Why does website speed and performance matter?
If your website’s loading speed is too slow, you are at risk of not only losing your visitor’s attention, but also undermining your potential reach of new visitors. Search engines such as Google take into account their users’ desire for speedy access to any requested information; therefore, the position of a webpage’s ranking in search results reflect its loading speed.
A study by Google revealed that sites loading within 5 seconds had 70% longer sessions, 35% lower bounce rates, and 25% higher ad viewability than sites taking nearly four times longer at 19 seconds.
In this article, we want to share with you eight killer tips on how to improve and speed up your website.
1. Implement Lazy Loading for Ads
The concept of lazy load ads is simple: with this technique, the ad is displayed right at the moment your viewers are likely to view it. This technique can be effective in optimizing your page’s speed and improving its UX. Since lazy loading has a positive impact on the website’s speed, the search engines may also recognize the increase in loading speed of your page and rank the site in a better position in search results.This solution might be quite a technical hassle for publishers to implement themselves. But if you are currently using Google AdSense, there are some guides available to help you as you set it up.
Why should you consider lazy loading for ads?
It will improve your ad viewability score. To learn more about this, check out our previous article about the importance of ad viewability here.
Most importantly, it increases the loading speed of your page, on average, by 6 to 8 ms. Every millisecond matters. What would happen if you implement this solution for your site?
2. Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Today, more than 50% of web traffic originates from mobile devices. It is more than crucial that your webpage is mobile-friendly and adjusted for smaller screen sizes. That being said, it is insufficient to simply have a mobile-friendly website. The current online environment calls for broader planning to ensure that a website loads fast on any mobile device. This is the main idea behind Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP.
Why should I consider using AMP for my website?
Simply put, with AMP, your pages will load faster on all mobile devices and is more likely to lead to higher conversion rates. Google is increasingly encouraging site owners to implement AMP and will factor in the load time of a website on mobile devices when ranking it in organic search results. This demonstrates the significance of AMP to your business performance in the future. Although implementing AMP may require certain technical know-how, there are some plugins for WordPress and Drupal that make using AMP a simple process. It is a worthy investment that you will most likely benefit from.
3. Implement Lazy Loading for Images
Previously, we mentioned lazy loading for ads; another technique you can use to optimize the loading speed of your website is lazy loading for images.
With lazy loading ads, any image that is not visible to the page can be loaded at a later point in time. Say you have more than a hundred products on your website. If your user had to open the images of all products simultaneously, the images would have to compete for network bandwidth and therefore drastically slow down the loading speed of your website. To implement lazy loading with ease, look into free plugins available for WordPress; Google recently released its lazy loading plugin called Native Lazyload.
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A website’s loading speed is directly affected by the user’s location. It means that when you host a website on a single server, page visitor requests are sent to the same server, which increases the processing time for each request, as well as the loading speed of the website.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a set of web servers distributed across various locations. It allows access to web content regardless of the user’s location. As a result, content is delivered at a quicker speed. If the website’s content must be distributed across multiple locations, a CDN can help you achieve this with ease and convenience.
The implementation of a CDN might be costly, but it is certainly an effective way to optimize the performance speed of your website.
5. Detect 404 errors
404 errors, or the popular “Page Not Found” message, is a notification used by search engines to indicate that a webpage or entire website no longer exists. 404 errors not only irritate users, but also delay website performance significantly. The solution to this is the error detection tool, such as Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). It detects potential 404 errors and removes unneeded pages.
6. Reduce the redirects
Webpage redirects develop unnecessary HTTP requests, which requires extra processing time. It negatively impacts a website’s loading speed, which subsequently diminishes site performance and user satisfaction.
One way to maintain the speed of your webpages is to eliminate redirects and only keep critical ones. Also, to decrease the loading time of your site, make sure to link the exact URL of the page when adding internal links. This will minimize redirection chains and enhance the performance of your entire website.
7. Implement browser caching
Browser cache stored on your disk contains a record of recently downloaded webpages. According to PCmag, if the user decides to revisit a specific webpage, caching speeds up the process. This is because the information is already saved in the user’s cache or memory.
If you are a WordPress user, the plugin W3 total cache will be of help in this aspect. As it records elements of your website for future visits, the loading speed of your website will be much quicker.
8. Use a premium DNS service
It is crucial to understand that all web hosts provide free DNS hosting. We are fairly confident that your business has it at this very moment. However, switching to premium DNS hosting will reduce your server’s response time and increase the site’s speed by up to 40%. It is definitely worth considering.