How Can I Increase My Website’s Speed?

Don’t you just hate that swirling circle that shows a page you just click on is loading? Pay attention to how long you are willing to wait for a page to load before just clicking the back button and finding a different source. It might take less time than you realize.

With the increase in technology and social media use, the average person’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter. Those first few seconds of loading are critical. 

The faster your website loads, the more likely they are to stay on that page. Otherwise, you could be losing revenue before a customer ever gets to your site. 

Try out the page speed improvement tips in this article and see your results improve!

What is page speed?

Page speed, which is different from site speed, is the amount of time that it takes for a web page or media content to fully download and be displayed for the user once it is clicked. 

On the other hand, site speed is the average amount of time that it takes for a sampling of pages on your website to load. Since they are connected, if you improve your website’s page speed, you will also improve its site speed.

Why is page speed important?

The difference between a page speed of 3 seconds and 5 seconds might not seem insignificant. After all, it is only two seconds. But those two seconds make a big difference in your traffic and the ability to rank.

According to Google, the bounce rate, or the rate at which users enter a site and then leave before they do anything else, is 32% if it takes a page 1 to 3 seconds to load. If it takes a page 1 to 5s seconds to load, the bounce rate goes up to 90%. 

Those two additional page speed seconds could cause 90% of your potential customers to leave before your landing page loads. 

Google’s goal is to give searchers the best user experience possible to continue to use Google. If it takes 5 seconds for your website to load and searchers click off before even viewing your content, they do not have a good user experience; hence, why page speed is factored into Google’s ranking algorithm. 

If two websites were the same in all other ranking factors other than page speed, the website with the faster page speed would rank higher. Thus, it is best practice to keep your page speed under 3 seconds, but the quicker your page speed, the better your results will be.

Page speed may seem insignificant at first, but it can have a drastic impact on your business’s success. 

How to discover your page speed

Since it is such an important factor, you’re probably wondering how to determine your page speed. Forget about the stopwatch. There are much easier ways to figure out how long it takes your page to load.

One of our favorite tools to use is Google’s PageSpeed Insights calculator. All you have to do is enter a web page URL and click “analyze.”

Homepage of Google PageSpeed Insights with a blue/white color scheme

This resource not only tells your page speed, but it provides a breakdown of how long it takes to load specific elements on a page and highlights areas of opportunity for you to improve your page speed. 

How to improve your page speed

It is easier to improve than you might expect for something that can have such a significant impact on your ranking and bottom line. Here are some of our best tips to make your website load faster and help you drive results:

Clean up your HTML, CSS and JavaScript

For starters, go to a page on your website and use the CTRL + U shortcut keystroke to pull up the source code for that page in a new window. This will allow you to check for any unnecessary code that could be contributing to your slow page speed. 

  • Empty space: Remove any empty space or blank lines in your HTML, CSS and Javascript code.
  • Commented-out Code: Commented-out code primarily serves as notes or comments for the coder that do not impact your page. Commented-out code looks like this:

<!– This is an example of a comment in HTML. –>

  • External CSS and JavaScript: Make your CSS and JavaScript code into external files. When you have external CSS and JavaScript files are cached by your browser. This means that the browser will not have to read all of this code every time; it will remember it. This saves time as the server does not have to “read” as much code before loading the page.

These tips help to reduce the overall file size of your code, which, in turn, improves your page speed and allows your website to be served to users faster.

Compress your images

While adding images to your website improves the user experience by breaking up walls of text and keeping users engaged, they could be slowing down your page speed. Deleting images would make your page load faster but negatively impact the user experience. The solution is simple, compress your images! There are a number of image compressor tools on the web, and any will do as long as you don’t compromise on the quality. 

You may need to play around with the compression until you find the right quality and size that you are looking for. Remember that you should use a GIF, PNG or JPEG file type when you reduce the image size.

Reduce your redirects

Redirects can affect your site speed, especially if a page has been redirected multiple times. Every time that a page is redirected, the user has to wait for the whole HTTP request process before loading the most current page. The redirect chain may look like this: > > >

To reduce your redirects, send the original page directly to the current page along with the other redirected pages. So instead of someone who goes to the original page having to wait for three rounds of HTTP requests, they only have to wait for one. It would look like this: > > >

By ending the chain and sending the page directly to the current page, you will improve the page speed. It might seem like only a small difference, but a small improvement can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

Upgrade your hosting server

If you have a slow page speed, you may want to look into upgrading your hosting server. A hosting server, also known as a web hosting service, is a server that houses your website and connects it with users across the internet. You may find that you are on a shared server plan. This means that the server is housing your website along with a multitude of other websites. Having so much information on one shared server slows down the page speed. 

Switching your server or server plan can improve your page speed. To upgrade your hosting server, contact your hosting service provider to learn more about the different types of hosting plans and costs they offer. 

Page speed matters

Working to improve your page speed may be the key to outranking your competitors, increasing conversions and driving growth for your company!

Are you looking for more ways to improve your page speed or other inbound marketing strategies to help improve your ranking and overall performance? We have a full team of industry experts ready to help your business reach its potential! Contact us today to start your journey towards better results!

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