In this day and age, we are a society that loves to have everything at our fingertips. If we wait too long in the drive thru line, we become frustrated, and if we have to wait in traffic, our day is ruined. The same holds through for our Internet experiences.
Page load time is a huge factor in keeping site visitors on your pages, and if your pages take too long, it’s a safe bet that they’ll navigate away from your website. In fact, page abandonment rates usually creep above 25 percent when your page loads slower than four seconds, and that’s being generous.
A good target load speed is two seconds, though at Google, they say they aim for under a half second load time.
If one of your marketing goals for 2019 is to increase your page speed, you’re in the right place. On this page, we’ll talk about some of the best ways to ensure that your pages load as quickly as possible in order to decrease abandonment rates and increase revenue.
Why is website speed important?
You might wonder why exactly site speed is so important, and there are many reasons. It’s not just because users prefer a quick site, although that is one of the top reasons.
Check out why having a fast load time is crucial to a successful website and business.
Site visitors want information NOW
When someone visits Google, they type in their search query to find a plethora of link choices. When they choose one of those links, they likely pick one based on the title tag and meta description since it fits their search query and intent.
However, if they click the link and the website takes more than three to four seconds to load, about a quarter of traffic will hit the back button to return to search results.
Even though your link was the one they chose based off of content relevancy, your page speed spoiled their visit, and you no longer have another potential customer.
Page speed is so crucial to a successful site because without it, 25 percent of your traffic goes to one of your competitors with a faster site speed. It’s important that you provide your site viewers with the information they’re looking for quickly so that they stay on your page.
It’s a Google ranking factor
As the world’s most popular search engine, Google strives to serve the very best pages to searchers. That means they want the websites that they serve organically to have a great web design, have a ton of great information that fits searchers’ queries, and provide a great user experience.
Page load speed is part of user experience, since it ultimately impacts the quality of a user’s visit.
When your page loads slowly and increases your bounce rate, Google sees that as a bad signal. It warns Google that your website might not be the best choice for this search query since it takes forever to load, and has people bouncing from the site left and right.
If you want to rank highly in Google, which you should, you need to ensure that your pages load quickly.
Though Google says that page speed isn’t the biggest ranking factor, they’ve still admitted that it is, nonetheless, a ranking factor.
4 tips to get your website up to speed for 2019
There are tons of elements of your website that could be to blame for slow load time. Here are some to correct in 2019 to ensure that your website loads lightning fast for the new year!
1. Compress those images
Images are one of the most important website elements. They help bring pages to life, and they allow you to show off your products, employees, and so much more.
However, if you don’t ensure that they’re compressed before uploading them to your website, you could run into tons of page speed issues.
Huge, high-quality images look great, but they can bog down load speed on your pages.
A simple fix is to use a took like kraken.io to compress your images. A tool like this will decrease the file size while still keeping the quality of the original file.
2. Cut down on your site’s redirects
Redirects are great when you need one page to go elsewhere, a redirect provides a quick, effective option. However, it’s not the best for your page speed.
If you have tons of redirects all over your site, it could be bogging down your website and making your pages load slowly.
Think of your website as a map. Every time someone clicks a link to a page on your site that is a redirect, the server essentially has to reroute visitors to the right location. Though this only takes a few seconds, it can feel like forever, and it can end up causing site visitors to bounce from your site.
To cut down on page load speed, get rid of as many redirects as you can.
3. Optimize your HTML code
Your HTML code is the road map for servers to read. In reading it, the server is able to provide your website pages for the world to see. But the world of HTML coding can be quite complex and complicated, and it’s important to keep your code as clean as possible.
Things like extra spaces and commas in your code can really have a huge affect on your page load time, in addition to extra code or coding comments.
After going through your code with a fine-toothed comb, you’ll be able to speed up your website drastically.
4. Make sure you have a good hosting option
Every website on the Internet is hosted on a server. This is where your website lives and where it is served to Internet users.
When you first start your business, you may not have tons of traffic, which may lead you to choose a cheaper hosting option. There’s nothing wrong with a cheap hosting option when you have very little traffic entering your website. However, when your business starts to grow, you’ll want to be sure that the server can accommodate your growing traffic numbers.
The three different options when it comes to hosting are shared, VPS and dedicated server hosting. Shared hosting is extremely cheap, but it’s not set up to handle large amounts of traffic. VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting, though you do have your own parts of the server. Lastly, a dedicated server means you have tons of space, but you also have tons of maintenance.
Each option has its perks, but for a website that has a lot of traffic, you’ll want to try to stay away from a shared server.