Page loading speed – What you need to know.December 4, 2019
Speed is a key component for running a successful website. The name of the game when running a website is to attract and retain web traffic. The more web traffic that is retained, the more likely the traffic will convert into leads or sales on the website.
Before visitors see the content, they will be affected by the loading time of the web page. And in that moment, they can decide whether they want to consider viewing the content being presented on the web page, or navigate away.
Should they decide to navigate away, it’s unlikely that they will return and a competing website will get their attention and ultimately their business.
Page loading times are important. But often get overlooked in favor of satisfying the cosmetic appeal, instead of the user experience. The cosmetic makeup of the site is important.
However, users need to be able to access and view the content so they have the opportunity and choice to engage with the content.
If they cannot access, or worse, if they feel like they get deterred from viewing the content because of a slow page loading speed, your web business will have a zero percent chance to win their business.
How can you make your website’s loading speed work for your business?
You need to understand the marketing channels people will use to access your site’s content. You will also need to understand the intent for engagement with the type of content that is being produced on a website.
For example, if you plan to drive traffic to your e-commerce or lead sales pages, you must have quick loading web pages.
If you are focusing on content marketing pieces such as blogging or long-form articles, you want to make sure the content loads quick enough for the person to access and engage with the content.
How fast should a website load?
The quicker, the better. But this depends on the user experience for the type of content that is being promoted on a web page.
As a rule of thumb, you want the web page content to load in less than 2 seconds. Less than 1 second would be great, but it depends on the way the website is built.
For web pages that promote engagement with media such as videos and images, the web page loading time can be up to 2 seconds to start displaying the content.
Is the page loading speed on a website a ranking factor on Google?
Google has said that page speed is a signal that they look at when ranking sites, however it is lower on the list of ranking factors compared to the relevance of the content to the search query term that’s used.
Another thing to consider is that the search engine crawler can find, crawl, and index pages more quickly if their rendering speed is fast.
If it is too slow, Googlebot might not spend enough time on the site to crawl the site’s web pages and may navigate away from the site before it has finished crawling all of the site’s URLs.
How can you test the page loading times on your website?
There are a number of web tools that you can use to help you test and resolve any web issues.
Google PageSpeed Insights
This is a tool provided by Google, which will share data insights about the page loading time and the technical factors that are contributing or hindering your page speed’s loading success.
The only thing with this tool is that it doesn’t share the intricate details. However, web developers can use the tool and gain enough insight to make changes that can improve the site’s speed performance.
The tool will also share a score ranking out of 100 for both desktop and mobile.
This is another popular tool for analyzing the page speed of a web page. Some of the useful insights include the waterfall feature, which shows the loading sequence of the web page.
You will be able to see insights into the web page’s loading from the server response through to the items that are being rendered as the HTML page loads.
Web developers can analyze the loading sequence and make improvements that will improve the loading speed of the web page.
GT Metrix pulls in page speed tests from a few different platforms such as Google’s Page Speed test and YSlow. It also shares the waterfall loading sequence for the web page rendering in HTML, so you can clearly see the specific items that are affecting the loading sequence of the web page.
Many of the web page loading issues can be diagnosed with this tool. You do need to be aware of how objects are loaded and served to the end-user.
What are some of the things that you can do to improve the web page loading speed on your site?
LLT Group suggests optimizing the following.
- Minimize the use of files that will load in HTML your web page.
- Optimize the files and code that is used on your web page.
- Minimize the amount of external requests used to load content on the website.
- Host your website and domain on servers that can serve your website’s content quickly.
You can find specific solutions with this page loading speed optimization guide.
How can LLT Group help you optimize your site’s page loading speed?
LLT Group will ensure that speed testing is incorporated into a website’s design and build. Or we can review your website and suggest ways to improve the speed performance, so it will help improve the site’s SEO visibility, site engagement, and contribute to adding more revenue through the site.