How long does it take for your website to load? According to studies, decreasing load time by 0.1s led to the bounce rate of lead generation pages improving by 8.3% and perhaps more importantly, 70% of people say that the speed of a page affects their willingness to buy from an online retailer. From a conversion perspective, page speed is vital, and it’s perhaps even more important from an SEO perspective, with search engines like Google penalising websites that load too slowly, prioritising nimble, well-built websites that meet users’ needs.
Below, we’ve put together five simple ways that you bolster your website’s page speed…
Lazy-load images and content
One trend that’s grown in recent years is to lazy-load content so users aren’t immediately downloading everything on your web page at once. This is particularly useful for websites with lots of images or video content, delaying files from loading until the user is meant to see them. If you use a content management system like WordPress, you can use plugins like Jetpack. It’s easy to implement and quickly speeds up your website with little work required.
Keep your web pages small
A mobile-first approach to web design has encouraged some businesses to adopt one-page websites, where everything from a contact form and pricing table to a portfolio are all loaded on one page. However, these are bad for page load speeds, and could actually work against you from an SEO perspective, too. Avoid incorporating too many rich elements like videos, galleries, and custom software on one page – short, simple, to-the-point pages work best.
Avoid unnecessary redirects
When your website redirects users to another page, for example, if they land on an outdated blog post or landing page, your website takes longer to load. Another common example of this is forcing users to HTTPS when they arrive on a site delivered on HTTP. Force HTTPS by default and ensure that redirects are handled sensitively – it’s better to de-index a page from search engines and your site map than keep it there if it serves no purpose. Declutter!
Compress images and files
Although lazy loading is a great way to deliver quality, rich content as and when it’s needed, another approach is to avoid using content that’s too large. Compressing images and other files before they’re added to your website will reduce the size of your web pages and mean less data needs to be transferred – ultimately speeding up your website. As well as plugins such as Smush that automatically compress images, you can use technologies like GZIP.
Choose the right web host
The closer your website is to your audience, the faster it’ll be. For example, it doesn’t make sense to host your website in America if the majority of your customers are based in the UK. For those with international businesses, it might be worth working with multiple web hosts or a content delivery partner to ensure your website loads quickly whether a customer visits it from London, Shanghai, or New York City. Invest in quality web hosting and avoid providers that offer unlimited bandwidth and storage, as these are typically oversold and load slowly.
At Zudu we put our expertise to work setting up your hosting and maintaining your website so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities. All of our websites are built with Google’s best practices in mind to ensure your content loads fast and meets users’ expectations. Find out more about how we could help you – call us on 01382 690 080 or click here for a quote.