You’ve built your website, you’re getting traffic through your analytics but you just aren’t getting the kinds of benefits you’ve expected. Your repeat visitor rate may be low and the time people spend on the site doesn’t suggest interest or engagement.
One possible culprit may be your website speed or loading time.
Why speed matters?
The speed of your website is directly responsible for determining its performance, in terms of attracting visitors and keeping them interested for the longest time. If a website takes ages to load, users are bound to lose interest and move on toanother website that offers the same services as yours but is much faster.
Moreover, your website speed is very important for your SEO. If your website loads fast, your ranking in search engines will be higher. This is because Google prefers fast websites, and it rewards them by ranking them higher in search engine results. Apart from speed, the user experience is another factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. So, by boosting the speed of your website and improving your user experience, you will eventually improve your SEO ranking. As a result, you’ll get higher traffic and attract more quality leads that you can convert into customers, ultimately increasing your sales and generating more revenue.
How to Test the Website Speed?
There are a couple of ways to test the speed of a website – by monitoring what real users are experiencing, or with 3rd party test tools that run tests to measure performance. Tools like Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights is recommended as they are very easy to use. These tools also tracks your website’s performance history, so you can have insight into any potential changes regarding your website speed.
So, let’s take a look at a few ways in which you can use website speed optimization to your advantage:
#1 Upgrade Your Web Hosting Plan
The major factor that influences the speed of a website is the hosting of your website. It might seem like a good idea to host your new website on a shared hosting provider that offers “unlimited” bandwidth, space, emails, domains and more. However, the point that we usually miss out on regarding this offer is that shared hosting environments fail to deliver good loading times on peak traffic hours, and most fail to provide 99 percent uptime in any given month.
Shared hosting tends to deliver a poorer performance because you are sharing the same server space with countless other websites, and there is no telling how much resources others are using. Plus, you don’t know exactly how well the servers are optimized.
#2 Enable Browser Caching
Microsoft speed specialist and computer scientist Harry Shum believes 0.25 seconds of difference in page load time — faster or slower – is the magic number dictating competitive advantages for online businesses.
#3 Use a CDN
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of multiple servers located around the world that deliver web content to end users according to their geographic location. A CDN can host the static files of your website in order to deliver them more efficiently and reduce bandwidth and your server load.
With a CDN, the requested web content will be delivered to end users much quicker, since a CDN will use a server closest to users to deliver the files they request. As a result, not only will there be no latency, but your website will also become much faster. This is due because your visitors will access your cache instead of requesting files directly from your server.
#4 Use a Good Theme (if using WordPress)
Prevention is usually a better strategy than cure. To prevent lots of page speed issues in the first place, you should opt for a good host, a good CDN, and good theme / design.
As a digital marketer, it’s frustrating when web designers build sites that look beautiful but perform terribly from an SEO perspective or a speed perspective. I remember once having to deliver news to a client who spent one quarter of a million pounds on a new website, only to have it scrapped because it would have obliterated their digital marketing efforts. This is the most extreme example I’ve ever experienced, but it’s etched a scar that I’ll always remember.
#5 Minify your CSS and JS Files
#6 Detect 404 Errors
A 404 error means that a “Page isn’t found”. This message is provided by the hosting to browsers or search engines when the accessed content of a page no longer exists. In order to detect and correct a 404 error, you can use error detection tools and plugins. As we mentioned, additional plugins can negatively affect your website speed, so we advise running the resource through external tools for error detection.
#7 Remove Extra Ads and External Services
Tempting as it may seem, selling too much real estate to third-party advertisers drastically degrades website performance. Too many ads or slow loading ads drive bounce rates and negatively impact online marketability. The financial losses that come with high bounce rates outweigh the monetary benefits of handing over vast website spaces to advertisers.
#8 Optimize The Size of Images
Everyone loves eye-catching images. In the case of successful eCommerce sites, images are the vital part. A lot of photos, images, graphics on your product pages improve engagement. The negative side of the image use is that they are usually large files that slow down a website.
Hence, these were some of the outstanding website speed optimization techniques for you. Improving site speed is part of conversion optimization. It’s often a low-hanging fruit that you can get done right away – improving user experience and revenue at the same time.
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