Increase Your Website Page Speed & Rank Better
The Website Fitness Challenge 💪
Site speed is essential. And it's only getting more so with Google now prioritising ones that load quickly and deliver a bang on user experience.
The faster the site, the more likely it'll:
- 1. Be visible from a search point of view AND
- 2. Convert browsers into visitors into customers
Seconds now count, and with competition increasing for attention online, it's survival of the fittest. Proper Darwinian times in a digital world and the fittest are the fastest websites, of course. Can you afford to be a plodder when those around you are running? (Doubt it).
But why does SLOW mean NO?Skip to our Website Fitness Guide
How a slow website impacts upon conversion
Did you know that 47% of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less? It takes some people longer to breathe. And what's more worrying, if your site takes three seconds or more to load, 40% of people will abandon it.
Now more than ever, your website performance is the difference between success and failure.
And no one wants to be a failure. And for the visitors that do stay on page after a slow start? Nearly 80% would not return to a slow site.
But don't just take our word for it. Google actively emphasises page speed, publishing this handy bit of research a few years ago around mobile page speed.
from Find Out How You Stack Up To New Industry Benchmarks for Mobile Page Speed
As page load time goes from:
1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%
1s to 5s the probability of bounce increases 90%
1s to 6s the probability of bounce increases 106%
1s to 10s the probability of bounce increases 123%
Source: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017
It's like someone knocking on your shop door or ringing your office number. The longer the wait, the more likely that they'll either have a poor experience or leave before you answer and go elsewhere.
Amazon decided to test the theory for themselves once, running a split test with incremental delays. The findings? One hundred milliseconds can result in "substantial and costly" revenue decreases.
And this is Google and Amazon we're talking about here. Huge brands with massive budgets with more than us and more than you to spend on them.
How a slow site impacts upon your search visibility
We've mentioned the big G already and their focus on page speed. Google wants people to find the most relevant and right information quickly.
Mobile-first indexing has been part and parcel of the search game for a few years now. User experience on devices is now king. If that page you had that ranked so well for desktop in 2016 has seen its traffic decrease year on year, chances are it isn't optimised for mobile.
That's why load times on mobile will factor into how well you rank. If it's slow on an iPhone but slick on a Mac, you'll be in G doghouse (G stands for Google, and this is one doghouse you don't want to be in).
What should my site speed be?
The magic number is sub-three seconds, but this can be industry and search intent dependent.
For instance, if you're looking for a new pair of kicks, you'll want options quickly, particularly with brands which you don't know.
There are curveballs, though. Namely, brands that have big budgets for brand promotion. If you're loyal to a one, you might give them longer to load if they have a decent deal.
In fact, our Senior Developer mentioned how poor the Adidas mobile site experience has been, yet they still make money (he called it "an atrocious user experience"). The Money Saving Expert site also has poor Page Speed scores, but still gets thousands of visitors, both new and returning.
So, unless you've got thousands to chuck at brand promotion, you're competing for attention. And to hold that attention, your site speed needs to 2.9 seconds.
How do you increase your website speed? The Code+Create Guide
You'll agree that SLOW is a big NO. But how do you drop those extra bytes and start to trim down your website into a lean, mean conversion machine?
Like with anything worth doing, it takes effort, determination and a plan. And if you wanted to get in shape, you'd start working out. Hey presto, we have an analogy.
Treat your website like you'd treat your own body. And with your body, you target certain parts. Thus, good people, we'll focus on key "zones" on your site that you can start on, including;
- The website header – scripts and fonts
- Your body “image” – image sizes are one of the main reasons of poor page loading speeds. Don’t let them be!
- Back & the unseen – stop thinking you need to show everything and start thinking about lazy loading
- Legs and foundations – your hosting partner can have a huge impact on your site’s waistline (and load time). That £2 a month, shared service has its downside
- Diet/Cache – serving up prerendered dynamic pages from your server scores some extra speed points
- Belly Fat – this is all about managing the plugins on your site and requires some technical skills to maximise gains
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