As ordinary internet users, we all want what we are looking for to appear immediately. That's why Google launched the PageRank algorithm in 2010, which makes website and page speed a high factor for crawlers to rate and rank in pages with search engine search results.
53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
During the digital years, a clear relationship has been demonstrated between page speed and visitor retention and bounce rate. And because visitor retention is becoming increasingly important in terms of achieving revenue goals and other annual goals, page speed is one of the most important areas for customer experience today.
Performing page speed tests should be a high priority (if not already) for your website. If you look at it from a Google & # 39; s perspective, if the & # 39; s pages need an age to load, the search engine cannot crawl that many pages, which means that Google will not use the crawling budget effectively, which may have a negative impact on the organic performance of your site.
The many benefits of increasing page speed
The benefits of improving the loading speed of your site are countless and fall into three main areas.
1. Improved user experience
- Google reported that just one second delay in loading time will reduce visitor satisfaction by 16%, and 79% of those users will not buy your product or service if they are not satisfied with the overall performance of your website.
- Many users nowadays leave a website if it performs poorly, especially if the loading of a page takes a long time. By quickly loading pages, you can resonate more with users by leaving them free to navigate and explore the content of your site.
2. Better overall marketing performance
- Whether your goal is to improve your overall conversion rate for a & # 39; recital & # 39; page or to lower your bounce rate on a particular page to less than 30%, there is sufficient evidence that a fast website is a big contributes to achieving these goals.
- In the UK, studies have shown that 67% of online shoppers will leave their shopping cart on a slow website. However, if you improve the loading time of a page by just one second, this can lead to a 10 – 20% increase in the conversion rate.
- If you want to reach more website traffic to a specific page, such as your & # 39; bestsellers & # 39; or possibly a new blog post that you have just published, page speed is one of many factors to consider when trying to achieve these types of goals. Google studies have shown that a delay of half a second can cause 20% less traffic.
3. Improved SERP positioning
- Back to Google & # 39; s PageRank Algorithm Update – as mentioned, this took into account page load time and overall website speed, alongside other measures such as page views, so a focus on page speed is vital if you want to be in the SERP to rank.
- What's more, if your web page & # 39; s load quickly, Google crawlers can search your website faster. This means that more individual pages have a chance of ranking in a SERP.
Eight steps to speed up your site
Page speed can be improved with various methods that allow you to quickly see the true potential of your company's website.
1. Compress files
Gzip is a highly recommended tool for compressing files. With Gzip you can, among other things, reduce the size of HTML or CSS files, thereby shortening the overall HTTP response time. However, do not use Gzip for image files, as this can affect image quality.
2. Reduce redirects
Having many redirects on your site results in more HTTP requests, which can translate into a reduction in page speed. Also, remember to fix broken links that can greatly impact the user experience.
For a higher page speed, the content must be smaller in quantity and executed quickly to deliver good performance. If certain scripts are not critical to display right away, they must be made asynchronous or delayed until the first render is complete.
4. Use browser caching
This improves the page speed, because it saves on the time spent on sending multiple HTTP requests to the server. An additional advantage is the reduction in bandwidth and thus the total costs for hosting your site.
5. Improve the server response time
When checking your server's response time, many factors can affect speed, including everything from the amount of traffic your website receives to the type of software your server uses and the hosting solution you need.
As a ballpark figure, you should aim for a time of less than 200ms. This can be done by looking at different performance statistics and paying attention to things like slow routing, lack of memory or slow database requests.
6. Get the most out of content distribution networks (CDN & # 39; s)
One of the most important benefits of using CDN's is that they consist of multiple networks, each of which makes a copy of the website. This is then stored in multiple geographic data centers that offer users faster and more reliable access to your site.
7. Ensure that all images are optimized
When importing images on your website, make sure you use the correct size and file format (PNG & # 39; s for images with less than 16 colors and JPEG & # 39; s for photos & # 39; s) and that you compress them for web purposes. The number of images used on your website can also influence the loading time of the page.
If your website is heavy for images, one solution is to merge the images into fewer output files using CSS Sprites. This will reduce latency and result in improvements to your page speed because it reduces the possibility of a delay or the number of return journeys produced.
8. Minimize wasted white spaces
If you have whitespace, line returns, or even comment tags, HTML and text can accumulate and increase your page size by 10 – 20%, which adversely affects page load time. It is therefore worth reviewing your pages and examining each line of code to make the necessary changes to maximize performance.
Evaluate success and continuously improve
After you have taken some of the measures described above, it is important to closely monitor the performance of your website to identify areas that need further improvement. Here are just a few of the tools available to you.
Pingdom speed test
Pingdom & # 39; s website speed test provides reports that are divided into four areas: waterfall distribution, performance rating, page analysis, and history. By having such a comprehensive overview of your website's performance, you can not only perform a simple speed check, but also view a useful overview with additional statistics, such as size, domain per domain analysis or what type of content has the most requests .
In addition, you can refine your results by content type, page size by domain, requests by content type, and requests by domain – so you can determine exactly which pages perform best – and worst.
Google PageSpeed Insights
The PageSpeed Insights tool from Google offers you page insights on how well your website is performing in terms of speed, with a rating given on a scale from 1 to 100. This completes a review on both desktop and mobile versions of your website, by completing a page speed test. Everything above 85 indicates that your website is performing well.
The insights measure your page in two parts: time to load above the fold content and time to load full page.
Another free tool, GTmetrix elaborates on both page speed and YSlow statistics by dividing reports into five sections: Page speed, YSlow, waterfall failure, video and history.
The difference between this tool and other available tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights is that you can test your performance and compare it with different connection settings such as cable or dial-up to see how this affects the loading time of your page.
Optimizing page speed is crucial in today's digital environment when users expect what they are looking for to appear immediately. Therefore, companies of all sizes should take advantage of the available SEO tools and tactics to adapt and compete with their colleagues on the pages of search engine search results.
Mae-Lei King is an SEO Account Executive at the global digital agency Croud, based in their office in Shrewsbury.
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