Speedier websites generate more sales, more web traffic, and a higher ranking.
For those that remember dial-up and modems know what speedier websites are like. Have you heard of the this? “Watching a web page load over a dial-up modem is like watching paint dry on a wall.”
How fast your website opens up on clicking the link is a matter of serious concern because your SEO performance depends on it. Website speed is a very important factor that influences user experience, and you cannot ignore it. Well, I guess you could. But don’t.
How much people like your website depend largely on how quickly the pages open. The faster the website speed higher the chances of people liking it.
However, website speed does not always live up to the expectations of users for various reasons, and as a website owner, you must know what ails your website.
Did you know that 70% of the clicks go to the content on the first pages of Google?
If you are not seeing results like these it might be time for a website redesign.
Look for the root cause of the problem, and once you know what causes the web pages to slow down, you must act fast to set things right.
Monitor each aspect of the website from its design to other optimization measures taken to identify the factors that hinder website speed.
Faster websites drive more sales
In search engine marketing, website speed equates with revenues because having good website speed drives more traffic and leads to higher conversions. More revenue is the goal of all marketing, and the website speed contributes to it.
A study about mobile website speed has revealed that there is a direct link between the earnings from websites and its speed because speedier websites earn higher ranks and attract higher traffic.
The result showed that while the top-ranking website took 2.20 seconds for opening a page, the fifth-ranked site took about 2.60 seconds, and the revenues differed drastically.
Speed is a ranking factor
It is almost a decade now that Google had declared that website speed for desktops is a ranking factor. Now, Google extends that philosophy for mobile websites too.
It is ready to use the Speed Update parameter for all mobile sites no matter if it is a dedicated or responsive design. The move is surely going to hit the slowest pages hard. Therefore, you must be sure what your website speed is today and what you can do to improve the load times and speed.
Users love speedier websites
Your audience loves fast websites and to keep them happy; you must ensure that your website performs at top speed on desktops as well as mobile devices that Google also wants. Buyers are restless at least when it comes to page opening speed because they want a page to open in a split second.
Ideally, this translates into page opening time of 2 seconds and failing to achieve it will not only drive away users but also become very costly for your business.
For the speed difference of websites between 1 to 10 seconds, the corresponding increase in the bounce rate could be as high as 123%, according to Google.
US-based SEO marketers have their task cut out because to survive in the intensely competitive market they must slash down the average website speed from 9.8 seconds to anything as much close to the targeted 2 seconds.
What must e-commerce websites do?
The challenge is tough for e-commerce websites because unless there is a significant improvement in website speed, it could be doomsday for many of them. So, what can e-commerce websites do to meet the user expectations of website speed?
They should begin by knowing the current website speed and then continuously go through optimizing and testing it by taking professional help from some companies that specialize in SEO Philadelphia.
Using some tools can make the task easy. Firstly, obtain a Chrome user experience report that contains user experience data related to some popular websites that capture the real-life experience of Chrome users.
Secondly, to know how a page performs based on the Chrome User Experience report, you must use the tool Page Speed Insight that suggests the optimizations necessary for improving performance. And thirdly, there is the automated Chrome Developer tool Lighthouse that is useful for web page auditing to ascertain its quality in terms of performance, accessibility, and some more parameters.
Once you know the speed performance of the website, you can draw a plan for improving it further.
Optimizations needed for page speed improvement
Optimizing certain website design elements should help to improve page speed. By compressing some page elements, you can make the pages open faster.
Looking beyond the website, there are some more factors that you must address because it impacts website speed. Let us look into the various things to do that improve overall website speed and assures speedy page opening.
Compression of page elements
All the elements of design used on the web pages might not help in maintaining good page opening speed.
To know which elements are hindering page speed, you must look at the report provided by Page Speed Insight that points to the problem makers, especially images which in most cases slow down website speed.
After identifying the elements for compression use the feature gzip compression that reduces HTTP response time by almost 90%.
Steer clear of landing page redirects
The Page Speed Insight report might show that there are multiple redirects to the landing page from the URL in which case it is natural that the page will take a longer time to open.
This happens because of multiple HTTP requests triggered by too many requests that prolong the time taken by the page to respond.
Image optimization and speedier websites
Images are mainly responsible for longer page opening time because poorly optimized images or images not at all optimized will take much more time to load.
Therefore, you must not only ensure the use of optimized images for the website but also optimize the existing images. The speed improvement happens almost immediately.
Server response time improvement
If your server takes longer than 200 ms to respond, it surely needs improvement. Identify what makes the server response slow and rectify the problems to ensure that the response time is under the specified limit.
Enhance browser caching
If the resource caching is set to happen in a short span or the caching headers remain excluded when the server responds, there is scope for improving browser caching to present pages faster.
How much good happens from speed improvement will reflect in the revenue figures.
Wrap Up about Speedier Websites
How long do you wait for a website to load? Me? Not long.
Half of us don’t even wait two seconds for website content to pop up! Is it impatience or is it trust?
Let’s face it speedier websites tend to have more traffic, higher rankings, and more sales on their e-commerce webpages.
You can run a website SEO audit it will show you what needs to be done to make a speedier website. Some tasks you can do yourself while others may take a professional SEO expert help to improve your speed.
Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to help, among the other tools mentioned above, with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
From your SEO audit be sure to look for broken links, title tags, meta descriptions, load times, likes to your site, organic traffic, search rankings, and bounce rate. These will all help with your ranking and conversion to sales.