As much as 70 percent of marketers' audiences use high-speed internet to discover custom content, and slow sites will lose visitors.

If your brand’s website is slow out of the gate, your SEO strategies will suffer. No matter how many well-placed keywords your news content contains, or how many links it receives from reputable sources, your site will still rank lower than faster domains, according to Matt Cutts’ latest Webmaster Help Channel video.

At first glance, it might not make sense why this would be such a differentiator, but consider this – 70 percent of Americans are viewing website content via high-speed internet connections. The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released a report showing that only 3 percent of consumers are still using dial-up connections. Of those who don’t have fast internet in-home, 10 percent use smartphones.

Brands’ websites must load quickly and offer interactive digital content to give customers valuable experiences.

“Broadband users can consume and create many types of content in ways that dial-up users cannot, and our research has long shown major differences in these two groups’ online behavior,” Aaron Smith, a co-author of the Pew Research Center report, said.

For one, most internet users are unwilling to wait for slow-loading pages to display the content they want. Google is taking note. When individuals click links served in search results, they expect the promised content will render within a matter of seconds. If the pages don’t show, those users are likely to click back to SERPs and choose another result. Essentially, those slow-loaders seem less relevant than their faster competitors.

Websites aren’t something marketers can set and forget. Brands that casually produce content for their pages and optimize for search crawlers are at a disadvantage to companies that actively measure their pages’ performance through content analytics and update to keep up with customers’ evolving behavior.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.