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Why Your Website's Page Speed Matters

by Alex Vilmur 02 Sep, 2022

Webpage Speed Development

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

What is the Importance Of Website Loading Speed?

Welcome to the future, where attention spans are awfully quick, content is everywhere, and website loading speed is king. When it comes to ranking and conversions, the technical SEO (Search Engine Optimization) details matter just as much as the website design and the quality of the content. Page loading time can be the determining factor between your business getting the sale versus your competitor getting it, and sometimes, it’s the difference between even being found at all in search engine results. Read on for the complete list of helpful ideas on how to maximize website page speeds. 

Just how important is site speed for SEO? Website load speed is the time it takes to load your webpage on a given browser. Faster website loading speeds equal more engagement and higher conversion rates. People will leave a page if it doesn’t load quickly. Those who were lucky enough to have the internet in the early days of dial-up remember very intimately, patiently waiting for a page to load. Those days are gone.

Why Your Website Matters 

Your website matters because it is the first impression you get to make with your customers. It is your main online presence—the front door to your digital storefront. It should be easy to navigate, quick to load, and boast an easy and intuitive user experience (UX). Website loading speed helps determine if you’ll even get a second of their time. Miss this, and you miss more than just a sale—you’ve made an impression and not a good one. Website load speed is so important because humans (and bots) will leave a page almost immediately if it doesn’t load instantly. We’re talking milliseconds for a human to determine if a site is trustworthy, reliable, and professional—and what does it all come down to? Pagespeed and the user’s need for high-quality information as quickly as possible. 

Websites that load fast (and look great due to high-quality website design) create trust between your business and the buyer, resulting in more traffic, longer visits, and higher conversion rates. Focusing on increasing site speed and the quality of your website will also help you appear more relevant in search engine results. 

So What Affects Site Speed?

There are many factors that affect your website load speed. To name a few: how content-heavy your page is (page weight), the web design, excessive code (CSS, HTML, Javascript, 3rd party scripts), server response time, images that aren’t optimized or compressed, network conditions, and hosting. In this article, we’ll focus on the technical details you can tweak to optimize page speed, thereby increasing conversion rates.

What is a Good Speed For a Website and How Long Should It Take For Your Website to Load?

The importance of website load speed cannot be understated. A recent study (published January 2022) from digital.com revealed that one in two visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than six seconds to load. Other research suggests it could be up to three seconds. That’s not a lot of time. People want answers to their questions immediately, and in these two to three seconds upon landing on your website, they make a judgment call—is this business trustworthy? SEO best practices update frequently (i.e. Google sunsetting Universal Analytics) , and it can be difficult to keep up with all the emerging strategies for maximizing the site experience for your users and for your top-line revenue. In a hurry? Check out our services on UX and Usability Consulting.

Why is Website Speed Important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and What Are the Risks of Poor SEO?

How much does website load speed time actually matter? Page load time is the number one factor to increase conversion rates and traffic on your website. It can dramatically increase site performance. It doesn’t matter what Google says or what another search engine giant might say, because the answers are evident in human behavior. Consider how long you actually wait for something to load. Humans thin-slice to get to information as quickly as possible, and if your site isn’t quick enough, they are already gone. Other factors that help your rankings on major search engines like Google include: Great content, optimization for mobile, high-quality links, high-quality information, site layout, visuals, and ease of use. Believe it or not, even the CMS you use has an important impact on good SEO! For example, webp images will allow websites to load extremely fast, which is one reason why Umbraco is the most SEO-friendly CMS out there.

How to Speed Up your Website

Here are some best practices to speed up your website and maximize site performance: 

  1. Use a content delivery network (CDN) which can massively improve your page speeds and site performance. 
  2. Optimize images and graphics (many image optimizers are available online.)
  3. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile-first.  
  4. Watch how many requests you have running on the page (think add-ons like forms, chat bots, ex: Hotjar embeds, social widgets, etc.)
  5. Minimize time to first byte.
  6. Double check your hosting plan. 
  7. Use browser caching (reduces browser costs AND increases page speed.) 
  8. Use Gzip compression (the gold standard for lossless compression on the web.) 
  9. Switch to http/2, as it handles multiple requests simultaneously unlike http/1. 
  10. Don’t use redirects (it slows page speed.) 
  11. Don’t use embeds or external scripts (i.e. Don’t bombard people with pop-ups!) 
  12. Work with a partner who is an expert in all of these areas and more. 

It might even be time to consider getting a new website to increase site performance. How old is your website and when was the last time it was revamped? Talk to someone at Marcel to see how our Umbraco CMS implementation will help your website loading speed. And for more SEO Best Practices to help with website loading speed check out our SEO Services.

What’s the Impact on Conversion Rates When It Comes to Page Load Speed?

If you’re looking to increase conversion rates, page load speed is the first place you should start. Consider the following: 

  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. (Kissmetrics)

See how we have helped businesses increase their website conversion rates by 76%. 

How Can You Measure Site Speed and What Are the Most Important KPIs For Website Page Speed? 

If you want to see how fast your website is now, use the Google Page Speed Insights Tool to check Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) such as:  

  • Load Time
  • Page Size
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  • Time to Interactive (TTI)
  • Time to First Byte (TTFB)
  • DNS Lookup Time

The Google Page Speed Insights tool will also give you helpful tips and opportunities like reducing unused Javascript code and reducing the impact of third-party code used on your website. 

 

How We Help / Marcel Digital’s Website Development Services

In case it wasn’t clear, there’s a lot to focus on to increase conversions and optimize site load speed. Hopefully you’ve come away with an understanding of just how important site speed is for SEO and your top-line revenue. Sometimes, it’s best to utilize an outside partner to get the results you are looking for. Check out Marcel’s Digital Website Development Services to see how you can get those results even quicker. ’

Category:
Web Development, SEO
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Alex Vilmur
Author

Alex Vilmur

Alex Vilmur is a wizard at development and also trumpet. He once auditioned for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but found his passion for website development and Umbraco was too hard to leave.

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