A massive study has found a clear correlation between a faster “time to first byte” and a higher search engine rank.
Another tremendous article on Moz.com discusses the importance of how quickly your website appears to the user. Improving Search Rank by Optimizing Your Time to First Byte is not for the less technically-inclined, but to summarise, a massive study has found “a clear correlation between a faster time to first byte (TTFB) and a higher search engine rank”. In other words, the faster your web page begins to appear, the higher up you’ll come in the Google results.
The secret to improving this speed, or keeping it at an acceptable figure, is in the closeness of the server to whoever’s viewing the site, and the configuration of the site itself. So if your market is the UK, make sure you have a server in the UK. If it’s worldwide, think about a distributed system (known as a CDN). And if the speed of the site is still slow, you need to get the technical people to take a look at what’s going on. It’s definitely worth having a go with the Web Page Test site mentioned in the article. Moving your site to a new web host could pay dividends.