Page load speed affects bounce rates, is an indicator of overall user experience and is a factor in a site's ranking. You can improve organic rankings, reduce your cost per acquisition, and grow conversion rates across every marketing channel by changing how fast your page loads. Fast loading pages deliver content quicker, satisfying user needs rapidly. An increase of as little as 0.1 seconds in speed can result in an 8.4% increase in conversions! This makes page speed optimization a top priority for business owners.
What is page speed?
Why does page speed matter?
There are a number of reasons that page speed matters to businesses.
- A one-second delay on a web page results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in conversions
- Faster pages are more efficient and provide a better user experience
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
- 52% of online shoppers state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty
- page speed is important for search engine optimization (SEO)
- The average attention span of a Millennial is 12 seconds and the average attention span for Gen Z is 8 seconds
- 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
- Page speed is the first impression people get from a website
- 1 out of 5 shoppers abandon a cart if pages are too slow to load
How to increase page speed:
Luckily, there are a number of ways a company can address their page load speed.
- Minimize HTTP requests: The more on-page components, the longer it takes for a page to render. An HTTP request is made for each image, stylesheet and script.
- Use asynchronous loading: If your scripts load synchronously, they load one at a time in the order they appear on the page. If your scripts load asynchronously, some of them will load simultaneously, speeding up your page.
- Minimize time to first byte: There are three steps that happen between an initial request and the first byte of data: DNS lookup, server processing and response. This is a server-side concern. Switching to a faster provider can help.
- Run a compression audit: Smaller files load faster. Compress all files to the smallest they can be without sacrificing quality. Most web servers can compress files in Gzip format before sending them for download.
- Enable browser caching: Elements of a website are stored on a user's hard drive in a cache (temporary storage) allowing subsequent visits without having to send another HTTP request.
- Reduce image sizes: Reducing the size of images has a big impact on how long a page takes to load.
- Use a CDN: With a Content Delivery Network, you cache your site on a global network of servers. When a user's browser requests files from your site, that request is routed to the closest server. The content that a user receives is identical, but it can load much faster than it would if their browser were making requests to a server that was geographically far away.
- Use external hosting platforms: Host your video(s) on a third-party service like YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia. Then, embed the video on your site, saving space and resulting in faster load times.
- Prioritize above-the-fold content: Have the top of the page load faster than the rest. The user doesn't have to wait to access the page and the images load as they come into view.
- Reduce the number of plugins you use: Plugins can slow your site, create security issues and cause crashes and other technical difficulties.
- Reduce redirects: Having too many redirects can create additional HTTP requests, negatively impacting speed, particularly on mobile devices.
As internet speed has increased, so has the size of web pages. Design tends toward full-page, high-resolution imagery and videos. This affects loading time. Page speed matters to both search engines and users alike. It impacts every on-site strategy, tactic and metric that marketers focus on. Improving page speed increases your ability to drive more traffic to your website and boosts engagement and conversion rates. Page speed matters!
Need advice on increasing your page speed? Want help with your digital marketing strategy? Call us at (403) 456-0072 or email [email protected]. Allow us to be your very own marketing department! Connect with our tightly-knit team of knowledgeable digital-first consultants, each eager to help your business grow.