The Importance of Fast Page Speed and 3 Tips for Improving

August 21, 2015

5:00 pm

Your website's loading speed can really determine the success of your site. You can have quality content while another similar site has mediocre content, but if the rival site loads faster than yours, it could benefit from better traffic. Not to mention, Google likes pages that loads fast.

The average page-load speed for the big retail websites is over 7 seconds which is above the optimal page load time of 3 seconds or less. According to KissMetrics, the 4 to 5 second difference in load time is actually costing retailers billions of dollars. In fact, their findings found that even a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in sales.

Google has made it clear that website and page speed is part of the signals its algorithm uses to rank pages. Also, research shows that Google is likely measuring time specifically to first byte when considering page speed. Additionally, a slower Google page speed means that fewer pages will be crawled by search engines due to their allocated crawl budget. This could have a negative effect in your indexation. A good place to start to measure the load time of your website is Google Page Speed Insights. You simply type the URL of your website or page you are looking to test into the on-screen box and then click on the ‘analyze' button.

Page speed is also essential to user experience. When pages load slowly they end up having lower average time on page and higher bounce rates. Slow loading times have also shown to have a negative effect on conversions. Below are a few ways to increase your Google page speed.

Reduce Redirects
Every time a webpage redirects to another page, users have to wait even more for the HTTP request-response cycle completion.

Enable Compression
A software application like Gzip can help for file compression which reduces the size of your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files that are bigger than 150 byes. Image files can't be used with gzip. You will want to compress images in a program like Photoshop so you can maintain the image's quality.

Get a Faster Server
A simple way for improving the processing speed is by getting a server that is able to execute the code quicker. If your code is written well and you don't get a lot of traffic, it probably won't do much for improving page speed.

Use Caching
There are various ways of caching a page. If your page is static with just a couple updates, you might want to think about creating some type of caching system which will enable you to get around executing code and show a cache of your page instead. For instance, if your site shows content that is based on a complex query grabbing a record from the database, you might want to create a cache instead so you can skip this complex database call.

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Dawn Richard loves to read and more than that loves to share his experiences with others.