The Importance of Website Speed in SEO
Google has recently indicated that website speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm in order to rank pages. A fast and efficient website is absolutely crucial in this day and age. In fact, it has been proven that if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of users will likely abandon the site. Therefore if you have a website which takes over 4 seconds to load, it is very possible that most of your potential customers are bouncing back, landing on your competitors site instead.
Website speed is a huge factor on how search engines such as Google actually rank your page in search results. This is due to search engines always wanting to provide the best possible for all users, meaning a quick website which will display answers in an efficient manner. Another huge factor to think about is, are you spending thousands every month on advertising? I mention this as it would be a shame if all your ad budget is being wasted as users bounce back due to your site being slow.
There are numerous points which demonstrate how devastating a slow website is for your business, however you’d be more interested in how to actually fix these issues. Below are the 5 main factors which can be optimised in order to rapidly improve your website speed.
1. Audit Your Website
Page Speed Insights by Google allows you to audit your website speed in depth. This is a great free tool which gives you insights on your website speed and how to improve it. Through auditing a site you will now what range of speed you are in and therefore set a goal to decrease loading time.
2. Optimise Images
Compressing images is the fastest and easiest way to noticeably improve your site’s speed. As a matter of fact images count up for almost 75% of a pages weight. There are numerous efficient tools which can instantly compress images sizing by almost half of its original size. These days, tools are able to compress images, making your site faster while still maintaining high quality so that your website still looks professional. If you are currently using WordPress for your website, WP Smush is a great tool which works efficiently and fast.
If this isn’t enough, you should always look into deleting unnecessary images on your website, which will improve speed remarkably.
3. Reduce Code
GZIP is a great tool to enable your code’s compression. Zip files make it easy to keep related files together and make transporting, e-mailing, downloading and storing data and software faster and more efficient.
4. Upgrade Your Hosting
This is a very efficient option which isn’t spoken about as often as it should be. Say for instance, you have spent several hours compressing images and code on your website but no real results have shown. This may be as an effect of poor hosting. And if your website is hosted by a server which is cheap and it hosts millions of other sites, your website will probably never load as fast as you need it to. If you are serious about improving your site’s speed in order to generate more leads and sales, upgrading to a proper server to host, is definitely worth looking into.
5. Activate Browser Caching
Ignoring your website speed is a huge mistake, not only in the SEO world but user wise as well as it impacts them deeply. It can severely affect your ranking in search engines as part of their algorithms indicate that a website must be user friendly in order for them to actually show the site to users. And as if that isn’t a strong enough reason, users hate slow sites, to the point where they will leave if it does not load fast enough. Follow the tips above and you will notice a big difference in traffic, ultimately turning that into sales and revenue for your business.