Speed may not be recommended for driving but it is essential for website performance. In fact, it’s so important that Google has made website page speed part of their ranking algorithm. This, of course, means it can help or hinder your brand’s online visibility.

For some time now there has been a direct correlation between website page speed, bounce rate and visitor retention. While improving website page speed is challenging for many marketers, it is necessary for almost all aspects of a brand’s marketing performance.

Google has played its part to improve the loading speed of websites with several tools for developers and webmasters. We take a look at how you can improve your website page speed and the available tools at your disposal.

Introduction To Website Page Speed And SEO

Your website’s performance is a vital ranking factor and with today’s available technology, a slow website is unacceptable. Visitors often see slow websites as untrustworthy and as many as 40% will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

The same goes for a site that doesn’t render properly on mobile devices. Remove anything that is slowing down your website from music players and flash graphics to large images and pointless plugins. Search engines, like Google, can easily detect this type of behaviour and use it as a page ranking factor.

Improve your website page speed and maximise the true potential of your brand’s online presence by following these simple tips.

Fewer Redirects

A website with links is a good thing but only if it goes to relevant, quality sites and if they actually work. Broken or poor quality links can seriously affect your online portfolio and search rankings. Not to mention having too many redirects as this could also negatively impact the user experience. The more HTTP requests on your site result in additional redirects which could result in slower website page speed.

Truth is, this also directly impacts your conversions. Broken links and redirects could prevent many users from entering and following your sales funnel. You need to monitor and repair broken links and redirects in a timely manner for optimal web performance. A great tool you can use to find redundant redirects or broken links is Netpeak Spider.

Avoid Using Render-Blocking Javascript

In terms of website structure, avoid render-blocking Javascript like those preventing your page from loading properly. This especially includes external scripts that must be fetched before it can be executed. For above-the-fold content on your page, the part that users see first, scripts should be made asynchronous (independent of other elements) or deferred until after the first render.

Most webmaster platforms use Javascript code but make sure the one you choose doesn’t slow down your website. Finteza is a great example of an independent analytics tool with Javascript that has no impact on your website’s performance.

Use A Content Distribution Network (CDN)

A Content Distribution Network has multiple data centres (servers) strategically placed across the globe to deliver cached, static content to web visitors. But how does it work? Put simply, these servers pull static assets like CSS, Javascript, images or files from the origin server and make copies of them. This allows visitors to retrieve the information from the nearest server making the entire process much simple and faster.

This is particularly important for global businesses with loads of traffic and conversions locally and abroad. If you have a slow website, your international customers will simply give up and find your closest competitor. A Content Distribution Network can greatly help you monitor and improve your global performance.

Maximise On Browser Caching

When people visit a website, it builds a cache containing information about Javascript, images and CSS among others. Why is browser caching important? It allows for faster website loading as the entire website is not reloaded when a visitor returns.

The improved website page speed saves time not having to send multiple HTTP requests to the server. At the same time, it also helps reduce the bandwidth which impacts the overall cost of website hosting. For the most part, returning customers often yield the highest revenue and this method will ensure that your visitors have a better experience which leads to more conversions.

Effective Server Response Time

Server response time is an important part of page speed. Many factors are involved such as traffic volume, the type of server software used and the website host. A general rule is that the server response time should be less than 200ms which can be achieved by doing your homework.

Look at different performance metrics and pay close attention to slow database requests, lack of memory or slow routing. You can use website monitoring tools to evaluate your server performance. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify any issues that may be preventing people from interacting with your site properly.

Interesting Article: ‘SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

Final Thoughts

Websites that take too long to load often results in search engine bots not being able to crawl as many pages. This means Google can’t use their crawl budget effectively which could negatively impact your website’s organic performance. Remember, Google’s algorithm takes the overall website page speed and page loading time into account. This makes page speed optimisation an essential part of your strategy if you want to rank higher in search results.

The evidence is clear that a fast website contributes greatly to improving overall conversion rates for specific pages or to reduce the bounce rate. If your web pages load fast, they will appeal to more visitors and give them the opportunity to explore more of your online content. Get in touch with WSI eMarketing if you need more information about web development, SEO and PPC.

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