The next level of web experience is already expected. There isn’t enough patience in the world to wait for a site to load. In fact, 50% of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, according to surveys done by Gomez.com and Akamai. So if your site takes 3 seconds to load, chances are you will have higher bounce rate and lower conversion. At least 79% of them won’t come back and 44% of them will advise their friends not to visit the site. This is why speed matters and on top of that, it determines search engine rankings.
Don’t cut corners with speed
If half of your visitors want the site to load in less than 2 seconds, it’s a good reason for you to consider speed. After all, you want them to do something on your site – buy a product, use your service, or simply get informed or entertained. If your site is too slow in your customer’s eyes, you have a major problem you can easily avoid. Google has been using site speed as a ranking signal since 2010. When your page speed is slow, search engine spiders are only able to crawl a few pages.
Your speed effecting conversion rates
Amazon is a giant online shop that hosts thousands, if not millions, of products and services. They calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. They are currently under .50 seconds.
Users prefer to jump ship
A survey by Clutch in 2016 showed that businesses know the importance of site speed, yet only 1 in 5 plan on improving their site speed. If you do improve your site right now, you have a very high chance of beating your competition and the users will skip them and go to yours.
How to check your site’s speed
There are tools like PageSpeed Insights by Google that gives you a detailed analysis of your site’s speed. Pingdom, though it could get a bit technical here, is another tool you can use. Monitor your server and receive SMS alerts when your website is down with a web monitoring service. WooRank also provides both insights, technical monitoring services with alerts of your website being down, that provides an all-in-one checklist for your SEO needs.
What can you do to increase website speed?
Confirm with your web hosting provider if their servers uses Gzip compression and deflation. You can check whether your site is already “Gzipped” with Gidnetwork or by reviewing your site with WooRank, so you can check if your site already has gizipped.
With high resolution images, your focus should be using the right format, not quality that can significantly reduce your site load speed. Do not use Gzip on images, though. We will look at some image options below. Rule of Thumb: You’ll want to use PNGs for graphics that are less than 16 colors. And JPEGs for photographs. Make sure that they are also compressed for the web, plugins that can help
You can use CSS sprites to create a template for frequently used images. What this does is combine them into a large image that will load at once, thus there will be fewer HTTP requests. Only the sections that the user needs will be displayed. Users will not have to wait for multiple images to load.
There is still so much more that you can do to increase site speed.
When it comes to SEO, speed does matters, there are plenty of competitors out there who will take their time to provide the best experiences for their visitors. Find out what your speed is, and you can begin to work towards better ranks, conversions, and user experience.
NOTE: This article was graciously provided by the team at WooRank.com - a powerful SEO Tool used by some of the great SEO consultants around the world. Our Sister business (Managed SEO is currently testing this software and finding it quite useful!)