The time it takes a web page to load should an integral element of your website’s SEO strategy as it is now an increasingly important Google ranking factor. Page Speed matters from both a search engine perspective and from a user perspective, particularly on mobile and tablet.
Having first announced in 2010 that page load times were a factor in their search rankings Google have also put tools out there to provide guidance and to push site owner’s in the right direction, encouraging them to speed their sites up and offer a better user experience for all who visit their site.
Google provide the PageSpeed Insights tool which shows a speed score for your site both on mobile and desktop devices and it also provides some advice and guidance on what you can do to improve your speeds. There is also a Site Speed section inside Google Analytics which gives you more specific information about the loading times of your individual pages and is a good starting place when looking to optimise and speed up your site.
Why should Page Speed Matter to You?
Page load effects your Google ranking, it may not be the leading factor but it does have an impact and it also has a significant impact on user experience as many research studies and surveys have found out. Research by The Aberdeen Group found that a one-second delay in page speeds can lead to an 11% drop in page views and a 16% drop in customer satisfaction and further research from Econsultancy found that 47% of users expect to wait no longer than 2 seconds for a page to load. Finally, KISSmetrics research found that 18% of all mobile users click off a website if it doesn’t load within 5 seconds and 30% will leave if it takes over 10 seconds. All of these users abandoning your site are potential customers who you don’t want to lose.
What can slow Page Speed?
There are many factors which can impact your page speed. Discussed below are just some of the elements which can affect your page load time. Crush can help you make the changes you need to make your site as speedy as possible. Satisfy both your potential customers (and the search engines) with a site that is up to speed.
- Oversized Images
Probably the most common cause of low page speeds is poorly optimised images or simply too many images/videos/visual content. Images need to be fully optimised for the web and even if you choose to display a smaller version of a larger file, it makes more sense to compress the image before uploading and opt for PNG images wherever possible, only using the large JPEG files for photos and hi-res images where necessary.
- Your Hosting Provider
You get what you pay for when it comes to hosting so if you have opted for a cheap hosting package you may find you have issues with slow loading times. Take time to find the right hosting package for your business.
- Embedding External Media
Choosing to embed media from other locations, such as videos from YouTube can have a negative impact on your load time and rather than embedding external media you should consider uploading your videos and other media on your server wherever possible.
- Too Many Plugins/Apps
There are benefits to using certain plugins and apps for your site but it is possible to go overboard. Apps like Flash for examples can seriously bring down the speed of your site and make it lag and therefore put off both the search engines and your users.