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How Your Website Speed Impacts On Your Google Ranking And Conversion Rate

We’ve all been there. We see a link to a website we might like to look at and it takes an age to load so we give up and look for an alternative site. Gone are the days of having patience with slow loading sites – today we expect immediate results. Here’s some insight into how to improve your website loading times.

PageSpeedinsightsGoogle

Enter your web address in this Google tool for advice on how to fix page speed issues

 

To begin with – the slower your site, the longer it takes ‘spiders’ to parse you page. In 2010, Google began taking load time into account as a factor for ranking a website. This was because people that found slow loading sites through the Google search engine would often soon after stop using Google as the preferred search engine. What’s more, from the user point of view, returning to a website that has slow load times is not appealing.

Check Your Load Times

It’s easy to ignore the fact that a new website might not load fast when your focus as a designer is on the aesthetic of the design or broadening the functionality, but the load time should be one of the more important priorities for it may be a deciding factor to whether anyone ultimately engages with your website. The Aberdeen Group’s research ‘The Performance of Web Applications: Customers are Won or Lost in One Second’  discovered for a 1 second delay on page load times there was 11 percent fewer page views and a 7 percent loss in conversions, so imagine if you have a 10 second delay or worse. Coupled with any bandwidth issues this combination could render your website potentially worthless.

To check your website speed there is software that can help you online – for instance for testing your speed from locations around the world try https://www.dotcom-monitor.com/WebTools/website-speed-test.aspx or go to https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ for advice on how to fix some of the issues that might have an impact on your website’s page speed.

web page speed test

Dotcom-monitor’s web page speed test


 

Less Is More

Ultimately there is a trade off with MB in favour of speed that has to be considered. Look at the size of the images you have on site – for website use it’s encouraged to have 72DPI as an acceptable and serviceable resolution as opposed to 300DPI when seeking a clear image in print format.

It’s also worth knowing that the growth industry of template built websites hinges on saving design costs but may not be the most efficient way to build your website and therefore this may impact on speed. Template built websites are constructed to allow for a lot of design possibilities so there is often a lot of redundant code that goes into the website. This can also lead to slower load times so saving money in the first instance may actually end up costing you more if people click away because they are frustrated that the site is slower than the competition.

Think of it in terms of the age old efficiency that lighter things move, or get there, faster. Considering the way a lot of people use mobile devices on the move, it is also important to consider the way your website loads on a mobile device. You will need to test and most probably revise and refine for the best results.

There is a wide range of solutions for making sure your website appears quicker, including reviewing who hosts your website because with hosting you do get what you pay for. For advice on fine tuning your website to load faster, contact our team at Varn where we will analyse your website load times and make recommendations that will improve the speed, whilst having minimal impact on the content.

This feature was written by Richard Forsyth, PR Manager, Varn.