Page speed optimisation is a strategy most digital marketers often overlooked. It is a critical factor for successful SEO. If you do not monitor and ensure the speed of your website, you will lose your visitors. You have to ensure your website loads fast to retain and gain more readers and increase conversions and revenues.
According to surveys, almost half of web visitors will not wait three seconds to load a page. If your website loads slower than that, there’s a greater chance the user will choose another website over yours.
Let me ask you, is your website fast enough to keep your visitors? If not, what have you done to improve it?
Here are some insider tips about page speed optimisation.
Importance of Page Speed Optimisation to Website Success
Page speed optimisation is not only what your website visitors want, but it is also what Google wants. Page speed and search engine optimisation have a connection, and that’s the reason why your pages have to load quickly.
Google’s main job, or any search engine, is to provide users with the results that best fit their queries. Search engines serve pages with quality content. They display websites that provide their users with a great experience– and page speed is one of the factors of excellent user experience.
While other user experience factors include readability and ease of navigation, let us focus on page speed.
Websites and web pages that load quickly appeal to the visitors and help decrease your bounce rate. The bounce rate is a Google indicator of whether or not your website is a good one.
If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load fully, visitors are frustrated and bounce from your website to find one that provides the information they need more quickly.
It will be a problem if your web visitors will bounce consistently from your website. Google will notice and drop your search engine rankings simply because Google knows the relation between the high bounce rate and bad user experience. Thus, they will subsequently drop you in the rankings.
Google will conclude that you have a terrible website if your users cannot stay long enough. Even though you have the best content, your target audience would not know because the slow load time will keep them from experiencing.
Is the page speed on mobile involved?
Last January 2018, Google announced an update about page speed. In the update, it indicates the mobile speed is already a part of the ranking factors. With this, both your desktop and mobile rankings will change due to the site speed.
It is essential to take note that page speed optimisation is a crucial factor in SEO.
Page speed optimisation for mobile devices works the same way with the desktop. Ensure that your website is mobile responsive. It means your website is useful and easy to navigate on smaller screens!
Factors that Contribute to Slow Load Time
There are several factors that contribute to the slow loading time of a website. These four are just a few:
Sloppy HTML Code
A sloppy HTML code on the backend of your website will indeed load your pages slowly.
The HTML code tells how your webpage how it will look like when a user visits your website. HTML codes are made with several tags. If you have a complicated website, your code will be as complicated too. That’s why HTML codes are quickly cluttered and sloppy.
You have to keep your pages load quickly by ensuring no extra tags and things are appropriately referenced. Otherwise, it will take you long to read and edit the codes, causing you a slow-loading site.
Large, Unoptimised Graphics
Although graphics much help in user experience, it is a crucial factor contributing to your website’s slow loading time.
When you provide a whole page of information, you have to sprinkle bits of images, graphics, or videos to ensure that your readers won’t get bored. However, these graphics and videos can weigh your site down, which causes it to load slowly.
Large, high-resolution images are one of the biggest causes of why you have a slow-loading page. Thus, ensure that while your site provides a great user experience with graphics, it still keeps the page load fast.
You can use image condenser tools like Kraken.io to make your images reduce its file size. The image size is still the same. Only the file size is reduced, so the website will not take long to load.
Video Hosting Platforms
Today, video hosting platforms have revolutionised the way people watch videos on the Internet. YouTube and Vimeo have helped creators connect more to their audience. Their recent improvements in technology and connectivity have paved the way for changing how people watch, create, and think about their content.
They even optimised their features for live streaming. You can use video hosting platforms for your business to:
- Engage: You can engage with your audience through your video and in the comment section of your uploaded video. It allows you to know the people who are watching your content.
- Share phenomenal content: Build communities through your creations and have your content shown to millions of people.
Redirects are created if you want to replace all the links on an old webpage with references to a new one. The redirects are codes that are placed within the .htcaccess file in the server. If you create a new one, you have to replace the old pages of your website.
Chances are, if you overlook it, you will have several redirects on the same page, and it will take time for your website to find the .htcaccess file and look for the new location where the link is referring. Thus, your website will most likely load links twice on your page, and it ramps up the page load time.
Server Location and Performance
One of the more specific factors to understand is the server location and performance of the website. If you are farther away from your server, it will take longer for your website to load. Thus, it is essential to take note of where your server is located. Let’s look at this. For example, if your business is in China, do not choose the United States as your server.
Meanwhile, for server performance, you can tell if you have a high-quality website hosting service, if:
- A user can type your URL into their search bar, or they can visit your website from a search engine.
- Their browser will notify your server if they are trying to visit your website and asks for the information necessary to visit your page.
- Information will arrive quickly to the server.
Moreover, the quality of your server depends on whether it is shared or dedicated.
If you are on a shared server, you share server space with another website and their traffic. Meanwhile, if you are on a dedicated server, it can ensure that you are not sharing any website traffic with another website.
Thus, a dedicated server has a faster loading time.
Best Optimisation Tools to Help Optimise Page Speed
If you are wondering how to start with optimising your page speed, here are two of the best web optimisation tools that you can use to improve your website’s page speed. Figure out what you need to improve.
Google Search Console
If you want a free tool to help you optimise your efforts on page speed, Google Search Console is the best of the best. It provides valuable information to measure the website traffic in-depth and understand the website’s performance. If there are prominent issues on your website, the tool will tell you how to fix them.
Pingdom provides information about page optimisation. Their report has four sections which provide suggestions on which you can make improvements to your website. What’s more, with Pingdom, you can gain insight into your website’s speed from different places. It is a beneficial feature if you have clients around the world.
If you have a high bounce rate and low conversion rate due to your slow-loading website, get help with the page optimisation tools. There are several services for page optimisation plans which can help your website reach its highest potential. Gain insights about your page speed and base your strategy and improvements with the metrics.