How fast your website opens upon clicking the link is a matter of serious concern because your SEO performance depends on it. Website speed is a very important factor that influences user experience, and you cannot ignore it. How much people like your website depend largely on how quickly the pages open. The faster the website speed, the higher the chances of people liking it. However, website speed does not always live up to the expectations of users for various reasons, and as a website owner, you must know what ails your website. Look for the root cause of the problem, and once you know what causes the web pages to slow down, you must act fast to set things right. Monitor each aspect of the website from its design to other optimization measures taken to identify the factors that hinder website speed.
Website Speed Improves Ranking Which Results In Higher Revenues
Speed means money
In search engine marketing, website speed equates with revenues because having good website speed drives more traffic and leads to higher conversions. More revenue is the goal of all marketing, and the website speed contributes to it. A study about mobile website speed has revealed that there is a direct link between the earnings from websites and its speed because speedier websites earn higher ranks and attract higher traffic. The result showed that while the top-ranking website took 2.20 seconds for opening a page, the fifth-ranked site took about 2.60 seconds, and the revenues differed drastically.
Website speed is a ranking factor
It is almost a decade now that Google had declared that website speed for desktops is a ranking factor. Now, Google extends that philosophy for mobile websites too. It is ready to use the Speed Update parameter for all mobile sites no matter if it is a dedicated or responsive design. The move is surely going to hit hard the slowest pages. Therefore, you must now ensure that you only have a speedy website for all devices because Google wants it that way.
Users love speed
Your audience loves speedy websites and to keep them happy; you must ensure that your website performs at top speed on desktops as well as mobile devices that Google also wants. Buyers are restless at least when it comes to page opening speed because they want a page to open in a split second. Ideally, this translates into page opening time of 2 seconds and failing to achieve it will not only drive away users but also become very costly for your business. According to Google, for the speed difference of websites between 1 to 10 seconds, the corresponding increase in the bounce rate could be as high as 123%. US-based SEO marketers have their task cut out because to survive in the intensely competitive market they must slash down the average website speed from 9.8 seconds to anything as much close to the targeted 2 seconds.
What must e-commerce websites do?
The challenge is tough for e-commerce websites because unless there is a significant improvement in website speed, it could be doomsday for many of them. So, what can e-commerce websites do to meet the user expectations of website speed? They should begin by knowing the current website speed and then continuously go through optimizing and testing it by taking professional help from some companies that specialize in SEO.
Using some tools can make the task easy. Firstly, obtain a Chrome user experience report that contains user experience data related to some popular websites that capture the real-life experience of Chrome users. Secondly, to know how a page performs based on the Chrome User Experience report, you must use the tool Page Speed Insight that suggests the optimizations necessary for improving performance. And thirdly, there is the automated Chrome Developer tool Lighthouse that is useful for web page auditing to ascertain its quality in terms of performance, accessibility, and some more parameters.
Once you know the speed performance of the website, you can draw a plan for improving it further.
Optimizations needed for page speed improvement
Optimizing certain website design elements should help to improve page speed. By compressing some page elements, you can make the pages open faster. Looking beyond the website, there are some more factors that you must address because it impacts website speed.
Let us look into the various things to do that improve overall website speed and assures speedy page opening.
Compression of page elements – All the elements of design used on the web pages might not help in maintaining good page opening speed. To know which elements are hindering page speed, you must look at the report provided by Page Speed Insight that points to the problem makers, especially images which in most cases slow down website speed. After identifying the elements for compression use the feature gzip compression that reduces HTTP response time by almost 90%.
Steer clear of landing page redirects – The Page Speed Insight report might show that there are multiple redirects to the landing page from the URL in which case it is natural that the page will take a longer time to open. This happens because of multiple HTTP requests triggered by too many requests that prolong the time taken by the page to respond.
Image optimization – Images are mainly responsible for longer page opening time because poorly optimized images or images not at all optimized will take much more time to load. Therefore, you must not only ensure the use of optimized images for the website but also optimize the existing images. The speed improvement happens almost immediately.
Server response time improvement – If your server takes longer than 200 ms to respond, it surely needs improvement. Identify what makes the server response slow and rectify the problems to ensure that the response time is under the specified limit.
Enhance browser caching – If the resource caching is set to happen in a short span or the caching headers remain excluded when the server responds, there is scope for improving browser caching to present pages faster.
How much good happens from speed improvement will reflect on the site SEO and overall revenue figures.