How to Improve Your Website Speed
In “The Beginners guide to digital marketing” we touch on how important website speed is for ranking and user experience. Since Google Core Vitals Algorthim change, website speed has been cited as a major factor in SEO. Put simply, if your website is a slowloader and your competitors is quicker, guess which one gets served up in the search engine results when your prospective customer searches for your service? (Clue: not your site!)
This post will outline how you can improve your website speed to improve both your rankings and your user experience.
What is Website Speed, Exactly?
Website speed is a crucial metric when it comes to the success of a website. It is also one of the factors in SEO optimisation.
In this section, we will cover some use cases for when website speed matters, and what you can do to optimize your site’s load time.
Website Speed Matters:
- If you want people to stay on your site longer
- You want them to come back more often
- If you want your website visitors to share your content
What do Slow Web Pages Mean for Businesses?
Slow Web Pages are pages that take more than three seconds to load. They are becoming increasingly common as more and more people start using higher speed internet which can cause slow web pages.
Slow web pages mean that the content is not loading quickly which will affect SEO, conversion rates, and time on site. This will cause an increase in bounce rates because of the amount of time it takes to load the page. It could also mean that visitors lose interest in your site if they have to wait for a long time before they can search through your content or find what they want to read about.
If a visitor has a slow internet connection then it could lead to a high bounce rate because the visitor is likely going to get frustrated waiting for their browser to load up the website or leave altogether.
Getting Started: Find out your current website speed performance
The first thing you need to do is to run diagnostics on your website to see how it is currently performing. This is free to do. Firstly, head to Google PageSpeed Insights, enter in your website and view your score. This is Googles own tool so its probably the most reliable and the one you should pay the most attention to. You’ll see some suggestions from this and this will give you some opportunities to improve website speed.
You can also use GTMetrix, this will give you scores, but I would pay less attention to those. The advantage of GTMetrix is that it gives you indepth opportunities to improve website speed.
11 Tips to Improve Website Speed Instantly!
Get great webhosting
This can be game changing. If you have poor webhosting, your website speed will probably take a dive. I recommend Siteground for webhosting, super fast and great support.
Blocking unnecessary content from loading
With nearly 3/4 of desktop computer users on the Internet, and over half of those using a mobile device, it has become increasingly important to block content from loading on websites. The less data that needs to be downloaded, the faster the website will load and the less data that needs to be stored.
Tuning the size of images in a website to a smaller size
To make a website more mobile-friendly, it's best to reduce the size of images. This can be done quickly and easily in WordPress by uploading the reduced image and then using the 'insert into post' feature to insert it into an existing post or page. If you are on wordpress, you can get the plugin SMUSH to compress your exisiting images and when you upload images, pay attention to the file size, aim for below 200kb wherever possible.
Cleaning up the code of a site
When a site is in a mess with a lot of code, it can be hard to navigate and update. But with the use of a text editor, you can reorganize and clean up the code easily.
If you're not leveraging browser caching and compression, you're missing out on some big performance wins. Browser caching can significantly reduce the number of requests required to load a web page and compress content ensures that each byte of data takes up as little space as possible.
Focusing on responsive design to improve website speed.
Users will soon be able to load web pages faster with the introduction of new responsive design. This means that the website will adjust to fit any size screen, whether it be a laptop, tablet or phone.
Adding a CDN to serve static files from a network of servers around the world.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It is a network of servers around the world that are used to serve static files faster. A CDN will help your website load faster and improve your site’s responsiveness to visitors from all over the globe.
There are three main types of CDNs: public, private and hybrid. The public CDN can deliver content to any visitor online, but has a limited capacity and might be too expensive for some business owners. Private CDNs allow you to choose who gets access to your content and can be more affordable because it doesn't need as much capacity as the public CDNs. Hybrid CDNs combine aspects of both private and public networks by allowing you to make content available on a pay-as-you-go basis (online) or by storing.
If you are on WordPress, check out CloudFlare.
Start by benchmarking your sites performance with PageSpeed Insights and GT Metrix, make the necessary changes and revisit these two sites to re-baseline on a regular basis
Need support on improving your website speed and other aspects on SEO? Check out the SEO battleplan here