Do you think improving the speed of your website isn’t really important in 2020? Okay, let me lay down some facts here:
Just one second of delay in loading your website will lead to-
- 16 % of customers would be dissatisfied.
- 11% decrease in page viewers.
- You will make 7% fewer conversions.
Now imagine if just one second of slow speed can lead to such a huge disaster that will lead you to lose the chance to make sales and engage your visitors, then what can few seconds altogether do?
Having good speed for your website is vitally essential not just for being well ranked on Google but also not to miss a chance to earn profits.
Slow websites have a huge influence on conversions. Facts show that about 475 of consumers expect that the sites should load within two seconds, and 40% of people have abandoned the site for consuming extra time. So this proves that if your website takes more than 3 seconds then you might lose almost half of the visitors who didn’t even visit your site. This factor can cost you the loss of potential customers.
And in case, the visitors wait for the site to load then they are less likely to ever visit or recommend your site in this lifetime. Now that you have seen the facts let’s get deeper into this.
WHY SPEED UP YOUR WEBSITE?
You have to keep this one thing in mind the faster the speed of your site, the more number of visitors will turn into potential customers! 52% of people basically shoppers responded in a survey by saying the speed of the website decides the loyalty of the customers.
It is very important to know that even a change of one second on your site can lead to massive changes in conversions.
You should also keep in mind that Google considers the speed of your site before ranking it, the loading time your site consumes decides the rank for you. These ranks have a massive influence on if people can see your site in initial searches or no.
Recent search engines are set up to mobile versions so you should make sure that your site has speedy loading on mobile devices as well because people use mobile these days much more than desktops, PC, laptops, etc. For all this, you should know how to speed up the loading time of your website.
WHY IS MY WEBSITE SLOW?
So, you have recently taken a speed test for your site and found out that the load time of your site is pretty bad. Now, there can be various reasons as to why your site is slow in speed or why is it lagging so much. It can be due to the huge size of the image, server loading time, etc.
This shows that there are many things that you can change, alter, and update in order to increase the speed of your site.
But before diving in, you should know where you have to reach which means you should have a clear idea of your goals.
To begin with, you need to set the speed you wish to have for your site. Before that do you know what acceptable speed is in general? Google says three seconds is always a good speed to aim for. But after conducting a survey it was seen that none of the sites is anywhere close to this benchmark.
After testing around 900,000 advertisements landing pages on mobile which is spread in about 126 countries, Google has found that 70% of ads take around seven seconds to display their visual content. And found that none of them fulfilled a speed that was demanded.
HOW TO CHECK THE SPEED OF YOUR WEBSITE?
The speed of your site can be tested using various free tools available over the internet. The list of tools is Google Page speed insights, GT Metrix, Think with Google, Web Page Test, etc. Let’s learn all of them in brief:
- GT Metrix:
This is a super fantastic tool that you can rely on for testing the speed of your website. It gives a detailed analysis of the various factors that influence the loading time.
To be honest I prefer this tool for testing the speed because it gives an entire report of the various technical reasons that affect your load time. It helps you improvise the speed.
- Page Speed Insights:
If you wish to know the time a webpage requires loading, then this just is a great option for you. Google page speed insights provide you with data about the web page loading time and chalk down ways that can help you improve your speed.
The best thing about this is that it is compatible with all the documents and provides support to all given documents. This is a Google-based tool; hence it will rectify errors according to the set benchmark by Google.
- WebPage Test:
This gives you in-depth details about the ways that will help you improve your website. It comprises of recommendations on how you can get good speed even in times of poor network. You can also choose the location as per convenience which helps you in choosing the location of your server.
- Test My Site- Think With Google:
Hey, do you wish to check the speed of a mobile site? If you are desperately looking for this purpose then this tool is best for you without a second thought!
You can also download the report for a detailed analysis. It is super easy and extremely reliable. All you have to do is copy the website URL and paste it in the search box, after you have pressed the enter tab, within a few seconds your report will be generated. Isn’t it cool?
- Gift Of Speed:
This tool is always on my mind when it comes to measuring website speed performance because along with measuring metrics, it also offers various optimization services.
You can also test the speed of your website in other geographical locations using this tool. You can do it across the world.
HOW TO SPEED UP YOUR SITE IN 2020?
There is a huge list of elements or features that influence the speed of every page on your website; also for everything, there are different available options that will help you improvise your speed.
Here, I will brief you about various tips that will help you improvise the speed for your site so that your clients can enjoy their experience. Also, you do not have to use every tip that is provided to you in a day.
So what are you still thinking, let’s get started:
- Minimize HTTP requests:
Research from Yahoo says that around 20% of the loading time of a page is used in downloading pages and the parts in it that include style sheets, images, scripts, etc. The HTTP request is created for every element of the page, therefore the more components on your page the longer it will take to render the page.
In case, you use Google chrome then you can seek help from browser’s developer tools to check the number of HTTP request your site demands. So, the question is how to use it? It’s super simple:
You have to right-click on the page that you wish to analyze, and then click the Inspect option, and move on to clicking the Network key; note if you can’t see the network tab you will have to expand the sidebar by dragging it to the left.
How to speed up?
Okay, to begin with, there is a name column that shows all the file names on the page, then there is a time column that gives a detailed time span to load each available file, and the size column shows the size of every file. The bottom left corner shows you the total requests that your website makes.
Decreasing the HTTP requests from your site will definitely boost the speed. You will not see the results immediately, but gradually they have a great impact.
- Minify your files and combine them:
You can decrease this huge number by minifying your files or combining them. This will help you reduce the size of every file, and also the total of files available. Isn’t it super helpful?
You can make use of many ways to combine your files and also minify them.
Speed up your website?
Minifying your files and combining them will make your site leaner. And trust me leaner is always a good choice for your website. It will improvise the speed of your site as it will have fewer pages to request.
- Use asynchronous loading
Asynchronous loading can improvise the speed of your website as it moves from top to bottom when the browser is loading a page.
- Minimize time to first byte:
You have to also check the time a file requires starting loading instead of fully loading. This is also very important as Google says that the speed to load the first byte should be less than 200MS.
How to speed up?
Do you have a speed of 200ms for loading first byte or even less than that? Then you are doing great! If not then you would have to make certain changes.
Usually, the reasons for trouble can be poor network, web server configuration, traffic, and dynamic content creation.
- Compress Images and Optimize Files:
According to research, the images of a website take up to 60% of loading time. Images are around 1504KB and when you compare it with other files like scripts which is 399KB, a video which is 294KB, and CSS which is 45KB; images take the longest time to load after the HTTP request has been sent. Compressing images before you upload or while you upload them to your website is really important. In fact, if you have an e-commerce website then images play a crucial role.
Images require a lot of time to load which affects the speed of your website eventually. A simple tip say do not upload images that are not necessary, they will just reduce the overall speed of your site. If you think you are using large images that are above 1920px in width at an average of 72dpi quality then you should run your images through an image compressor.
- Enable browser caching:
What is browser caching? So if you visit a website the elements that you visit get stored on the temporary storage, or hard drive in the cache. The next time you visit the same website it gets loaded in no time because it does not have to resend the HTTP request.
Once you have visited the website maximum of data is already stored in your cache. The more you visit, the more data will be stored, and the less loading time will be needed.
This makes it super easy to reduce the loading time and provide a better experience to the user.
- Use the Content Delivery Network(CDN):
To begin with what is CDN? This is a distributed system for various network servers that have a huge number of copies stored across the world at various different geographical locations. The content delivery network helps to deliver the request of users for content from the nearest available servers this will reduce the load time and help you improvise your speed.
For example, if your server is in the United States and if you host this network worldwide then the user in South Africa can also download content from the nearby server.
- Remove unused CSS:
According to research by unusedCSS.com, it was found that about 30% of CSS was unused by websites. What is CSS? It is a factor that helps you beautify your website.
To improve the speed of your website you should identify the unused CSS and remove them to decrease the load time. You can also compress CSS that is needed with the help of available tools.
- Make Proper Use of Fonts:
Typography is an essential factor when you have to keep readability, website design, and accessibility in mind. You have to note that each web font you use is an extra factor that needs to be loaded, so using unnecessary fonts will reduce the speed of your website.
Using the correct web font is very important and ensures the best practices by Google. Improper web fonts will lead the website to major rendering blockages and might lead to heavy loading time. Hence web fonts are crucial for increasing the speed of the website in 2020.
- Use External Hosting Platforms:
Have you ever been excited to watch a video but the video keeps buffering every second? How irritating is that? These huge files can be a very big problem on your website. Hence it is advisable to consider external hosting platforms for large files.
Let’s consider a scenario where you wish to upload a tutorial of a particular concept on your site. You created a video, edited beautifully, designed well, etc. What will you do next? Upload directly on your site? Oh my God, it will be the worst decision you ever take (worse than jumping into cold water in winter). Take my suggestion do not do this at all.
The video takes tons of space on your site and remembers you have limited space which can also lead you to shut down your hosting completely. In case, many people wish to see the video at the same time then the huge file will be asked to deliver the file to each one of them, this will create a huge problem eventually.
Instead of doing all of this, you can simply make use of a third-party service like YouTube, Wistia, or Vimeo, etc. after uploading there you can embed the video to your site.
How to speed up?
This will result in saving up your hosting space and also reduce the loading time and improvise the speed of your website. And you know what the best part is? It is super easy to do this task!
- Use Prefetching Techniques:
This is exactly what the name suggests, a technique where you preload all the resources or render them before they are demanded by the users. This will result in saving time to load various resources. But you have to remember that you will have to anticipate the behavior of the user.
Let’s consider if a user visits your website after clicking on the link, the content that was pre-fetched is already loaded. Isn’t this helpful?
Types of prefetching that are widely used:
- DNS prefetching: in this type, the domain name is preloaded before the user takes any kind of action. Domain names include Google maps, LinkedIn, Google fonts, Facebook, Goggle Analytics, Etc.
- Link prefetching: This is used for static and similar journey witnessed by the user. For example, when a user is shopping and adds the product from the list to the shopping cart. This is a stable journey for the user.
Again a reminder you have to know about the behavior of the user before you make any kind of assumptions.
- Implement lazy loading technique:
A study shows drastic changes in the loading time of websites after implementing this technique. What is a lazy loading technique? According to this technique, only the requested item is shown on the page while everything else on the website is deferred.
For example, if you are using a web application on a mobile device then the visible screen content is loaded and the rest of the section is not loaded or is deferred. This will result in loading the website or the component you asked for in lesser time comparatively.
A report from BBC says that sites lose an additional 10% of users every delayed second that your site takes to load. Which is a huge percentage, I must say! To optimize the speed of your website is a huge challenge for sure. It’s a dream for every business to attain the ideal benchmark speed for loading their sites. As mentioned earlier Google expects the loading of a web page within 3 seconds.
We the professionals of SEO must make sure to gain this goal otherwise we might lose the organic traffic of our website which can lead to major revenue losses as well. I hope that you follow the techniques mentioned in the review above, as they can be really helpful when it comes to optimizing the speed of your website in 2020. Even one second of change can influence the users a lot. Make sure to implement the changes well in advance so as to lose the least consumers or clients.
The techniques were super simple and can be easily implemented. So why waste organic users when you can actually make huge revenues from them, just because your site does not have an optimized speed! Happy Speeding
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How fast should a website load in the year 2020?
Reports say that a site should not take more than 3 seconds to load; otherwise, they might lose many potential customers and major organic traffic. Also, remember the lower the number your site takes to load, the more is the number of consumers on your page!
- How do I fix a slow website?
There is a huge list of tricks and tips that can help you increase the speed of your site. This list includes:
- Compress your images and files on site.
- Enable caching
- Minimize HTTP requests.
- Enable lazy loading
- Prefetching technique and many more.
- Does Google page speed matter?
Yes, the answer is a huge yes! Google ranks the websites and hence it is an important factor when it comes to ranking. It is a crucial part of SEO websites, simply because Google tests the speed that your website takes to load every page. The benchmark set by Google is 3 seconds and less. Remember Google has users as its first preference.