Website speed has a huge impact on conversion rates. A slow site leads to a higher bounce rate, increasing the number of abandoned baskets, unread articles and missed opportunities.
Research shows that your loss a is a competitor’s gain. There is a direct correlation between page load times and revenue and a staggering 89% of consumers will shop with a competitor after a poor web experience.
In Google’s own words: “speed equals revenue.”
While this is true for both desktop sites and mobile, its even greater for mobile. A 1 second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.
Now that we’ve established why a fast-loading website is so important, let’s discover how to measure and improve your own site speed.
There are plenty of ways to measure how fast your website pages load. The most popular tools of the trade include:
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google to help you analyse your website’s performance and see suggestions on how to make it better.
GTmetrix is a third-party tool trusted by many SEO’s in the industry. It will show you how fast your site loads on both mobile and desktop devices, giving your site a score between A and F. It then suggests a number of bespoke recommendations for you to implement as part of your SEO strategy.
The following strategies will help you to improve your Page Speed. This blog is a brief overview of the basics but if you would like to delve deeper into the world of site and page speed, here is some recommended further reading.
Ok, this is a big one. Reducing your image sizes is one of the most simple but effective ways to ensure your pages load faster. Reducing the size of your media files doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality; there are many great image supressing tools available for free on the internet. However, image size could be the crucial difference between a valuable customer landing on your site or choosing a competitor instead.
Have you ever ordered something online from China and become impatient at how long your parcel takes to arrive?
If your website is hosted on a foreign server and someone from the UK visits the site, it’s going to take time for your site to arrive on their system. Using a Content Delivery Network is like storing your website in various warehouses throughout the world, so wherever somebody tries to access your site from, you’ll have an option available so that user gets what they want, fast.
This tip is crucial for those of you with a website that uses tonnes of media – like an ecommerce site, travel agent or estate agent.
The more media on a page, the longer it takes to load. A lazy loader will only load the content the user can visibly see upon your site first loading – any successive media will load as the user scrolls down. Using a lazy loader quickens up the time a user can first interact with your website and contributes to a positive and simple user experience.
When looking for somewhere to park your website, it’s fashionable to just choose the cheapest host.
But as with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you’ve chosen the cheapest hosting option on the market, expect to be crammed into a server with tonnes of other websites, all trying to load at the same time.
Speed will be nowhere to be seen and your website is even more likely to crash if too many visitors access your site at the same time. Often, simply paying a little bit more money each month can improve your overall site speed drastically, simultaneously demonstrating to Google how much you care about user experience, which, is the key to any successful SEO campaign.
As a leading SEO company, we can’t help but highlight the critical link between SEO and site speed.
Site speed is a major Google ranking factor. The faster your site is, the more likely Google is to rank your pages high in their search results. While there are hundreds of ranking signals that search engines such as Google use to rank websites, site speed falls under the broader category of user experience.
To put it simply, Google wants users to be able to quickly and easily access the information they need on the most relevant websites. This is why factors such as site speed, design, layout and accessibility play a key role in SEO, in addition to traditional SEO ranking signals such as content and backlinks.