Websites that take seemingly forever to download is incredibly annoying for users and it can damage your ranking on search engines. The SEO ranking is important for any websites to be found on search engines. These are solid reasons as to why you should do everything in your power to ensure the fastest download speed possible (you can find these reasons below). If your website is slow to download it could be due to a variety of different reasons, from low quality website hosting to bad optimisation.
These days it is common to see users abandoning websites that take too long to load. The average time a user will wait for a website to download is rapidly shrinking. Think back to the last time you had to wait for a website to load. How long did it take before you abandoned your inquest and looked elsewhere? On top of this, users are expecting even faster load speed, so if you don’t meet their expectations you are missing out.
Does your website meet high demands of web users?
Now let’s take a look at the two key benefits of having a high loading speed for your website.
- Speed = higher page rank. Google and other search engines use speed as one of their many ranking factors. Google is all about user experience, and we know that a slow downloading website annoys users therefore meaning their experience wouldn’t be good. As well as this, you could even be penalised for having a slow loading web page because you are actually slowing down the entire internet!
Users will also tend to stay on your website for longer if they are having an enjoyable experience and this will send Google a good message that people like your website. When your user has a good experience this means they are more likely going to purchase or use your available service from your website (this means a better conversion rate). Also, websites that load quickly are thought to be more relevant in the eyes of Google and that helps to push your website up in the SEO rankings as well as ensuring you keep that higher ranking for longer.
- Speed = more customers. As I said before, the better your speed, the greater chance consumers will have a positive experience on your website. As well as this, if your consumer has a positive experience, they are more likely to purchase from your website which will have a positive impact on your conversion rate. Here it is important to ensure that your users can navigate through your website to each different webpage quickly to ensure a better user experience. The longer your website takes to load, the more likely it becomes that they will leave and go elsewhere to find what they are looking for.
Now that we have looked at the benefits of a high loading speed, let’s investigate some simple and easy steps on how to get that fast loading speed your users are demanding!
Understand HTTP Requests
One of the main reasons your website could be slow is due to too many HTTP requests. A HTTP request is sent whenever your web browser searches from a file, this could be anything from a picture to a video or webpage. So as you can guess you will send a lot of HTTP requests every day.
It can be difficult to understand exactly how many requests it is taking to download your website, but obviously, the more requests, the slower the speed. Luckily, there are plenty of websites out there that can help you test your speed as well as seeing how many requests. Pingdom is my personal favorite as you can easily sort the request by size and load time to see which requests are slowing you down the most.
Don’t Use Too Many Plugins
Plugins can slow your websites’ speed, especially if you go overboard with them! Plugins create extra files which mean your website will download slower. It is difficult to avoid plugins altogether, so you should just try to get rid of the unnecessary ones. Some of the time there is an alternative to the plugin, which means you don’t even have to use it.
You should also set some time to review your plugins a couple of times a year. It is important to delete the plugins if you don’t use it anymore. Delete your plugin if you aren’t sure of what it is supposed to be doing or if there is an improved plugin that works better.
While reviewing your plugins, remember to keep all the plugins which can improve your web speed and SEO.
Improve Your Websites Hosting Plan
You should be looking at your server to improve its speed. Some people try everything to improve their websites’ speed but what they don’t look at is the server their website is operating from. Usually when businesses are just starting out they look for the cheapest shared hosting option. However, as your website grows and develops you will probably see a slow in the loading speed. You can stop this from happening by upgrading your hosting plan! By upgrading you no longer have to share with other websites in the same server and you will get dedicated resources.
Files such as videos and images on your website and usually very large compared to plain text and because these files are so large, it means that they will take longer to load. Even though images take longer to load, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include any on your website! Images are a great way to engage with users and create excitement.
Luckily, for all you image lovers out there, you can make the file of your image smaller, meaning the load time of your website is not dramatically effected. Look to change the resolution of your picture. This will depend on the size of the picture on your website. If it is just going to be a small picture in the corner then the resolution doesn’t have to be as good if it was going act as the entire background. You can also try compressing or cropping the picture to ensure only the important part of the picture is visible.
Contributed by https://www.seoshark.com.au/