Doing SEO for any type of content is one of the most difficult things out…
Did you know that page speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to search rankings? Most aren’t aware of this but having a website that takes longer than three seconds to load on mobile can result in losing over 53% of your visitors.
That’s scary right? Imagine all the potential customers you’re missing out on.
This is shocking news to most people since those statistics can be quite horrifying to look at. A study conducted by Google’s Mobile Page Speed revealed that people browsing on mobile were most likely to bounce off the website the longer a page takes to load. Google has also stated that the ideal loading time for a site is under five seconds. While loading a site faster than that would be great, having five seconds is the bare minimum benchmark to make sure visitors don’t go head to a competitors website.
It won’t matter if the content you have is the best around, if your website is to slow, visitors will go searching for a faster source. You already have a small window of opportunity to get your content loaded and in front of readers.
Well-written, thoughtful content should keep the readers around, but your first step is to get your readers to stay. You can’t do that if over 50% of your visitors are bouncing off your site.
Identifying if your site is slow
Now that you’ve become aware of the effects your site speed can have, what can you do about it?
The first thing you need to do is evaluate your site. Fortunately, there are various resources available to help you assess your websites speed. Google offers PageSpeed Insights, which tests your site and return a speed score.
The higher the speed score is, the faster your website is, although if it has a lower score that means you have some work ahead of you. Google also offers an interesting ranking system, green for great, orange for average and red is slow.
Using a free tool like Pingdom, you’ll be able to check how fast your site loads.
Making your website faster
Since you’ve evaluated your website and fixed the serious reported problems you’ll probably be wanting to make your site much faster. It’s a great idea to pull off. The faster the site, the quicker your products get to your consumer.
The more visitors, the higher the sales go. Naturally, you want to increase the speed of your site.
So how do you pull this off? Well, each website is different from one another, but here are some techniques that will work on most websites.
Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Content Delivery Networks (CDN) is one way to deliver your content to visitors. They will work with pretty much any type of website out there, whether you are using hand-coded HTML or a CMS such as WordPress.
What is CDN?
To better grasp how CDNs work, you need to learn how websites operate.
Websites are stored on servers. When someone accesses a website their browser will reach for the server and ask for the website information. The server then sends the data back and the website begins to load. Because of the computer’s computational capabilities, this usually happens within a few seconds.
Now, what does CDN do?
CDNs use a distributed network, which means it uses a bunch of servers that are spread all over a massive geographical area. These servers all connected and have access to similar data. Content using the CDN is shared between all servers. When the visitor is attempting to view your content, the CDN decides which server is closest to the visitor and then utilizes it to lead the content.
In short, it all comes down to locating the shortest path.
For example, if your website is based in the US, but the reader accessing your content is from Australia, the server closest to the user will return the information.
This cuts down on the time it would take for the user’s browser to send the request and server in the US to send the information back to the user.
Selecting a CDN
There are plenty of CDNs to choose from, each having their own specialties and compatibilities.
Deciding on one of them will come down to a variety of factors. However, here are two significant factors you should consider:
For instance, if your audience base primarily comes from Canada, you should get a CDN that has many servers in Canada.
Rates and billing policies will defer by each provider. Certain CDNs are billed monthly based on the amount of bandwidth your CDN used, and others will simply charge a flat fee. Choose a CDN provider with a price policy that works best for your website.
If your site will experience spikes in traffic from time to time, and you may want to choose the flat fee option for your CDN. Although, if your site has a very steady, low amount of traffic, a plan based on the bandwidth may be more cost-efficient.
If you want even more ways to speed your website up, consider making it smaller. We don’t mean you should start removing content, but simply compressing it.
Compressing your website and images reduces their size, thus making it much quicker to load a page. This concept may seem familiar if you’ve ever tried to attach and send a photo in an email.
While there’s a wide assortment of resources out there to help you compress website parts, we’ll only cover the two main compression options, those being images and webpages.
The process for this one is quite simple. There are many amazing image compressors available for free. All you have to do is find a compressor suited for your needs, upload the image, and let the compressor do its magic.
Some compressor will even come with a “lossless” option, which keeps the image looking in great condition.
While for most people it may not seem like much, image compression can make a huge difference in loading times, especially on image-intensive websites.
Compression not only helps with speeding up your website but has the possibility of reducing the amount of bandwidth you use. An open-source software utility that compresses and decompresses content is available on the net. Using one can help reduce the size of your webpages, though keep in mind that the installation may vary based on your web hosting server and whether you are using CMS such as WordPress.
Redirects are amazing. They help route traffic, can save your SEO, and keep this running seamlessly. Although, having too many of them can lead to some adverse effects.
Having too many redirects can potentially slow down your website and also cause your webpage to timeout.
Because of this reason, it’s recommended that you do not chain together more than three redirects. Although, while three redirects are acceptable, every redirect stacks more loading time.
The fewer redirects you have, the quicker the connection between your site and visitor can be done.
The less a website has to load for visitors, the quicker it will become. You should take the time to manually remove the white space from your files. Although if you don’t have the time to manually remove them, you can use an automatic minifier that will remove the white space for you.
You’ve finally begun to take the proper steps towards making your website faster and retaining your visitors. Just remember that no amount of site speed will improve a piece of written content. Although, a faster site can be the solution for attracting a larger audience and leading those readers to your content.