Beginners Guide To Website Speed Optimization

website load speedSite speed subsequently impacts search engine rankings and the conversion rate. A one-second delay in page load time can reduce the conversion rate by 7% and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Apart from boosting sales, optimizing your page load time can also help you improve your site’s ranking in the search results.

Importance of Site Speed Optimization

If you have created a website, you likely want to earn money through it. To do that, you will need traffic. More often, you’ll use your website for lead generation. Believe it or not, your site speed plays an integral role in attracting visitors, lead generation, and converting them.

  • SEO: Google uses page speed as a ranking factor on desktop devices since 2010. As of July 2018, Google also started considering page speed as a ranking factor for mobile devices.
  • Usability: If the images or certain elements on your website takes too much time to load, your visitors might have a hard time navigating. As a result, people are likely to bounce back to the search results, again affecting your site’s ranking negatively.
  • User Engagement: Users engage with websites that allow them to move swiftly rather than making them wait for each element to load. This is applicable for all the components that require visitors to engage with it, such as forms and CTA.
  • Conversion Rate: When your website ranks higher, allows visitors to navigate quickly and easily, and keeps them engaged, they’re more likely to buy something. If anything at any of those stages crumbles, your conversion rate will decrease.

Optimizing site speed can also help you boost your online visibility and increase your conversion rate.

Let’s have a look at how you can improve your page speed.

1 – Choose a fast-well-known Hosting Company

When it comes to site speed optimization, there’s nothing more important than the duration between clicking a link and the appearance of the content of the web page. The content is downloaded from the websites’ hosting servers, therefore switching to a fast web hosting service would be the most important thing to do to get better speed and engagement with the end-users. There are plenty of web hosting providers to choose from, and once you hit over 25,000 unique users a month, you should consider upgrading to produce attractive website performance.

2 – Reduce HTTP Requests

Every time a user tries to visit your website, their browser makes an HTTP request to the server.

To reduce the HTTP requests:

  • Eliminate 404 error pages: 404 error pages not only create a bad user experience but also hamper your page load time.
  • Check for Unnecessary Redirects: Every redirect cause HTTP requests. Make sure you redirect your visitors only when it is indispensable.
  • Combine Images in Sprite Files: Instead of delivering each image in separate files, you can bundle them together in a single file. Image Sprites can help you reduce the number of HTTP requests. They are ideal for graphic files such as logos and icons.

The more elements you have on your site, the more requests will be made. Therefore, try to reduce/merge the files on your website.

3 – Speed Up Image Loading

Images make up, on average, 50% of an entire website’s weight. So, if you can reduce the size of the images, the loading time will decrease.

While there are a lot of tools to compress the image’s size, you also must choose the right format for your pictures.

  • SVG is best suited for geometric shapes.
  • JPEG is best suited for photographs and graphics that feature multiple colors.
  • PNG is best suited for single-color images.

Eliminating images that don’t contribute much value is a good idea to speed up the loading time.

4 – Implement AMP

AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are designed to provide mobile users with a lightning-fast website experience. AMP strips down your site’s content, so the user gets only the most important information.

When creating AMP pages, ensure that it meets Google Search Guidelines. Additionally, you can use the AMP Test Tool to check if your AMP HTML is valid or not.

Bonus: Though AMP speeds up the site speed, avoid using large images and redundant content that can hamper the loading time.

5 – Optimize CSS and JS

The fewer lines your CSS and JS files have, the faster your site loads. White space, comments are not necessary for browsers to understand your code.

To optimize CSS loading, include it in your HTML pages. Also, follow the best practices when including CSS in your HTML pages.

  • CSS is at the top of your HTML file.
  • Avoid using @import in your CSS.
  • Ensure that only the essential CSS is delivered.

To optimize JavaScript, you can:

  • Load JavaScript libraries from Google’s hosted libraries.
  • Use asynchronous loading.
  • Avoid loading third-party libraries multiple times.

Optimizing/minifying CSS and JS files reduce network latency, HTML requests, boosts browser downloading and execution, thereby increasing the site speed.

6 – Deliver Files Faster

Last but not least, deliver your site’s components as quickly as possible. Configure HTTP caching to let browsers store a copy of the visited pages and deliver it instantly to the user in their next visit.

Enable Gzip compression to reduce the size of your files instantly. Your visitors will need to download much smaller files as compared to the original ones, which speeds up the page loading time.

Additionally, you can set up a CDN (content delivery network) to deliver your website from the visitor’s closest server.

How to check your website’s loading speed?

Tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix can help you monitor how long your website takes to load perfectly and what is affecting it.

All you need to do is enter your website’s URL, and the tool will show your site’s performance in terms of speed along with the steps you need to take to optimize it.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing site speed can help you boost conversion rate and increase your site’s ranking in the SERPs. Switching to a better hosting service provider is by far the best way to improve the site speed.

Also, consider minimizing HTTP requests, compressing images, optimizing CSS & JS files, and implementing AMP to reduce the page load time.