You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know people leave websites that are slow to load; you’ve probably done it yourself hundreds of times. Many factors contribute to a successful SEO strategy, and page speed is one of the most important ones. In this article, I’ll explain why you need your page to load fast and how to improve your page speed.
Facts behind page speed
An excellent user experience is crucial for a successful outcome for all pages, no matter if it’s a landing page intended for visitors to click that CTA button or an informative blog that aims to win target customers’ trust. Page speed is an essential element of user experience and many digital marketers. Here are some of a few crucial points you want to know about page speed.
- Google has introduced a new factor that will affect a page’s ranking on search engine results pages: page experience. It means the elements that affect a person’s experience while consuming content will ultimately influence your page ranking. Apart from the content and graphics, page speed is one of the crucial factors when it comes to offering a great user experience.
- Most users abandon a webpage that takes longer than three seconds to load.
- According to our recent case study, page speed has a direct impact on your website’s user engagement, rankings and rapport with Google.
- A higher bounce rate may trick search engines into doubting the legitimacy of a page and therefore hamper page ranking. Thus, even if it has the right keywords and perfect content, a slower page will likely lose its ranking in the long run because of the bounce rate.
Today, most businesses have a good knowledge of SEO. Therefore, you should think beyond keywords and content to stay in the competition in 2022 and beyond. If you visit all the web pages from the first page of a SERP, you may not find much difference in the value the content delivers. Every page has the proper keywords and offers something useful. However, minor factors, such as page graphics, page loading time, page formatting, etc., make the eventual difference during tight competitions.
Common elements that make your web pages load slow
You don’t need complicated tests and data to know that your webpage loads slow. However, understanding a few technical things may help you identify the causes behind your slow-loading pages so you can proceed to fix them. Below are the most common things that cause a web page to load slow and how you can appropriately deal with them:
- Ads – Though monetizing a high-traffic website is a good idea, too many ads can slow down your page. Make sure you have the right amount of ads on each of your webpage. Ads shouldn’t come at the cost of a compromised user experience.
- Messy Code – While it may look appealing to add as many features as possible, unnecessary elements can uselessly increase the size of your page. Removing irrelevant elements allows you to compress code, which helps the page to load faster.
- Flash content – Flash content is usually larger, and it may contribute to slowing down your page. Moreover, flash is already outdated. I suggest looking for HTML5 alternatives for interactivity.
- Unoptimized images – Big pages take time to load, and unoptimized images contribute the most to making a page size huge. On average, the size of a page should be less than 500 kb for an adequate loading time. But you still need quality images on your page to make it effective, don’t you? Well, you can solve this issue by optimizing images on your page. Optimizing helps minimize the size of an image without compromising its quality.
- Poor hosting – Server performance heavily depends on the quality of the web host. Opting for a cheaper host means you are compromising many things. Low-priced hosts usually offer a shared server, which puts your site in a queue with other sites, making your page load slow. Server location also matters. So always make sure you have an excellent web host, and the server location is in the US as long as you are running your website from the US.
Consider a few more things to improve your page speed
Understanding the above and acting is crucial to ensure a fast-loading page. Still, there are a few more exciting things you might want to consider.
- Understand your visitors and boost speed according to the device – People access web pages from different devices. Thus, identifying what device most of your visitors use to visit your page can be beneficial to make informed decisions in terms of optimizing a page’s speed and experience according to the visitors. It may take different methods to boost the speed of a webpage on various devices.
- Incorporate lazy loading – Including lazy or on-demand loading ensures your website only loads the required section of your page, delaying the remaining until required by the user. It reduces memory usage and time consumption. It even avoids unnecessary code execution.
- Don’t overlook caching techniques – Caching is a technique that lets your webpage store data in the cached memory. So next time a visitor visits your page, it loads way faster than the first time because most of the data is already stored. You can cache HTTPS, database queries, and even images.
We put so much effort into keyword research and creating great content, but all of that will be useless if your page isn’t designed to the audience’s interests. Users don’t usually entertain slow-loading pages. Impressive page speed is essential to deliver an excellent user experience and execute a successful digital strategy. Always make sure your page loads in an impressive time, so your content makes it to the right audience on time.
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Original source: Entrepreneur