More people now visit websites on their mobile device than they do on a laptop or desktop device. And the numbers are continuing to trend in that direction. So first and foremost, that means your website needs to be mobile friendly. But, what’s becoming more important than ever before is that your website needs to load as fast as possible.
With the launch of the Mobile-First index by Google, page speed was included as a ranking factor. So Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines take note of how fast a webpage loads. That’s one of the many factors that gives web resources good rankings on the search engine results page.
The reasons search engines have started making website speed part of their ranking factors is that they want their users to have a positive browsing experience. When a user searches for a specific term, if two websites have a similar amount of relevant content and high-quality links, then the best way to determine which website to list first is the one that loads most quickly on a mobile device.
With so much technology and so many choices at our fingertips, the one thing that isn’t increasing is our patience. If a website is taking too long to load, users simply bounce off and look at their next choice.
This means you’re not only losing your current visitors and decreasing conversion rates, but you run the risk of your site losing traffic from customers who may have referred your website to others.
When it comes to website speed and page loading times, every second makes a difference. You can no longer allow your website to be bogged down by unoptimized images and files. Your users expect your web pages to load fast, and they won’t stick around if they don’t.
If it isn’t already, website speed needs to be on your radar as an important consideration. So what are some of the steps you can take to optimize your website for the best possible performance?
For starters, make sure you’ve got top-notch website hosting. Faster and more reliable hosting can be more expensive, but it’s one of the largest factors in website speed.
Next, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your images. Photos from a smartphone or a professional photographer might look amazing, but they can also be large files that take longer to load. Many people tend to download images from stock photo sites and upload them to their website without ever bothering to optimize them for the web.
Images can take up the majority of your HTTP requests, so optimizing them will keep the sizes down and increase your website’s overall performance. There are several tools to compress these file sizes without having a negative impact on image quality.
You also need to implement browser caching and content delivery networks. Browser caching allows assets on your website to be downloaded to your hard drive once into a cache, or a temporary storage space. Those files are now stored locally on your system, which allows subsequent page loads to increase in speed.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are necessary because many of your website visitors will not be in close proximity to your website hosting servers. A CDN is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations so content can be more efficiently delivered to users. CDNs are typically used for static content or files that do need to be touched once uploaded.
And finally, one of the best ways to make your pages load faster is to make your code more efficient. This requires taking a lot of your HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Requests whenever a browser fetches a file, page, or picture from a web server.
Use queries to only load what’s needed – If you find that you only need to load certain images on a desktop or need to run a specific script on mobile only, using conditional statements to load them can be a great way to increase speed. This way, you aren’t forcing the browser to load a variety of scripts or images that won’t be useful for certain devices.
While some page speed improvements can be achieved by following best practices, to truly optimize your website, it’s best to bring in the experts. That’s why we offer site speed optimization as an added service.
It’s mostly a one-time fee for initial setup with some smaller ongoing costs to pay for premium plugins like WP Rocket, but making an investment to have a faster website can pay off many times over by improving your Google page speed in Springfield Missouri.