Better internet speed and improvement in computing devices have changed how we use the web. Those days are long gone when you would sit and stare on a website while its content would slowly load in layers. A webpage with images was used to take several minutes to load, and users were somewhat okay with it. Today, that’s not the case at all. Nearly one out of four contemporary internet users close a website if it doesn’t load in three seconds.
This statistic alone highlights how important the loading or page speed of a website has become. If you want to keep your site’s page speed in line with present requirements, keep reading this piece. We will discuss why page speed improvement is essential for a website from an SEO standpoint and how you can achieve it.
SEO Importance of Improved Page Speed
No website or business can improve its online visibility without focusing on SEO. We all know that page speed has a direct link with user experience: a site that takes longer to load can’t deliver better UX. However, the page speed of a website is linked somewhere to SEO as well.
Bounce rate and conversions are two metrics that factor in how Google determines your SERP ranking. A website with higher bounce and lower conversion rates doesn’t reflect good performance. For Google algorithms, these are the signs that the given site does not provide the required value to consumers. This assessment eventually results in Google lowering the website’s rank on search pages.
Among many things, slow page speed is also a reason why visitors bounce off from your website. If a site is taking more than a couple of seconds to load, very few people will bother to click anywhere on the website. Most of them will just bounce. When people leave your site without even sifting through its content, the chances of conversion and completing the sales cycle (ordering product/service, making contact, or subscribing to the newsletter, etc) are even lower.
Keep in mind that Google wants to offer its users a great browsing/searching experience. If a website records a higher bounce rate due to slow page speed, Google will flag that page as a site with low value and will struggle to find a spot among top SERPs.
So, no matter how good are your product, services, content, and UI, if your website takes too much time to load, not only will it be rebuffed by users, but the search engine will also eventually demote its ranking.
Metrics of Page Speed
Before we discuss some tips to improve the page speed, it is imperative to look at what it means. The term “page speed” is quite broad and could mean different things to different people. Therefore, you must know the metrics that break down the complex concept of page speed in different elements.
- Load time: It is the total time that a page takes to load while all its files, scripts are loaded completely, and HTTP requests are fulfilled.
- Page size: The size of a webpage, including all scripts, code elements, images, and every other file.
- Time to First Byte (TTFB): It is the time between the web browser requesting the page and the DNS returning the first byte of that page.
- Round Trip Time (RTT): The total time it takes for an HTTP request to reach the server and the response it returns to the browser.
5 Ways to Improve Page Speed
You can use these five simple measures to improve the page speed of your website.
1. Minimize HTTP Requests and Minify and Combine Web Files
This is the most important and detailed measure you need to take to improve your page speed. Studies show that more than 80% of the page’s loading time is used in fulfilling the HTTP requests made by the browser for all individual components of the page. You need to cut down the number of HTTP requests by combining them or by eliminating them.
3. Enable Browser Caching
If you want to improve the page speed for repeat visitors, enable browser caching. When your website is cache enabled, it saves images, scripts, and codes in the temporary space and cache of the visitor’s device’s hard drive. When they revisit the website, the website loads quickly without making HTTP requests for those elements.
4. Use CDN
If your website has to have a global outreach, you need to use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) apart from your primary server. CDNs are strategically located at various geographical locations. Instead of hosting your entire website from a single server, let’s say, from Chicago, you can delegate the content delivery to those networks for their respective locations, e.g., a CDN in Mumbai, Dubai, and Sydney for South Asian, MENA region, and Down Under visitors respectively.
5. Implement Lazy Loading
Websites that host lots of visual content should use lazy loading to improve the above-the-fold loading of their pages. This method involves loading the content on the page as you scroll it down instead of downloading all of it at once, thus improving the page speed. Business Marketing Solutions Group can help you revamp your website for its speed. Its web development experts have all the skills and knowledge to work at the backend of a site to improve its loading speed on the browser. You can hire the firm for a full spectrum of digital marketing work as well.