What happens when a website takes ages to load? A user is most likely to close that tab and move on to a different website. If someone can’t access a website in a maximum of five seconds, they will leave that website. This is also known as the bounce rate, and if the bounce rate is high due to site speed, it won’t just affect your visitor satisfaction.
If your website takes ages to load, the chances are your visitor will simply move to one of your competitors. Not only that, but Google also takes website load time seriously. This is one of many search engine ranking factors you should pay attention to. If your website isn’t fast enough, Google will view this as a negative signal and will lower your website on the search engine results page. If your bounce rate is high, you won’t make as many sales, your conversation rate will drop, your user experience will be low and you might lose your search engine rankings.
So, if you are serious about your search engine ranking position and your website load speed is considered as slow, here are the ways to improve your website load time.
Update your hosting
If your website takes a while to load, it’s high time to assess your hosting. Maybe there are too many clients using one server or the server where your website is hosted is too far away from your geographic location. These are just some of how your current hosting can fail you. The solution to this can be to update your hosting.
Go through your code
You should clean up your code to remove any unnecessary elements to optimise it. Maybe you have too many commas, unused code or other unwanted elements. By tidying up your website’s code, you’ll also speed up your website.
Use caching plugins
A caching plugin is a useful one because it enables website caching. In other words, when a repeat visitor comes back to your website, some elements of your website will be stored in the browser. This means that the page won’t load all elements at the same time. Some parts of it will be cached and others will be loaded from the server. This will ensure a faster loading time.
Images that are too big can drain your website speed. This is actually the most common issue, as many websites use image files that aren’t optimised or compressed. This and any other optimisation is best left to an SEO agency like SEO Sydney or any other professional near you. They will do a complete website audit and propose areas of improvement. Images will most likely be one of them and they will help you fix this issue and fire up your website speed.
Go through your redirects
Redirects are necessary if you have pages that are 404. However, the number of redirects should be kept to a logical minimum because it also affects website load time. If you’re trying to access a page that has a redirect, the browser will try to access the desired webpage. If it has a redirect, the entire process of accessing a page repeats which means that time will be lost. Analyze your redirects and stick to those that are necessary.
Use only necessary plugins
Plugins are great but only if they are necessary. When you have too many plugins, your website loading time will drop. They have a double effect on your website – they improve it and slow it down at the same time. However, if a plugin is necessary then they only improve your website. If it isn’t needed, it only slows down your website. So, use only the necessary plugins and remove the ones you don’t need.
Use a content delivery network
The content delivery network uses the visitor’s location to deliver content from the nearest server. It can speed up your website by a staggering 51%. So, if you want to deliver your website at a great speed to your visitors, implement a CDN.
Implement lazy loading
Lazy loading is a great way to deliver the most important elements of a website to a user while it continues to load other elements asynchronously. If your website has too many visual elements, this might be a useful thing to implement.
Keep a simple design
While you can use lazy loading for your image-heavy website to speed it up, you should also keep your design simple. Especially if your mobile version of the website takes ages to load, sticking to a simple design can still be as effective, especially if the load time is not affected.
Do a website audit
Without a complete website audit, you won’t know your core web vitals. Core web vitals will show which areas need improvement and those areas affect user experience. We’ve already said that website speed or load time is the first thing. So, analyze your website web vitals to unveil areas for improvement.
Next, do a complete website audit to see which areas need improvement in terms of SEO. You need to improve your website page speed and also implement the right optimisation elements to ensure your website can be properly ranked.
Make sure it’s responsive
Having a responsive website is also an important ranking factor. So, if your website takes ages to load on a mobile device, this is also a signal that has to be analysed. Having a responsive website should be your goal as well as having a website that takes up to three or five seconds to load.
When you optimise your website for better performance, you will focus on elements that contribute to user satisfaction and overall page experience. Once you improve your website speed and core web vitals you’ll reduce bounce rate, improve sales, and conversion values and increase revenue and website traffic. Most importantly, Google won’t view your website speed as something negative, thus it won’t affect your ranking in a negative way but in a positive way. Page speed is an important factor in your SEO efforts, so make sure to work on it.