According to Google PageSpeed, website speed is one of the top ranking factors.
As digital marketing evolves, it continues disrupting users’ behavior. A website is the first point of contact for customers for any sales, from where it eventually converts.
Website speed determines a user’s behavior and his potential action on a website. This factor makes it highly crucial for site owners to understand the importance of website speed optimization to prevent falling for delivering poor user experience.
This post aims to help businesses optimize their website speed.
Before that, let’s briefly discuss website speed in the following section.
Website Speed: An Overview
Website speed is how quickly a website loads and responds when a user clicks on its URL. It typically refers to page load time—the time it takes for a web page to display all its content.
It is one of the vital metrics to enhance search engine rankings, in addition to offering quick access to the services, products, and information to the users. A slow-loading website is a massive turn-off to users, often driving them to leave it. It leads to lower engagement and conversion rates. On the other hand, a fast-loading website builds user satisfaction, leading to better engagement and business outcomes.
One can find many free online tools to measure website speed, like GTMetrix, WebPageTest, Google Pagespeed insights, and more.
Why is website speed optimization important?
Factors like images, text, and video contribute to a website’s speed. The loading speed of these elements determines the loading speed of a page, and the faster a web page loads, the better the user experience gets.
In a nutshell, we can’t ignore the importance of website speed. We have compiled important reasons below:
- User Experience: One of the critical reasons why website speed is crucial is because it affects user experience. A fast-loading page has a better chance of retaining a customer while increasing the odds of staying on the site.On the other hand, slow-loading websites lead to user frustration and drive them away from the website even before they have a chance to explore products and services.
- Search Engine Rankings: Search engines, like Google, gauge website speed to determine how a site will rank on search results. Usually, fast-loading sites have the potential to rank higher, resulting in more traffic and enhances site visibility.
- Conversion Rates: Website speed has a significant role in delivering conversion rates. Slow-loading websites demotivate visitors to make a purchase or fill out an inquiry form. The result is a negative impact on the conversion rate of the business.
- Mobile Optimization: With an increase in the use of mobile phones, users are spending more time on them rather than scrolling over a desktop. However, with mobile phones, the main challenge is internet speed. A slow-loading website further adds to the user’s inconvenience.
Therefore, it is crucial to optimize the website for mobile devices.
In a nutshell, website speed is a critical factor in creating a positive user experience. Additionally, it has a bigger hand in boosting search engine rankings, enhancing conversion rates, and optimizing a website for mobile users.
What are the ways to optimize website speed?
Now that we know the importance of website speed optimization. Let’s explore ways to optimize a website’s speed.
- Minimize HTTP Requests: One way to improve a website’s speed is to reduce the number of HTTP requests required to load a web page. This goal can be achieved by limiting the number of images, scripts, and stylesheets on the web page.
- Use Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN refers to a network of servers located strategically around the world. The main difference that the CDN makes is delivering content from the server closest to the user when he visits a website. This approach significantly reduces the page load time.
- Optimize Images: Everyone knows that larger images can bring down the site load time. An ideal way to address this issue is to optimize images by reducing their sizes and compressing them. Remember not to compromise on the image quality as it may backfire with poor user experience.
Enable Browser Caching: Enabling browser caching allows web pages to get cached on users’ browsing devices. This means the website will not get loaded every time the same user visits a particular page. Simply put, it limits website loading time for repeated visitors.
- Use a Fast Web Host: It is an excellent way to deliver fast page load times and reliable uptime.
Use a Content Management System (CMS): Major CMS platforms, like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, usually, come with built-in caching and optimization tools. A website created on such platforms features a better page loading time.
- Enable Gzip Compression: It is a compression algorithm that minimizes file sizes sent from your server to the user’s browser.
- Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Add-ons: We know that unnecessary plugins and add-ons can bog down your website speed, so it’s essential to remove unrequired ones that are no longer needed.
- Use a Fast DNS Provider: A DNS provider significantly impacts a website’s speed, so it’s essential to choose a fast and reliable provider.
- Make proper use of web fonts: Typography can not be missed while creating a website and determining its readability and accessibility to users. Therefore, it is crucial to use a suitable web font.
Remember that each font takes its own time to load on a site. Sometimes, improper use of fonts results in website rendering blockage and increased load time.
Website speed optimization is a complicated task, but site owners still desire a website that runs with great speed. Three seconds is considered the optimal time for a web page to get loaded. You can achieve this goal by conducting extensive analysis and identifying key action points to improve the load time.
The optimizing tips enlisted in this post can be used as guidelines to achieve the herculean goal. Remember to pay more attention to metrics that might be affecting your site speed. Addressing such blockage should be your highest priority as a site owner.