Site Speed Factors: Why Your Site Lags and How to Improve Speed

by | May 9, 2019 | Blog

Page speed is one of those things that I have to watch for in my line of work as a SEO specialized digital marketer.

But why is page speed important?

As I’ve explained to some of the clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with, your website is a window into your company and page speed affects user experience. How slow or fast your website and its pages load determine whether your customers will hang around or not. In fact, pages with longer load times have a higher bounce rate as users tend to spend less time on them.

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Additionally, Google takes pagespeed into consideration when ranking sites so load times can influence your search engine ranking and how easily users can find you

Common culprits slowing down your site

These include:

  • Large images.
  • JavaScript
  • Poor web hosting.
  • Your site’s theme.
  • 3rd party scripts e.g. widgets, apps or plugins
  • Site redirects- how many hops does it take to get to a page

How Can You Improve Page Speed?

  1. By optimizing images. It’s great having images on your site. However, you need to ensure that they aren’t larger than they need to be and that they’re in the right file format. Compressing images can help increase page speed.
  2. By reducing the number of plugins. Plugins are useful for adding specific features to certain pages. Unfortunately, they need huge resources to load and run them, thereby slowing down page speed. I recommend checking all installed plugins and deleting all the unnecessary ones to improve page loading speed.
  3. Making use of website caching. Enabling caching on your site can greatly reduce the time it takes repeat visitors to load pages. Caching involves storing current versions of your site on your hosting so that next time these users visit your site their browsers can load pages without needing to send multiple HTTP requests to the server.
  4. By using preloading and prefetching techniques. This involves anticipating and executing instructions before a user initiates them. Google often uses this on the SERPS and you can see it in action when you start typing in web addresses and they’re automatically completed for you. However, using this method requires extensive behavior analysis to understand your users’ behavior patterns on your site.
  5. Minifying resources. Your site’s HTML, CSS and JavaScript files are extremely important as they determine your site’s appearance. However, they also increase the number of requests your site makes every time a user accesses it. Minifying these files by optimizing the code and removing unnecessary whitespace, formatting, spaces, etc. ensures your pages are as lean as possible. This, in turn, improves your page speed.

Schedule a consultation with me and let’s discuss how to improve your page speed and other factors that will make your business stand out from your competitors.

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