How to Speed Up Your Website for Better Conversion Rates and SEO Rankings

If you want to run a successful online business, you need a fast website. A faster site will help your conversion rates and sales. Users will also be more likely to return to your site in the future if they have a good experience. Slow sites on the other hand are less appealing to search engines and can result in lower keyword rankings over time. In fact, Google has been publicising the importance of website speed for a while now.

How do you speed up a website?

The most efficient way to do this is to optimise your code, media assets and images which will account for the majority of issues you will face when a website runs slow. Also, you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to help speed things up. You should also look into using JavaScript libraries to produce content without bogging down your visitors’ web browsers. Shared servers can also slow things down if you are sharing the space.

How to identify website speed issues

To get a good idea of your website’s performance, check out a free tool from Google called PageSpeed Insights. This is a tool that helps you identify the areas that are causing problems and suggests what needs to be fixed. Using this tool I was able to fix most of the common issues with CSS and other coding factors in a matter of minutes.

Tuning up your website performance isn’t always this straightforward, however. Some issues are more obvious than others, and some are more difficult to tackle and may require the help of an experienced web developer. WordPress offers a variety of tools to optimise websites for speed, but these plugins can do more harm than good and in some cases bring an entire website down.

If you don’t fancy risking playing with render-blocking javascript or minimising CSS files, an important first step is to find out the average time a visitor will take to load your web page. Ideally, you would like to see your pages load in about two seconds but this depends on many factors including those mentioned – plus if you have a large image file on you page, it will take longer to load than text. Simply reducing the size of these large image files can do wonders on some websites.

Make sure your website is fast enough on mobile

When you are examining page speed, you should definitely consider your mobile visitors. Studies have shown that the average bounce rate for a mobile user is 15% higher than for a desktop visitor. Mobile visitors are also less willing to wait for a page to load. So if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you might be losing out on a lot of potential sales.

There is a growing debate as to how important it is for SEO that a website to have a faster page load. However, there is little doubt that speed is a critical component of any website’s success. It plays a key role in SEO and can affect the number of visitors you get. With so many people surfing the internet on their phones, having a fast mobile site is a must.

Besides measuring your page’s speed, you should also make sure that your content is optimized for the device it is being viewed on. Images, for instance, will take up more bandwidth than text on a mobile device. When your images are properly compressed and saved in the appropriate file format, you can speed up loading times a lot. Moreover, you should ensure that the images you do have are in the right size and resolution.

Speed is an important factor in the SEO mix and with Google confirming that it can be used as a ranking factor, ignoring speed could be costing your online business a fortune in lost customers.

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