We all know the web page load speed is one of the major ranking factors for Google. In fact, it does matter for both – search engine and the user. If a user has to wait for more than 3 or 4 seconds, they will never wait for the website to open and abandon immediately. So you may lose one of your potential customers straight away. The funda is simple and clear – a fast website converts better.
Why it matters for the visitor and Google?
Just think of your own experiences with the slow loading websites. As per statistics, approximately 80% of the user won’t return to a website, if it loads slowly during their first visit. A fast loading website improves customer experience and company status in more than one way – all of which help in SEO.
It was back in 2010 when we heard of an update that Google will be considering the page speed into their growing list of ranking factors. Google noticed that how important is page speed for the user, especially as Internet bandwidth had begun to make several leaps. So, it makes it as a priority for ranking factors. Now, it has initiated the page load for the mobile as well and launched a new AMP program to help address the issue.
What can lower your page speed?
- You get what you paid, so choose a host to fit your business size and requirements. If you don’t have the appropriate host, your page could load slowly.
- Heavy images can really lower your page speed.
- External embedded media is useful, but can largely lower your load time.
- Unoptimized browser, plugins and apps can lower your page load time.
- Too many ads and Widgets
- Some highly designed themes containing a lot of effects can penalize your load page.
- If your HTML/CSS is not efficient it will definitely lower your page speed.
How to speed up the website?
Minimize HTTP Requests:
Web page’s load time is spent downloading the images, stylesheets, scripts, flash, etc. HTTP request is made for each of these elements and hence page load time increases. That being the case, the quickest way to increase the page speed is:
- Use CSS instead of images when possible.
- Combine multiple style sheets
- Reduce scripts and put them bottom of the page
Scale your images before you upload them to your site. In photoshop, you can use the option “save for web” option to reduce the image size of the heavy images. If your website is using the WordPress platform, there are several images optimizer plugins available. You can choose from them and can compress the images.
Why make visitors download the same thing when they load a page? Enabling browser caching lets you temporarily store some data on a visitors PC.
Compression is a server level setting and implementing it could increase the page load speed dramatically. Gzip is the most popular and effective method being used these days. Gzipping reduces the size of the HTTP response and helps to reduce response time.