If there’s one place first impressions are absolutely critical, it’s your website—and we’re not just talking about design and content. On top of that, speed optimization is one of the most important determinants to its success.
A slow loading website can damage your reputation and cause you to lose out on traffic and conversions, ultimately costing you money. Conversely, a high performing website will have a domino positive effect on your business’s success. It will attract more visitors, in turn increasing sales, leads and bringing in more customers.
The very first step in ensuring you have a fast loading site is to create your website using a robust website builder, which provides optimized technology from the get-go. However, your job isn’t over after this, it’s in your hands to make sure the content on your site doesn’t get in the way of its performance.
There are many factors to consider, but you’ve come to the right place. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about website speed optimization and how to improve your site’s page speed.
Page speed refers to how fast content on your webpage takes to load. There are many ways to measure this (for example, from first contentful paint, to speed index, to large contentful paint)—but one of the most meaningful ways to define page speed is by time to interactive.
Time to interactive is how long it takes a page to load to the point where a user can interact with it. This might mean clicking on a CTA, choosing to play a video, or any number of actions a user can take on a given page.
Your next question is probably, “what is considered good website speed?” While the answer to that is industry specific, it’s highly recommended that, on average, your pages load in under three seconds. It’s also important to remember that page speed times can vary across different pages of the same site, as well as across mobile and desktop.
There are four main reasons why page speed matters when it comes to website speed optimization:
It may seem obvious, but the faster your pages load, the sooner a website becomes interactive. We’re referring to loading items such as the website menu, visual content, buttons and more— which help visitors take action on your site. Allowing these features to be visible and usable faster by optimizing for page speed will create happier, returning visitors. It’s as simple as that.
Users are more likely to engage with your website when they can move through processes quicker. For example, if you have an online store and each step of the checkout process takes more than a couple of seconds to load, it’s understandable when potential buyers abandon the process altogether.
The same goes for any action a user tries to take, such as filling out forms or jumping between pages. Website speed issues that limit user engagement will have a knock-on effect on conversion rates, and the number of visitors who will return to your site.
One specific goal most site owners have in common is conversions. Studies show that even an 0.1 second improvement in your website speed can have a positive impact on your conversion rate, funnel progression and customer engagement. If visitors can’t utilize your features fast enough, they’ll move on to the next one.
Google takes into account website speed when ranking sites (known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization). Therefore, if you want yours to appear higher in specific keyword search results, you’ll have a better chance for every millisecond faster your pages are visible to the eye.
There are a number of ways to measure page speed on your website. One of the most reliable and popular methods is using Google Page Speed Insights, where you can simply submit your site url and wait for Google to deliver a report on your site's performance.
The report contains a number of metrics, or Core Web Vitals, which Google includes as another potential ranking factor when determining how high to rank a page in its search results. A good (green) score may benefit your sites overall rankings, and individual page rankings in search. A low or warning (red) score may impact negatively on your site’s overall and individual page rankings.
Google Page Speed Insights will rate your site’s overall speed performance using a score out of 100. A score between 90-100 is considered optimal, while anything lower than a score of 59 is considered a warning, and should push you to prioritize your website speed optimization.
Creating a site with our CMS? Even Google agrees, we put performance first, We always make performance our priority and it definitely shows, both in monitoring tools and in their user's experience.
With a our web stats site, page speed insights and current loading speeds can be found in the dashboard within DVMS WebStats Analytics. This data is pulled from your site users and Google PageSpeed Insights among others, giving you an easily accessible way to measure page speed.
Using other different performance testing tools to measure page speed will invariably lead to different scores. Each platform gathers their analytics and data in different ways, and this can impact your page speed score at any given time. What is most important, however, are the steps you can take to improve your score, which we will address below.
Generally speaking, if you choose the right website builder, many of the steps necessary to improve page speed and website performance will be built-in. All you will need to do is focus on measuring your page speed from time to time, while understanding the impact of your design and content on the performance of your website.
Below, you’ll learn how you can boost a website's performance and page speed to make sure that both your customers and Google are satisfied. We have also included some handy tips that you can use to give your website speed optimization the very best chance.
Here are the foundations of how website speed optimization happens:
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