Why is Website Speed Important, and How Can It Be Increased?
Like clients leave behind poor ratings on restaurants with poor service, a sluggish website speed often results in low search engine rankings, negative user experiences, and low site traffic. With more than 4.95 billion people around the globe using the internet, there is massive potential for websites to grow. According to Statista research, 2.14 billion people were expected to make an online purchase in 2021. The study also determined that over 263 million American consumers shop online. Although there are over 1.17 billion websites, only 17% of these websites are active. What separates successful websites from low-ranking ones is the page speed.
So, what makes a good website? A good website is well designed, optimized for PC and mobile users, easy to use, and has fresh and quality content. Loading speeds also play a vital role in determining whether visitors get to stick around or not. According to research done by Kissmetrics, 40% of online users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Also, 79% of users dissatisfied with a website's performance will most likely not revisit the website. This article will decipher what website speed is, why it is essential, and how to increase it.
What Is Website Speed?
Website speed is the time it takes for content on a website to load fully. The saying "first impression is the last impression" always applies to an online audience. With the first visit to your website, a user will judge your website quality and your business. Users often judge websites based on how easy it is to use them and how long they take to load. This first impression determines whether the user will revisit the site.
Since many people access the internet through their phones, it is crucial to ensure that mobile websites are properly optimized. Since most users are on a 4G/3G network, it is essential to optimize websites to reduce load time. Despite many online users, a lot of them are not patient enough to wait for slow pages to load.
Why Is Website Speed Important?
Several reasons make website speed very important. If you want to get more customers from your website, you should optimize your web page for PC and mobile users. Here is why fast loading times on your website are essential.
1. Web Speed Helps Websites Rank Higher on Search Engines
Back in 2010, Google incorporated site speed as a factor determining search rankings on its search engine. In 2017, Google also announced that page speed would be more considered in search engine rankings by incorporating mobile site speed. The Google algorithm also started penalizing slow websites. Therefore, a website with faster load speeds is likely to rank higher than a slow one.
A higher rank on the search engine means that the site is more visible, gets more clicks, and has a higher conversion rate. Such websites get more customers than those that aren't optimized to load faster.
2. Speed Ensures an Impressive User Experience
With online businesses, first impressions are very crucial. Website speed determines how users perceive an online brand. A well-optimized website gives users an impressive user experience because users can navigate easily without wasting any time waiting for the site to load. A fast website is considered more professional and reliable, while a slow one is deemed to be annoying.
Giving users an impressive user experience on the site helps build trust in the brand.
3. A Higher Conversion Rate
When a website is optimized to load faster, users tend to log in for longer periods and convert at higher rates than slow websites. When a site is slow, customers bounce before the page loads, thus, leading to a loss of revenue since potential customers do not convert. Slow-loading websites often have a higher bouncing rate on visitors who access the site.
How to Improve Website Speed
As a business owner, your website links you and your potential clients. The success of your business depends on how comfortable potential clients are using your website. By improving your website speed, you are more likely to attract more clients and make your website look more professional and reliable.
Below, we've highlighted essential tips that will help you improve your page speed.
1. Check Your Page Speed
The first step towards improving your website should be checking your load speed. Diagnosing your page speed helps you understand where your website ranks and how much improvement it needs. To check the speed of your website, you can use the various online services that offer reliable performance reports on websites.
Google Lighthouse is one of the best online tools for measuring a website's performance. This automated open-source tool can run against any web page. At Siguro, we make sure that all our websites get a 90+ score on Google lighthouse.
2. Lose Extra Weight
The file size of your website determines how fast or slow your website loads. For open-source content management systems such as WordPress, poorly developed themes (loads of HTTP requests for different assets and no caching) often slow your page speed.
To ensure that your page loads faster for mobile users, ensure your site has a lightweight website theme that doesn't require a lot of coding. You can also shed extra weight by;
Eliminating unnecessary fonts
Image optimization by compressing all images that appear on the page
Using next-gen formats like WEBP on images instead of JPEGS
Eliminating lazy load images
3. Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN)
A CDN makes it possible for foreign visitors from different geographical locations to access your website at a fast speed. The CDN disperses copies of your website's data and distributes it across the different servers of the Worldwide Delivery Network.
Without a CDN, visitors who reside far from your website's servers suffer slow load speeds, thus, increasing the bounce rate.
4. Enable Browser Caching
You allow some of your website data to pre-load on the users' browser by allowing browser caching. Allowing browser caching helps cut down the time it takes to load the site making it very friendly and efficient.
By doing all these, you will be able to optimize the performance of your website and increase page speed.
You're probably wondering, "What more can I do to optimize my website?" Well, you can book a free website audit with us. By booking a website audit with us, we will give you 5 top ways you can boost your website speed.