When it comes to your website’s performance, page speed isn’t just important – it’s crucial! Your web pages must load quickly and smoothly if you want to reduce your bounce rate, boost your search engine rankings, and increase user experience (UX).
Here are a few statistics that show how essential it is to optimize your page speed:
47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less.
40% of consumers will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds to load.
If a page takes more than three seconds to load, you lose almost half of your visitors before they even arrive on your site.
79% of customers said they wouldn’t return to a site with poor performance. So, even if they stick around the first time they visit your site, a slow load time will prevent them from returning.
The same study showed 52% of shoppers said that quick page loading is vital to their site loyalty, and 44% said they tell their friends about poor site experiences.
The study also found that a one-second delay can decrease customer satisfaction by approximately 16%.
There is a 25% decrease in conversion rates with just one extra second of load time.
Clearly, speed matters – and increasing your site speed even by one second could significantly impact conversions!
What is Page Speed?
Page speed refers to how quickly your content loads when someone visits a page on your website. It’s not website speed – it’s the loading time of a specific page.
There are a variety of elements that affect your page loading speed – and your website’s UX. Some of the most important factors include:
- Your site’s (and the specific page’s) coding and server-side scripts
- How many images, videos, and other media files are contained on the page
- The plugins and themes that are installed on your site
Why is Page Speed Important?
You can tell from the stats above that every second counts when it comes to page loading speed. The bounce rate rises by 90% if a page takes even five seconds to load!
Page speed is also crucial for SEO – and it’s a ranking factor for both mobile searches and desktop.
Page speed also matters because it can influence people’s perceptions of your brand. If your web pages don’t load quickly or something goes wrong during the process, you may look unprofessional and unreliable.
Figuring out how your pages are currently performing is the first step in having a highly effective website with optimized page speed.
How to Measure Page Speed
Before you make any changes to your website, first test and measure page speed. You can use a variety of tools, but we recommend starting with Google-supported tools that will also let you know if you’re hitting the performance benchmarks necessary for ranking at the top.
GooglePageSpeed Insights is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to measure and test the speed of your web pages on both desktop and mobile devices. Think with Google Test My Site tests your site’s mobile speed, and it directly ties it into ROI for your website or business.
Here are two non-Google tools that are also popular and beginner-friendly options – Pingdom Website Speed Test and GTmetrix.
5 Ways to Improve Your Page Speed
Now that you know the importance of page speed and how to test your site’s performance, let’s look at 5 simple ways to make your pages load faster.
1. Compress and optimize your images
Images increase the quality of your content and make your web pages more appealing – but large images can also slow loading times. One of the easiest ways to improve page loading speeds is to compress and optimize your images.
2. Cache web pages and enable browser caching
One of the most effective ways to speed up your pages is caching – and caching stores copies of your site’s files which minimizes the work needed for the server to generate and serve a web page to a user’s browser.
Browser caching allows the browser to store a variety of information, so it doesn’t have to reload the entire page each time a user visits it.
3. Choose the right hosting option
The hosting provider you choose plays a major role in your website’s performance and management – including page speeds. So, don’t settle for mediocre hosting because it’s inexpensive. Look for performance-focused hosting options that offer a powerful platform designed for speed.
4. Work with a content delivery network (CDN)
Beyond the server that hosts your site, you can also use other networks of servers to decrease load times for your users. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that can help increase page loading speed by hosting and delivering copies of your site’s static content from servers located across the globe. A CDN works with your host rather than in place of it.
5. Minify Resources
It’s crucial that your web pages load quickly and smoothly. Every second they take to load increases your bounce rate and decreases your search engine rankings. The first step to solving this issue is to look through your site’s speed test results and identify the issues that have the greatest impact on your load times. Focus on those high-impact factors first and take the necessary steps to achieve your site speed goals.
It can be overwhelming and challenging to get your page load times where you want them. So if you need help optimizing your page speed or with other aspects of your website, contact us today for a free consultation.
Impact Group Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Bryan, Texas. Our talented and experienced team provides small to medium businesses with digital marketing solutions, website development services, business printing, and more!