Slow loading of site pages annoys not only users and customers. Search engines don’t like waiting for a long time for an answer; they even take their own measures – they lower the performance of projects with low performance. So such an indicator can reduce your organic rankings and reduce all SEO efforts to zero.
How website load time is estimated:
The server response speed (time) is the period it takes for the server to respond to a request from the browser. Usually measured in ms – that is, in small numbers. If the response rate is a few seconds, it will be critical and will lead to a high bounce rate (page closings).
TTFB – first byte download time shows the waiting period from request and download of the first byte of the Internet page.
Loading the layout and page content is critical to the results.
Loading time for videos, photos, gifs is called rendering. It is evaluated by search engines and needs to be monitored in order to shorten and optimize. Measured in seconds and affects traffic.
Why you need to slow down your download speed
Google’s algorithms have been taking this metric into account since 2010, and it directly affects rankings. Pay attention to possible problems even at the stage of choosing a hosting, since free and cheap options usually differ in “slowness” of work.
When indexed, slow pages are crawled poorly, which will affect the ranking of pages for keywords. Accordingly, the results of promotion and optimization will be much worse.
Behavioral factors are directly related to the site loading speed, as this reduces the comfort of using the resource. For search engines, convenience is a priority, and slow sites are annoying and make you want to close pages.
How to find reasons for slow website loading speed
Here we provide an analysis of the reasons and useful services that we recommend using for work:
Large pictures affect – this is the most popular problem. Images can be optimized, and here are 3 services to help you do this:
Excess plugins. Don’t add unnecessary plugins, use a minimum of settings to speed up the loading of the site.
Cheap hosting problems. Deceiving hosting cost savings can lead to future problems, so opt for quality services.
Visual effects. Many designers like to use these bells and whistles, however, users’ patience can run out faster than these works of art load.
Embedded video. It’s helpful to use videos, but it’s important to pay attention to the download speed.
Dirty code. This is part of the job of a programmer, and it is important to have technical knowledge or contact independent experts. Bulky code is hard to load and will slow down the site.
A large number of redirects. This redirection function can reduce the download speed by 2-3 times. This is especially critical for mobile devices, since the Internet is slower on them.
Service for testing and evaluation
It is not difficult to make an express analysis of website performance; it is enough to know popular services to perform an online check of loading speed.
For example, one of the best speed testing services is PageSpeed Insights. To check it, just enter the site URL on it, and you will get two main characteristics. The first shows the download speed on mobile devices. The second parameter evaluates the speed for desktop computers.
What needs to be done to improve speed
Responsive website design allows it to be modified in accordance with the device from which the client visits. In fact, laptop and smartphone users will see the same site, but its appearance will be different. Such a model is loved and recommended by the search engine Google, so it is useful to heed these recommendations. Responsive websites are capable of loading quickly, which immediately brings many benefits.
So-called “code bloat” often occurs during site modifications. This is especially negatively influenced by the efforts of the designer to decorate the site with graphics. Of course, the appearance of the site matters, but this beauty should not be at the expense of functionality and performance. Nowadays, visual simplicity and convenience are being encouraged and are given priority. Also, consider your marketing strategy: there should only be 1 call to action per page. It also contributes to shorter code and better resource performance.
Shorten the redirect, as redirection slows down the download speed. The server always finds the document specified by a specific link. In this case, in fact, the redirect shows that there is no document under this link, and, therefore, the server is looking for the page with the original source. The procedure takes time and adds precious seconds to download and redirect.
Website fonts also affect page weight and can create additional problems. Custom fonts will add tons of unnecessary code to you and pose problems for mobile phones.
An interesting technique for speeding up loading is called “lazy loading”. It implies a step-by-step page loading, followed by loading. That is, at first, only the visible part of the site with a minimum weight is loaded, and after scrolling, the rest is loaded. While the client is reading the top block, the rest of the content is loaded. The BJ Lazy Load plugin will help you with this for WordPress, and the jQuery plugin is recommended for experienced programmers. This method will optimize the site for search engines and will be useful in the long term.
Speed isn’t just important for airplanes or racing cars. High website loading speed is an indicator of quality that both professionals and non-advanced users pay attention to. You don’t need to be a programmer to appreciate this parameter. Adapting the site for mobile devices allows you to increase the reach several times, which gives a rapid increase in visits and purchases.
Minimize the number of clicks and steps for an order or application. For this, it is important to build your sales funnel in such a way as to reduce the number of customer actions. Every extra click will lead to fewer results, and this is also analyzed by search engines. 2-3 steps are enough between the client and the purchase, which will allow you to make a choice and leave contacts.
What you need to do right now:
Analyze the speed of the site.
Define “weak points”, or rather – “weighting factors”.
Remove and optimize all site elements that affect fast loading.
Check the quality of images, videos, fonts.
Switch to a responsive design that will be available on all kinds of devices.
These actions will increase the results of SEO-optimization and increase the position of the site in search engines. Such an integrated approach is useful in the short and long term online promotion of enterprises, so we boldly and strongly recommend it to everyone.