Have you heard a well-known quote that applies to almost every aspect of life, i.e.,
"Time is money" ??
This quote is most relevant in this digital era, especially when it comes to website speed and conversions. When a website takes too long to load, it can cause visitors to lose patience and leave the site, resulting in a loss of opportunities for conversions.
Let’s understand it in this way: In today’s digitized world, we know that users are using high-speed internet with the latest technology gadgets, Every second they spend waiting for a website to load is equivalent to a second that they could be spending engaging with the content, browsing products, and making a purchase. Every second delay in page load time is an opportunity lost for a business to make a sale, generate leads or create brand loyalty.
The Importance Of Website Speed: Understanding Its Impact On User Experience And ROI
Website speed refers to the amount of time it takes for a web page to load and become fully interactive for the user.
Improving website speed has become important in recent years as more and more people access the internet from a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets. In today's fast-paced world, people have limited patience for slow-loading websites, which can lead to a significant loss in traffic and revenue.
When a visitor looks at your website, you get only one chance to catch their attention and retain them to make business. Low website speed can frustrate them and drive them away- creating a bad first impression and turning people off about your service.
Let’s look at some major statistics based on website speed:
- A study by Google found that 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- According to a study by Akamai Technologies, a 1-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
- In a study conducted by KISSmetrics, it was found that a 1-second delay in page load time can lead to an 11% reduction in page views and a 16% reduction in customer satisfaction.
- A study by Radware found that 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again.
Statistics clearly show that visitors are less likely to return to slow-loading websites which means that businesses will not only lose out on the conversion opportunity but also, the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with a potential customer.
In this blog, you will come across the basic tips and tricks that can help you optimize your site speed. But before hopping into that section, let us first understand what the fuss is all about!
Google's Page Experience Update 2021: The Importance Of Website Speed
Google rolled out an algorithm update known as "The Page Experience Update" on June 16th, 2021. It was done with a single goal of providing a better user experience by prioritizing pages to rank on SERP pages that provide high-quality page performance, such as fast load times and stability. In this update, they have added three new metrics to measure both speed and overall page experience known as the Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals:
It constitutes three prime factors that can help a website owner to enhance and optimize his website in the right direction to deliver a better user experience:
- LARGEST CONTENTFUL PAINT (LCP): It measures how long the initial loading of the page takes for the user. It considers the time taken for the largest visual content to load on the page.
- FIRST INPUT DELAY (FID): It measures the time taken by a page to respond to user actions. For instance, if a user clicks on a button and takes over a second to respond, the site remarkably has a slow FID.
- CUMULATIVE LAYOUT SHIFT (CLS): It is responsible to keep a track of the page stability. For example, if a user is reading an article and the page shifts or reloads automatically requiring the user to go back to the line he was reading, it isn't very pleasant. The cumulative shift monitors the shift observed in the page layout while loading.
13 Ways For Optimizing Page Speed And Increasing Conversions
All of the above discussion highlights the significance of website speed optimization services. To ensure your website is optimized to its fullest potential, consider implementing the following top 13 techniques:
1. Upgrade Hosting Service
There are three types of hosting, namely, shared hosting, virtual private server-based hosting, and dedicated server. Shared hosting is considered the cheapest way to host a site online while virtual private servers or dedicated servers are much faster and more efficient but expensive.
Using shared hosting can affect user experience as they host a large number of websites on the same server. Whenever your website receives high traffic, it could slow down your page load speed due to the limited amount of CPU and memory assigned to each website. Users browsing your page could get irritated with such poor page speed and leave your site without taking any further action.
So, upgrading to a premium hosting service will help in your page speed optimization, providing users seamless browsing experience, and leading to better conversion. You can also try renting a cloud resource from AWS or other such public cloud providers and have full control over it.
2. Opt For CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers that are located in several geographic regions to provide web content to end users according to their location. All user queries are delivered to the same hardware when the website is hosted on a single server. As a result, the time it takes to process each request grows.
Furthermore, when users are geographically separated from the server, the load time rises. User requests are forwarded to the server located using CDN. As a result, the material is sent to users more quickly, and websites operate more quickly. This is a costly, yet very effective method of reducing load time, improving user experience & engagement, and getting better conversions.
Ex. Cloudflare is a free CDN that boosts website speed by caching and distributing content via servers worldwide. Additionally, it also offers security features like DDoS protection and SSL/TLS encryption which helps to protect your website and boost conversions by building trust among users.
Plugins are a common element in every website, especially CMS-based websites such as WordPress. They help you to add up certain third-party features. However, while adding plugins, you must remember that adding too many of them will not do you any good. As the number of plugins increases, it requires a higher number of resources to run smoothly.
4. Try Website Caching
When a large number of users view a website at the same time, servers function slowly and take longer to transmit the web page to each user. Caching is the technique of saving the most recent version of your website on your hosting server and displaying it until it is updated. This implies that the web page does not have to be re-rendered for each user.
5. Reduction In Usage Of Web Fonts
In internet design, web fonts have grown highly popular. Unfortunately, using online fonts has a detrimental influence on website rendering performance. Web fonts shoot up the number of HTTP queries sent to external sites. You may lower the size of online font traffic by doing the following steps:
- Use contemporary WOFF2 formats for modern browsers.
- Include just the character encodings which are used on the site.
- Select only the styles that are required.
6. Cut Down The Number Of Redirects
Supplemental HTTP requests are generated by website redirection, which has a harmful influence on performance. Multiple redirects can increase page load time resulting in a higher bounce rate and decreasing website conversion. Moreover, too many redirects will affect analytics data, making it hard to track performance and find scopes of improvement.
We recommend keeping them to a bare minimum or completely eliminating them. To begin, do a site scan to detect any redirects on your website. Tools such as Screaming Frog, Redirect Checker, and HTTPStatus can help you quickly identify redirections for each website URL. Then you must determine whether they are required and just keep the crucial ones.
7. Improve Content Above The Fold
The content above the fold is the visible part of your page when it first loads. A user will be more engaged with your site if the content above the fold loads faster. But sometimes to make a page look very attractive, too much code might be used, which could slow down the page and lower the browsing experience for a user.
Even having a fancy website design could sometimes cost you losing conversions. So it's important to use the amount of the code very consciously and also in a way that the design appears to be appealing with no effect on page speed. Therefore, optimizing the content above the fold, such as reducing the number of images and videos, can improve website speed and enhance the user experience. Our professional SEO experts can identify all the action points and save you from risking traffic as well as your money.
8. Optimize Images & Videos
Heavy-size images and videos can frustrate your visitors when they take too long to load on your web page. For example, an eCommerce site is using a higher-resolution product image to attract buyers. But it could turn otherwise and buyers may quit the page if the image size is not optimized.
The file size of an image or video can be compressed using different tools and still generate them in good quality to use on the website. It will significantly improve your page speed leading users to go through your website content without facing usability issues.
9. Use The Lazy Load Feature
Lazy load is a technique used to optimize website speed by only loading images & videos, as they come into the view of the user's screen. So, instead of loading all images and videos on a page at once, the website only loads what the user can see. This reduces the amount of data that needs to be loaded, which in turn improves website speed and reduces page load time.
It can help you improve your user engagement by loading the page content very effectively. A lazy load limits the bandwidth a page uses to optimize page load time.
10. Focus On Primary Audience Location For Website Server:
If you're not using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your website, it's important to consider the location of your primary audience. By ensuring that your website server is located in the same country as your audience, you can greatly improve the speed of content fetching for them.
This can have a big impact on the overall speed of your website, especially for your target audience, and can lead to improved usability and conversions. So, if you want to improve your website performance, think about your primary audience location and place your server accordingly.
11. Focus On Simple And Responsive Web Design :
Nowadays, people are more interested in simple and elegant designs. They prefer easy-to-understand and navigate designs rather than complex designs. This is why it's essential to have a responsive and simple web design. The website should be able to adapt to different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to ensure a consistent user experience across all devices. This can improve website speed and increase conversions by making it easy for users to navigate and engage with the website on any device. In addition to ensuring a fast loading speed, it is important to also focus on conversion-oriented web design in order to maximize the effectiveness of your website.
12. Implement HTTP/2 And QUIC :
HTTP/2 is a newer version of the HTTP protocol. It allows for multiple requests to be sent and received at the same time, making your website load faster.
QUIC is a new transport protocol that is similar to TCP and HTTP/2. It is designed to reduce latency, the time it takes for your website to load, and improve security. By implementing QUIC, your website will load faster, providing a better user experience for your visitors.
Both HTTP/2 and QUIC also allow for server push, which means the server can send resources to the client without the client requesting them. This means that your website will load even faster, improving the user experience and increasing conversions and happier customers.
13. Regularly Monitor And Optimize Website Speed:
Regularly monitoring and website speed optimization can help identify and fix any issues that may be causing slow loading times. One way to do this is by using website speed testing tools such as GTmetrix, Google lighthouse, Pingdom, and PageSpeed Insights.
These tools can provide valuable insights on how to improve your website's performance and speed. With the help of these tools, you can identify the specific areas of your website that need improvement and make the necessary changes to speed up your website. Regularly testing and optimising your website's speed can lead to a better user experience.
How Can Rise Socially Help You?
Well, the process of optimizing a website for speed is a pretty daunting task. According to Google, on average, a consumer expects not more than three seconds of load time while visiting a website. Now that sounds competitive, right? Every company dreams to attain a perfect website and higher web traffic. To achieve that and survive in the industry, you should either have an experienced and dedicated team of experts or you can hire a technical SEO audit service company.
This is where we come into force. At Rise Socially, we have specialists and dedicate ourselves to our clients to deliver a fully-functional site that loads faster and engages your visitors.