Your website’s loading speed is becoming an increasingly important factor in its ranking in search results.
The faster your site’s speed, the better the user experience. The better the user experience, the higher Google will rank your site.
Market research has shown us that 47 percent of consumers expect website to load in just two seconds or less. In fact, if the site doesn’t load that quickly, they will just leave. The same research showed that 40 percent of consumers said they would abandon a website if it took more than three seconds to load.
The numbers are even worse for mobile. If your site won’t load on mobile, 73 percent of consumers said that they wouldn’t return to it again.
Time means money. For every one second that a page on your site takes to load on desktop, you can expect to get 7 percent fewer conversions.
By increasing your website speed, you will increase conversions, lower your bounce rate, and rank your site higher in Google search results, which will send you more organic search traffic.
So do you have the need for website speed? Here are a few things you can do to improve page load times:
Stick to the Right Size
The size of your entire website should be no more than 1 MB to 3 MB.
Keeping your website to this size will speed up the load time of the home page, as well as every other page on your site. Individual page speed will vary depending on what is on it individually.
If your site is already this size but you are still having problems with load time, you will need to look at specifics to increase the loading time.
Your images should not be more than 100 KB each. You might think that linking to images on another site will speed up your load time since you are not hosting. However, you can’t count on this since you don’t know what’s going on with the image host. The best way to ensure image size and loading time is to host the images yourself.
You can compress images and other data on your site by using plugins.
Plugins compress the images so that they take up less space on your host and load faster on the page.
By using the right plugin, you can easily host hundreds of images without worrying about them slowing down your site. Images help to attract visitors and keep people on the page, so having more of them can help reduce your bounce rate — so long as they are loading quickly.
You can also use a cache plugin for your other content. Caching data will help it to load faster and improve your overall site speed.
You can also keep your website lean and mean by using as few plugins as possible. Use only those that are most necessary, such as a caching plugin. Otherwise, the plugins themselves will load down your site and cause it to be slower.
Manage Your CMS Closely
A lot of people use WordPress or some other content management system that makes it easy to build and edit a website without programming experience.
When you choose a theme for one of these systems, make sure you choose a theme that is built for loading quickly. If you aren’t sure about the theme’s load time, just look at comments and reviews from others who have used it.
If you change the look of your site and swap out the theme, make sure you delete the old theme. Don’t keep it on your site “just in case” you want to use it again. You won’t be losing anything by deleting it. Whether you upload it again or just reactivate it from your site, you will still have to redo all your selections.
Keep your CMS, themes and any plugins up to date at all times. The out-of-date software will take much longer to load and could even fail entirely.
Finally, remove trackbacks and pingbacks on your content by deselecting this option in your CMS.
Use a Good Host
Slow load times may have nothing to do with your website at all and may have everything to do with your web host.
Use a good host with reliable service to ensure that you are getting the load times you need. Read reviews and ask for referrals to make sure you are signing up for a host with a good reputation.
Your host provides only a certain amount of bandwidth and storage capacity. If you are reaching these limits, your site will start to slow down. Take a look at your limits and see if you need to upgrade your plan.
Follow these tips and review your web strategy regularly and you will have fast loading times that will attract more visitors and improve your conversions. You’ll also get higher search rankings, which will result in more organic web traffic. You can also use Google’s own tools to test your site speed and get tailored suggestions.