As a part of your initiative to optimize your website, you have so far focussed on choosing the most potent keywords, creating captivating content and building the most rewarding links. But have you invested time and effort in optimizing the load speed of your website? Before we delve further into the topic here are some interesting stats and facts for you –
- 53% plus users abandon a website if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load
- Traffic increases by 60% when your page loads faster
- Time spent on websites increases by 70% as they become faster
- Every second of delay brings down traffic by as much as 10%
- Bounce rate increase exponentially as page load time increases
Even a mere second of delay in loading, your page can cost you traffic, opportunities and sales. On the other hand speeding up your page load can create new opportunities for your business. In fact page speed is also a contributing factor towards your website’s rankings and Google has been using it as a signal for many years now. While this was applicable only for desktop searches in the past with mobile internet getting faster, Google’s mobile search results also factor in page speed.
This brings us to an important question – how do we crack the page speed code? The answer is simple – few small tweaks and some bit of optimization. If you reach out to a reputable online marketing agency they’ll help you with this. So what does it take to boost up page load time for your website? Here are few ways in which you’ll be able to turbocharge your website and enjoy many benefits.
Start By Setting a Reference Point
How would you measure the improvement in your page speed? Where do you stand compared to your competition? You have to have a reference point before you begin optimizing your website. You need insights and there’s no better tool that Google’s PageSpeed Insights in this domain. It analyses dozens of factors that are limiting or contributing towards your page speed and also ranks your website on a scale of 0-100. Apart from the score it also offers workable suggestions to increase your page speed.
Once you know where you stand your task becomes lot easier. There are two things you need to work on to improve pages speeds – on-site optimization and hosting plans and here we shall discuss these in details.
- Reduce Image Resolution – They are often the biggest culprit behind slow loading web pages. If you have high-res images consider changing them to low-res ones. If you don’t need all the images you have in a webpage you can consider removing some of them. As for reducing the image size the good old MS Paint to Adobe Photoshop and tons of free online tools can help you.
- Focus on Above the Fold – Users don’t measure page speed using tools and rather judge it by experience. There is where you need to focus on elements ‘above the fold’. You can render content below the fold after this. This can be achieved using what is considered as loops where different parts of the webpage are loaded one after the other.
Don’t trouble yourself or your SEO specialist if you are saving dollars using a shared hosting platform. Dedicated hosting platforms charge you premium and they do it for a reason and i.e. they offer faster page loads. Also you can try out two more things to speed up your website – reduce the server response time and try using CDN or a Content Delivery Network. Your server response time may be plagued by variety of reasons such as bad applications, problems with database queries or routing. Identify these errors and fix them. A CDN helps you by hosting your content on different servers and a user is redirected to the nearest server which helps reduce page load time significantly.
To sum up, you must remember both your users and Google (other search engines included) are impatient! The former won’t wait to see your page load while the latter would simply ignore you when it comes to rankings. Follow what we have discussed above and you’d notice huge change in your sites ranking, traffic and bounce rates.