We’ve all done it, we click on site from Google or another search engine and it takes a few seconds more than normal to load, we give up and click on something else. Technology has made us relatively impatient, plus the fact we’re almost always busy or in a hurry, and a few seconds difference can be critical. Now for that website, they’ve lost potential interest or a lead or simply traffic. The content on that site could be the most wonderful and world changing content to ever be conceived, but if the site loads too slowly, the less likely people will stick around long enough to see it.
In fact a study by Akamai, a global leader in Content Delivery Network services, found this:
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less
- 40% will abandon web page if it takes more than three seconds to load
- 52% of online shoppers say quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site
The speed of a site has a direct correlation to conversion rates, how well you rank on SEO, web traffic, click through rates. Pick your poison, pick a piece of data from your analytics and it can be related back to how quickly your website loads, in some shape or form.
Improving the speed of your site:
It wasn’t until recently that we discovered that our website, after adding videos, large images, and other content wasn’t loading as fast as it should be. It’s easily overlooked, especially when performing SEO tasks. Emphasis is placed upon content (rightly so) as well as keywords, variation in content, navigation, descriptions, the list could go on. Now, these factors are absolutely crucial when considering user experience, but the speed of the site can sometimes fall by the wayside.
So what did we do? Well initially, we tested the speed of our site using PageSpeed tools, provided by Google. PageSpeed then gave us a list of improvements that could be made to our website to improve the speed of it and now we’re implementing them. It sounds pretty simple, but the implementation process can be daunting, especially for those who are less technical than others.
Here’s a few things we’ve been doing to improve our website speed:
Before getting started, always make a backup of your site using your hosting provider’s or a third party FTP site.
- Caching/Browser Caching
- Optimising images
- Compressing the website using gzip
- Fixing broken links
- Reducing re-directs
For more details about how to perform these tasks, as well as others, there’s a great guide here.
Also if you need help optimising your site to improve its speed then let us know and we’ll be able to help. It can be a long process and something that has to be regularly re-visited but it’s worth doing to enable users to access your site quickly and not simply give up on you all together.