Why does website speed, performance matter?
If the website's loading speed is too slow, you might be at risk of losing not only visitor's attention but also the potential reach of the new visitor. Search engine like Google takes into account that users want to get fast access to any requested information; therefore, it factors a page's speed in the search rankings.
A study by Google found that sites loading within 5 seconds had 70% longer sessions, 35% lower bounce rates, and 25% higher ad viewability than sites taking nearly four times longer at 19 seconds.
In this article, we want to share with you eight killer tips on how to improve and speed up your website!
1. Implement Lazy Loading for Ads
The concept of lazy load ads is simple - this technique displays the ad right at the moment when your viewers are likely to view it. This technique can be fruitful for the page's speed optimization and UX improvement. Since lazy loading has a positive impact on the website's speed, the search engines might also recognize the improved page's speed by ranking the site in a better position in search results.
This solution might be quite a technical hassle for publishers to implement themselves. But if you are currently using Google AdSense, there are some guides available that will help you set it up.
Why should you consider lazy loading for ads?
It will improve your ad viewability score. To understand more about this, check our previous article about the importance of ad viewability here.
And, most importantly, it will improve page loading speed. This solution increases the loading speed on average, between 6 to 8 ms — every millisecond matters. Imagine what would happen to the page's loading speed if you'd implement this solution on your site?
2. Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Today, more than 50% of web site traffic originates from mobile devices. It is more than crucial that your webpage is mobile friendly and adjusted for smaller screen sizes. It is not enough to have only a mobile-friendly website. The current situation in the online environment calls for broader planning, ensuring that the website's speed is fast on any mobile device. That is the main idea behind Accelerated Mobile Pages or so-called AMP.
Why should I consider using AMP for my website?
The answer is simple! Firstly, with AMP, your pages will load much faster on all mobile devices, and some studies have shown that it leads to increased conversion rates. Google encourages sites' owners to implement AMP and, in the upcoming future, will place load time on mobile devices as a factor growing website's ranking in organic search results. So it means that AMP is an excellent investment for your business performance in future! Although implementing AMP may require technical know-how, there are some plugins for WordPress and Drupal that make using AMP simple. Give it a shot!
3. Implement Lazy Loading for Images
If previously we mentioned lazy loading for ads, another technique you might use for your web page speed optimization is lazy loading for images.
Yes, you heard it right! Similarly, as with lazy loading ads, any image that is not visible to the page can be loaded at a later moment in the time when the image is about to encounter the user's viewpoint.
Why should you care? Consider that you have more than a hundred products on the website. If you would open all the images of the product at the same time, it will drastically slow down the website's speed, as images would compete for the network bandwidth. For lazy loading time-efficient implementation, there are free plugins available for WordPress, and recently Google released its lazy loading plugin called Native Lazyload. Take a look!
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The website's loading time is directly affected by the user's location. It means that when you host a website on a single server, page visitor requests are sent to the same server, which increases the processing time for each request and the webpage speed as well.
The solution? - a content delivery network (CDN). It is a set of web servers distributed in various locations, providing page content regardless of the location. As a result, the content is delivered to the user much faster, and the website operates quicker. In cases if the webpage's content must be distributed across multiple locations, the CDN will take great care of it. The implementation of a CDN function might be costly. However, it will be an effective way to optimize the performance speed of the website.
5. Detect 404 errors
404 error or so-called "A page is not found" message is a notification used by search engines to indicate that the content or page no longer exists. It is important to note that the 404 error does not only irritate the site's visitor but also significantly slows the website’s speed. The solution to this problem is to use the error detection tool, such as Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), to detect the 404 errors and remove the unneeded pages.
6. Reduce the redirects
Webpage redirects require extra processing time and waste the page visitors' precious seconds. It also negatively impacts the website’s loading speed. Why? The webpage redirects develop unnecessary HTTP requests, which impact not only the site's performance but also user experience.
One way to keep your webpage fast is to eliminate the redirects or keep only critical ones. Also, to decrease the loading time of your site, make sure to link the exact URL of the page when adding internal links. It will decrease the redirection chains and increase the page speed!
7. Implement browser caching
Browser cache is stored on your disk, which saves recently downloaded webpages. According to the PCmag if the user changes webpages and wants to return back to a specific webpage, caching will help to do it faster. Why? The answer is simple - the information is already saved in the user’s cache or memory. This means that there is no necessity to download webpage from the Web again.
If you are a WordPress user, there is a plugin W3 total cache. When a user visits your webpage, the plugin catches elements of it for future visits. This way, your loading speed of website is much quicker.
8. Use a premium DNS service
It's crucial to indicate that all web hosts provide free DNS hosting, and most likely, your business has it at the moment. However, switching to the premium DNS providing, will reduce the server's response time, and hence increase the site's speed up to 40%! It is definitely worth considering!