Today's online searchers are impatient. We can't blame them, faster internet connection and mobile technology has spoiled them. This means your site load speed can't be lazy, it needs to be fast, otherwise you're going to lose sales to your competitors.
The loading speed of your pages has a major impact on your potential customers AND your business.
Aberdeen's survey revealed a 1 second delay in page loading causes:
- 11% less page views
- 7% less conversions
- Almost 50% of online users expect a page to load within 2 seconds.
- If an ecommerce website is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could cost them annually $2.5 million in lost sales.
In 2010, Google announced website speed would have an impact on search rankings. Whilst it's not entirely clear what their definition of site speed is: you can tell the difference between a slow and fast performing website.
Having a slow performing website means you will likely lose valuable rankings and lose precious sales.
Site loading speed isn't a problem you should sweep under the rug. You need to fix it. Especially when more people are accessing the internet on mobile devices: they want answers fast.
Speeding up your loading speed isn't a colossal task, in fact there are multiple tips you can put into action to speed up your site.
8 quick tips to speed up your site
1) Optimise Images
One of the main reasons that cause websites to load slowly is oversized images. Big images take longer to load and this negatively impacts the rest of your site speed.
If the width parameters of your website page is 490px, uploading an image that is 1500px-wide will slow your page speed and irritate your online visitors.
Crop your images so they fit the correct width parameters of your page, this will increase loading speed.
JPEG is the best choice for images. PNG is good too, but older browsers may struggle to load it.
2) Reduce your redirects
Having lots of redirects on your site means it will take longer for your site to process them, and it will take longer to load.
Of course, you must use redirects when necessary but try to limit how many you use.
3) Minify CSS
Usually you will only require one CSS file. If you've got multiple files, then you should consider joining them to remove any unneeded whitespace.
Multiple CSS files take longer for the server to load and this affects your overall site speed.
CSS extensions, like Sass, edits your scripts to help the server process them faster.
Important note: you need to check the compressed coding the compressors give you, if they miss any important pieces of code, your compressed code won't work.
5) Simplify your website design
Websites with designs that are busy with activity will naturally increase the page load speed. Content, images, videos and reactive elements will slow your web pages.
Having less on-page features will benefit overall speed. It's understandable you want to impress your new visitors on your home page but if it takes too long to load, people aren't going to stick around.
Simplify your website design:
- Limit the number of images
- Use CSS instead of images when you can
- Simplify your current features
Having too many HTTP requests on one page will slow your site speed.
6) Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is a design pattern that defers loading features of your web page until it's needed. When an online visitor lands on a site with lazy loading, the top section of the site will load and as the visitor scrolls down, the rest of the page will load.
To get lazy loading onto your web pages, you will need a developer to put in the relevant coding. If you've got a large and busy site, it might be worthwhile to consider the benefits of lazy loading, otherwise you need to simplify your website in other ways.
7) Google AMPs
Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) have been designed to increase the speed of mobile browsing on mobile optimised content pages.
As AMPs are a recent release (Feb, 2016), we need to see how they will be used but currently we can see they will focus on speeding the load time of content rich pages. Publishers who share regular content will benefit from AMPs.
Google's initiative is aiming to benefit websites that offer valuable and reliable content. From the Panda updates, we have seen how Google approves of sites with unique content.
By using AMPs and integrating it into your HTTP, you can increase the speed of your site.
8) Cater for mobile users
According to IDC, mobile internet users will reach over 2 billion worldwide in 2016.
For future work on your website, you should always consider the impact it has for mobile users. More people will be accessing the internet via mobile devices. You have to make sure your website is entirely mobile responsive. Websites that aren't mobile friendly will be slow and fail to load properly.
- Have a mobile responsive web design
- Check your content and images are responsive
- Simpler designs work best
Google's Mobile Friendly Test can assess your site and give you advice on how you can make your site mobile responsive.
The secret to getting higher rankings
If you want high rankings, you need to have fast site speed, along with many important features. We've created the ultimate shortcut to help you achieve higher rankings faster. Here are all the ranking factors you need to accomplish to get your site on the first page: