The loading speed of your site affects Google rankings. Google received patent 86455362 on February 4, 2014, for its site speed patent. In 2018, as part of Google’s “Speed Update,” page speed became a ranking factor for mobile, following the focus on desktop page load time. Google plans to complete its shift to mobile-first indexing by March 2021. Therefore, mobile page loading speed is more critical than ever.
When it comes to marketing metrics, fast-loading sites outperform slow-loading sites across a range of marketing and SEO indices.
By improving the loading speed of your site pages by 0.1 seconds, you can increase conversion rates by 8%, research by Google and Deloitte shows.
Google found that 53% of users abandon mobile websites if the page loads more than three seconds late. In the study, faster mobile websites resulted in longer sessions and lower bounce rates when compared to slower mobile sites. Sites that loaded more quickly earn almost twice as much revenue as those that do not.
The page load time of your website plays a huge role in how well your website performs, including how many page views you get, how many conversions you get, and how much revenue you generate.
Google Core Web Vitals
Google has launched a program called “Web Vitals” that provides guidance for quality signals that indicate a “great” site experience.
Among the quality, signals are Core Web Vitals. The Core Web Vitals represent different aspects of the user experience. Using this metric, any live web page (“Real User Monitoring”) can measure how fast or how accessible a page loads. Further, Google has announced that Core Web Vitals will be included in organic ranking factors in the future.
The article dives into Time to First Byte (TTFB) and First Contentful Paint (FCP), which are two important metrics when looking at page load times that help identify issues with slow server response times or render-blocking resources.
12 Ways to Improve the Loading Speed Of Your Site
Unsure of where to start when it comes to speeding up your website performance? Have no fear, we have you covered. These twelve website speed optimization measures will help you increase user experience, boost SEO rankings, and boost website performance.
1. Invest in a fast web host or Design
A fast website starts with a fast server. Ensure that you have a fast web stack. Consider hosting your site on a dedicated server. No matter how well designed and optimized your website is, shared servers can still slow it down. Use technology that is current so your website will load faster.
2. Use a CDN
3. Compress files with Gzip
Data compression, such as GZip, is helpful for reducing loading times by server-side. Basically, it makes a set of data smaller so it can be delivered more streamlined and efficiently to a user’s computer. Your HTML and stylesheets will be smaller when you compress your files with Gzip. Images and videos are already compressed separately, so they cannot be used for them.
It’s good news that most CDNs enable GZip compression by default, so your website should already be protected if you are using one.
4. Make HTTP requests as small as possible
Reducing the number of HTTP requests made by a page is highly effective for reducing page load time. A web browser requests files that make up the content of a web page when someone visits a web page. Browsers render content on a page as soon as the requested files are returned by the server. Each file comprising a page’s content is requested separately via HTTP. In this case, the longer your web page takes to load is directly proportional to the number of files on it.
6. Simplify your HTML
7. Optimizing images leads to faster loading pages
What’s one of the biggest causes of slow websites?
Pictures! Especially large images. The size of some images on websites has exceeded one MB, and others are bigger than five MB. Whoops! Be careful. In addition to reducing your landing page’s speed, large image files will often frustrate your site visitors.
Reduce image size while maintaining quality. Smaller image files are ideal, but an amateurish-looking website is not. You can optimize your WordPress images with plugins. We recommend WebsitePlanet to compress JPGs & PNGs and AnyWebP to convert your images to WebP.
8. Maintain a clean media library
You may have accumulated old or unused images in your media library over time. Cluttering your site just makes matters worse. Make your media library load faster by deleting any unnecessary images and media files.
9. Clean up your database
In a similar manner to your media library, your database can accumulate unused information over time such as photos, documents, and so on
Optimizing your database involves finding and eliminating data that is obsolete and unused. In turn, this makes data retrieval more efficient for your web hosting server.
HTML resources are loaded in the order in which they appear in web browsers by default. It is possible for the rendering of pages to be substantially delayed when the resources use a lot of the device’s processing power. Most of these scripts, however, are not required when viewing a web page for the first time. This could be done in many cases once the page has loaded.
11. Use Expires Headers
Visitors to your website who return can benefit from expired headers by reducing page load times. Depending on what instructions they contain, browsers request or pull files from the browser’s cache. To speed up website loading reduces the number of downloads from the server as well as the number of HTTP requests.
Most modern websites contain hundreds of files. Each file, especially large files, adds to website loading time. Adding to the process is the requirement of transmitting each file, which also adds incremental time. By storing Expires Headers in the cache, the browser is able to bypass re-downloads and provide the same version of the page to future visitors.
12. Redirect URLs should be avoided.
There are several ways to redirect a URL, but the most common is URL redirection. This can be achieved in various ways. When the forwarding page is 301 redirected, the SEO value is retained. However, this process slows down your page regardless of the type of redirect, as it takes time to move from one file to another. Whenever possible, avoid or minimize the number of URL redirects.
Following the above guidelines will surely help you a lot in optimizing your website speed to the fullest. Once optimized, test it using GTMetrix or Google Pagespeed Insights to check for errors and improvements.