How to Improve Your Website Speed

How to Improve Your Website Speed

So, you're thinking that website speed isn’t important? Think again. One single second delay in your page loading time can lead to:

  • 7% loss in conversions
  • 10% loss in page views
  • 15 second loss in customer satisfaction

Additional seconds could potentially lead to a disastrous impact on your ability to engage visitors and make sales. A fast website isn’t just essential for ranking well in search engine results, but also important for great user experiences which can be the difference between a user becoming a customer or bouncing away from your website. 

How Website Speed Influences Conversions

It’s a fact that slow website speeds are conversion killers. 47% of users expect websites to load within two seconds. 40% will up and leave if a site takes longer than three! That means that if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you could lose almost half of your visitors before they've even arrived! Or worse still; deter visitors who do decide to stay from returning

So, it’s safe to assume that improving your websites speed WILL improve its performance. Consider that Google found an extra .5 seconds led to a 20% (yes, you read that correctly) drop in traffic. Amazon also ran A/B tests where they displayed pages in 100 millisecond increments. They found that even these small delays caused significant reductions in revenue that were “substantial and costly”. For every 100 millisecond lost cost them 1% in sales

How Your Website Speed Influences Your Visibility

Google considers speed when ranking websites. It can also influence how easy it is to find your website. This is particularly true now that Google has rolled out its mobile-first index. From December 2017, Google ranks all search results based on the mobile versions of the page. Because of this, mobile user experience plays a major role in search rankings, even in the desktop search results – the opposite of how the index previously worked.

User experience has long been a factor in search rankings for some time, but Google previously only took desktop experience into consideration. Even if a website had a poor mobile performance, there was still a chance of it ranking on the first page. Now, you must have a site that provides a quick and easy user experience on any screen size and on any browser if you want to maintain or improve your rankings. 

What is an Acceptable Load Time?

Before you work on your site’s speed, you should think about where you want it to be. That can be difficult if you don’t know what an acceptable page speed is. According to Google, three seconds is best practice. However, recent findings show that most sites are nowhere near this. After analysing 900,000 mobile ad landing pages, Google discovered that 70% took almost seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display.

As your site improves, you can use recommendations from Google to set goals and measure performance. As the worlds largest search engine, Google has a substantial impact on your success. So, using Googles standards as your own is definitely a good idea. 

Speeding up your Website in 2019

Minimize your HTTP requests

According to Yahoo, 80% of a page's load time is used downloading all the different elements that make up that page, like images, scripts and stylesheets. A HTTP request is made for each of those elements so the more on-page components, the longer it is likely to take your page to load.

Minify your files

It's a good idea to start with your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. These are all extremely important as they make up your website's appearance. They also add to the number of requests made by your site every time a user visits it. By minifying or combining these files, you reduce the number of requests, reduce the size of these files and the total number of files. 

Reduce your server response time

This is one of the biggest factors that affects how quickly your page loads. A DNS or Domain name system is a server with a database of IP addresses and their respective hostnames. When a user types a URL into their browser, a DNS server translates the URL into an IP address indicating its location online. Almost like your computer looking up a number in the phone book. The amount of time this takes depends how for your DNS provider is. If this is the culprit for your slow webpage speeds, it may be time to switch to a faster DNS provider. 

Choose the right hosting option

Most new site owners will choose the cheapest option for their website hosting. While when getting started, this is more than enough, you'll likely need to upgrade when your traffic starts to increase. If your hosting isn't fit for purpose, then you can expect to see your page speed drop dramatically.

Run a compression audit

It's in your best interest to make sure that your files are as small as they can possibly be without hindering quality. The smaller the files, the faster they will load, therefore lowering your overall load times. Use a tool like GIDNetwork to run a compression audit as a benchmark to measure the results of your compression. 

Reduce image sizes

Images play a major role in your website speed. If your site is full of large images, this will slow down load times. One study found that resizing 22MB of images down to 300KB resulted in a 70% reduction in the amount of time a user needs to wait before they can interact with a site. 

Page Speed is More Important than Ever

Now that mobile Internet usage is expected to take over desktop soon, it is essential to make sure that you’ve fixed your page speed. Users are far less tolerant of slow websites nowadays and the shift towards internet-enabled devices means that if you’re not fast, you’ll get left behind.

How Ascensor can help

If you want to find out your page speed is, why not try our page speed test? You might be surprised at the results. If you need help speeding up your website, getting more traffic, better visibility and more conversions, get in touch and see how Ascensor can help. 

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