Speed is of the essence

08/12/17

Boosting traffic to websites is something companies are constantly trying to improve.

Did you know your site’s speed could make all the difference?

Why is website speed so important?

Site speed is a key factor in how Google ranks sites. A website with a fast load time gets a higher ranking because it’s key to a good user experience.

Kissmetrics reports that a single second of delay in a site’s loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversion. Plus, 40% of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

The diagram below shows page load time and abandonment rates.

How fast should your site load?

Ideally, a website should load in just under two seconds. There are plenty of good online tools to measure your load time – such as Pingdom. By entering your URL you can see how your website scores. Based on your results, Pingdom then makes recommendations on how to improve your speed.

Many businesses don’t place much importance on website speed. But AliExpress claimed that they reduced page load time by 36% and recorded a 10.5% increase in orders and a 27% increase in conversion rates from new customers.

Tips on how to improve your website load time

  • Browser caching – every time a browser loads a webpage it has to download all the web files to display it properly. Each file makes a separate request to the server, so the more requests a server gets, the more work it needs to do and the slower the page. ‘Leveraging browser caching’ stores certain images so that they don’t need to download every time. For example, a website logo could be cached as this is unlikely to change often.
  • Compression – reducing the size of files sent from your server can decrease loading time. A tool called Gzip compresses your webpages and style sheets before sending them over to the browser. This drastically reduces transfer time.
  • Remove render blocking – certain files may stop your page loading as quickly as it could. Tools such as Google page Speed Insights will tell you the exact files that are blocking a page. Removing or deferring javascripts that interfere with loading will help.
  • Focus above the fold – make sure the top half of your web page at least loads quickly. Content ‘below the fold’ – i.e. in the area that you see once you scroll down the page – is less critical as it can load while the user explores the top half of the page.

 

If you would like help with your website speed, then please contact us today or give us a call on 01832 280032.