team will be able to decipher these for you.

Using these reports and following their recommendations will help you to improve your site speed over time. It’s a really crucial step in your SEO journey and important to stay on top of!