How to speed up your website?
Website speed is important for two reasons: first, your user’s experience and second, SEO. Faster site speeds lead to more time users spend browsing, increased productivity, and lower bounce rates. In fact, up to 40% of people (especially ones on mobile phones) abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Search engines, such as Google, also factor page speed as a part of determining how well to rank your website on both desktop and mobile platforms. Search engines point users to sites with the best overall experience, speed being one of the largest factors. If you spent a lot of time building your website, and you know it looks great, you may be a bit biased towards it taking a few extra seconds to load. Search engines like Google, however, are not biased and will notice every extra second and penalize you accordingly. We cannot stress enough how important it is for your website to be extremely fast!
- It has been said that a page slowdown of just 1 second extra second would cost Amazon $1.6 billion in revenue per year.
- If Google’s home page was .4 seconds slower, they would lose 8 million searches per day.
- Nearly half of web users expect a website to load within two seconds and the same number will leave a site that hasn’t loaded within three seconds.
Is your website loading slowly? Use an website checker like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine any factors that are slowing down your website. They will not only tell you the issues with your mobile and desktop site but also shows you how to fix it. Slow mobile websites will be ranked lower in search engines and get less traffic. Fast mobile website speed is crucial for a great user experience which ultimately leads to higher rankings, more online visibility, more customers, and more profit.
Steps to complete this task
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure that your website passes all of Google’s mobile ranking criteria. (Even if your website is mobile-optimized, this tool gives you suggestions for improving your mobile site). If Google has told you your website is mobile-friendly, let’s make sure it’s also visitor friendly.
Optimize images. If you have a lot of images on your site make sure you reduce their size – this will typically skim about 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds off your site’s mobile load speed time. Smaller, lower-resolution images are perfectly acceptable, especially on smaller screens. There are many free image compression tools available online.
Reduce the number of required files by loading your mobile site’s images through CSS.
Make sure you are leveraging browser caching. This means that when people return to your site they have already stored certain images, files, etc…and your site will load quicker. Again, this is slightly technical and if you are not a programmer you may want to seek help with this. There is an article at the end of this task that provides more details into why this is important, especially for websites with lots of repeat visitors.
As a last step, take out your mobile device or load your website on a desktop and navigate through every link. Ask friends or customers on multiple different devices to navigate through your entire site. Analyze and scroll through your site as if you were a new user. This allows you to analyze how accessible your content and goal or calls-to-action are to your visitors.
- Make your website load faster.
- Make your website navigation simple and intuitive.
- Write web content that your visitors love.
- Identify pages with high exit rates and improve them.
- Create a funnel to improve goal completions.
- Embed social media functionality within your website.
- Use pop-ups and forms correctly.