Page Speed

Page speed has been the main topic for many SEO articles because it has greatly affected a number of websites. Some site owners are taking this for granted. They are not aware of the impact it might bring to their website. This post will give you an idea of how important speed is and what you can do to improve it.

What is Page Speed?

A few years back, Google announced that page speed would greatly impact your website ranking. Page speed refers to the time a searcher need to wait until your page has finished loading. On average a page loads in 7 seconds whiles against the ideal load time of 3 seconds or less.

This can also affect your audience user experience. Having a bad UX can mean a loss of revenue if your target needs to wait long to get what they are searching for. They will simply browse away and close your website. Also, your page will get penalized by the search engines and this will greatly affect your ranking both on desktop and mobile.

People sometimes get confused with page speed and site speed. Page speed is described as the page load time which is the time it takes for a page to load completely. It is also referred to as time to first byte which means the time it takes for your browser to receive the information about the first byte. The site speed, on the other hand, is the page speed for a sample of page views on a website.

Page speed is measured using a tool named PageSpeed Insights by Google. This tool will not just check the page speed, it will also provide recommendations on how to make the page load faster.

Acceptable Website Performance

According to the study done by Forrester Consulting for Akamai.com the new threshold for an e-Commerce web page, response time is 2 seconds. Based also on this study around 40% of shoppers will wait no more than 3 seconds before leaving your website.

79% of online shoppers who experience poor website performance are less likely to return from the same site. The impact of bad UX will reach beyond the web and can lead to lost store sales. It’s very clear there is a direct connection between site performance and online revenues and thus you need to make sure that your site performs effectively and loads fast.

Mobile vs. Desktop

Google confirmed in late 2015 that mobile search had overtaken desktop worldwide. Mobile devices and smartphones have completely altered the market of the desktop. Based on January 2018 statistics, the globally mobile population has reached 3.7 billion users. The projected increase between 2016 and 2021 is nearly sevenfold and rising. Reading reviews, pay bills, shop, research and others all these things are being done using a mobile device.

At present, the desktop use remains flat, but for mobile, there is a 21% increase on page views per visit. This is a significant growth that you cannot ignore. Mobile is showing fast growth in time on page and site views per visit, and this is a sign that the industry and users prefer to use their mobile devices when transacting online. It is projected that its popularity will continue over the next few years. Desktop remains a major player, but it will change any time soon.

Site Speed Impact

Site speed can greatly affect the future of your business and the factors that are affected the most are as follows:

Sales

If your website has lots of speed issues, there is no doubt you will lose lots of potential customers which means losing sales. In the recent study posted by Hubspot, 40% of the dissatisfied customers will not hesitate to share their bad experiences shopping online. Among these dissatisfied customers 80% of them will less likely to use the same website which means a big loss in potential returning visitors.

Conversion

Site speed has a great effect on conversion rates. This is proven several times by studies conducted by different organization. The studies show that fast page speed will lead to a better conversion rate. In short, the faster a webpage loads, the more likely a user will carry out the needed action on the page.

It has been mentioned in this article that a webpage should load within 2 seconds or less. Also, there are things that the studies have found out: hubspot.com

  • A webpage that loads within 2.4 seconds will have a 1.9% conversion rate
  • If it loads within 3.3 seconds, the conversion rate will be at 1.5%
  • Loading speed at 4.2 seconds will have a 1% conversion rate
  • 7 plus seconds loading speed has a 0.6% conversion rate

SEO

It was announced last July 2018 that mobile page speed would be used as an official ranking factor in search results. The reason is that more than 50% of all traffic worldwide was generated using mobile phones. It is easy to understand how essential mobile page loading times are for all online businesses.

People are aware of the great rise of mobile traffic, which only means that the search engine now ranks websites based on mobile performance factors. This only means that your page speed directly affects your SEO. It could negatively impact your rankings in the next months.The website speed go hand in hand other SEO factors listed here .

User Engagement

The key to keeping your customer engaged on your website is loading speed. A website that loads longer than 3 seconds is not good. It can directly affect the site’s conversion rate and revenue. Just imagine what you will lose, a 1-second delay in response time will reduce your site’s page view by 11% and a 16% loss in customer satisfaction.

Also, 40% of online shoppers think that the most important factor to revisit a website is whether the site will load fast. Optimizing the site can help solve the lower bounce rate by 5-10%. It will also increase the time your customer will stay on your site by 30% and it will result to increase conversion by 30%.

Revenue

A slow loading website that is not optimized will suffer a lot on revenue:

In every one second delay in loading could result in 7% loss in conversion. It means that if your website has an annual revenue of $2 million per year, it could cost you around $140,000 in revenue.

  • 46% of shoppers will abandon their shopping cart.
  • You will lose $3 billion from cart abandonment because of slow website pages
  • Your revenue will be reduced by 1.8% per extra second of loading time. Two seconds of loading time will reduce your revenue by 4.3%.
  • 79% of unhappy shoppers are less likely to purchase from the same site again.

How to Improve Speed

If your website is not loading very fast, don’t worry, below are some potential solutions to speed up your website.

Choose The Best Web Hosting

Choosing the best web hosting is one of the most vital parts of having a reliable and fast loading site. Before deciding on a particular web host, you need to do some research. Based on a study done by Smashing Magazine, the difference in response time from a powerful dedicated server as compared to cheap web host went from 7 to 250 milliseconds.

Good web hosts continuously invest in their server architecture to make sure that every web they develop is running at the fastest speed. Research is the key to find the best web hosts that provide quality servers and services.

In today’s modern time, users expect fast performances from every site they visit. An average site loads within 3 seconds, but you need to aim for faster loading time. Every second count. A second delay on loading time means a percentage lost on your revenue.

Boosting the speed of your website can be very beneficial. For every 100ms of load time improvement, a 1% revenue increase is seen. So make sure to work only with the best web hosting.

Remove Unnecessary Plugins

Using plugins on your site can be the best way to customizing your website and boosting its functionality, but utilizing several plugins can affect your website speed and will result to slow loading times. By removing unnecessary plugins on your website that contains giant scripts and styles that are not needed can reduce the loading time from 4.23 seconds to 1.33 seconds.

Check out the plugins you have on your website and determine which one you need and which are not needed. Remove those you don’t need and keep useful and high-quality plugins. Cheap plugins are not updated and use lots of large scripts that can cause a delay in loading time. Make sure your plugins are regularly updated.

Change Your Theme Website

Your theme website can also affect your website speed. Having a good server configuration is not enough. If your site theme has a complex code, your site will load slowly. Consider, changing your site theme and make the performance as your priorities in choosing a theme, instead of focusing only at aesthetics.

Coding

If your site utilizes a lot of CSS and Javascript files, it could be telling your site visitors to treat these files individually. It may result to several requests that may affect your website speed negatively. Minifying CSS and Javascript files reduce individual CSS and Javascript files, by getting them in one place, thus it improves your site speed.

Too Many Ads

Adding too many ads can slow down the loading time of your website which can increase the bounce rates and affect the online marketability negatively. The monetary loss that comes with high bounce rates is higher than its financial benefits.

Multimedia

Tempting multimedia content is very appealing for online traffic. That is if the content even reaches your visitor’s eyes. High-quality videos and images take longer to download onto requesting browsers, while low quality, lightweight graphics cannot get user attention in spite of their lower load times.

CDN

A CDN hosts your files in a huge network of servers worldwide. If a user from other country visits your site, they would download files from the server near their area. The loading speed on a single server is reduced because the bandwidth is distributed on many different servers. Installing a CDN may take a few hours, but it is one of the fastest ways to improve the page-loading speed significantly.

Testing

What to Test?

Before you start exploring the page speed bumps, dealing with the behavior of the most impactful website speed performance factors helps to identify performance problems in sites.

Initial Page Speed

Downloading lots of memory eating website content within milliseconds of sending browser requests is not possible without optimizing slow websites. In most instances, visitors may look for the primary information in the form of product or content portrayed by web pages. You can add complementary graphics and features, to help speed up the loading time.

Your visitors will get hooked to your website if you keep the initial page speed high even if the whole website content take longer to load completely. Keeping an eye on high initial page speed by tracking parameters can describe the initial page load times and page speed statistics. If these factors take too long, there are works that need to be done.

Full Page Load Time

The time it takes in loading the entire content should be monitored is an important element of user site experience testing. This will drive strategic IT decisions in optimizing hardware to optimize website performance.

Checking the performance indicator regularly lets website owners learn about website performance. Through this information, web experts can cache stable content in different locations like CDN as it maintains back-end servers to deliver content efficiently.

Geographic Performance

The global market is expanding its reach and website owners are aware of this. However, this reach is not always efficient because of the certain factors that limit client-server communication.

Bandwidth and technology limitations and government policies prevent website performance, thus website speed should be done across disparate areas to determine global website performance affecting world-wide business reach.

CPU Load

Shared hosting providers operating lots of websites on one Apache servers fail to provide high performance in spite of having a well-designed website with clean and speed optimized code. The site performance intensifies during peak load times if the server computing power was not able to process website download requests.

Monitoring server CPU load lets IT staff and hosting companies run locally hosted sites to check on back-end hardware capabilities in dealing with unpredictable web traffic deluge.

Database Performance

Database performance is important for sites maintaining great content taken from back-end databases. A program should be in place to determine and alert problems in data transmission. To avoid errors and loss of data, focus on free disk space on servers hosting websites. This issue may also degrade site performance.

How to Test Loading Speed

Website owners can use free or paid website performance testing services to check the web pages and build tailored solutions to fill the loopholes that affect the page speed. Pingdom and GTMetrix are two popular performance testing services, let’s find out how they differ.

Pingdom

Pingdom is a cheap and reliable performance monitoring software for your site. Testing and verification are done using 70 global polling locations in the client’s sites 24/7. With this tool you can monitor the site’s performance, interactions and uptime to achieve better user experience.

GTMetrix

This tool developed by GT.net is very effective in determining website performance. GTMetrix is one of the well-known speed testing tools in the market today. As compared to other tools this is easy to use and the beginner can easily pick it up. It utilizes a combination of YSlow and Google Pagespeed Insights to generate scores and recommendations.

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