There is no way you can ignore website speed because it contributes heavily to SEO performance. The average time it takes for a web page to open is what people call website speed. Despite the best efforts, website speed can fluctuate, but the problem arises if the speed is too slow that it makes visitors abandon the website. Whenever there are any issues with the website speed, you must act fast to identify the root cause and correct it. Delay in addressing issues related to slow website can be detrimental for SEO. Various factors like the choice of themes and plugins and other integrations used on the website can affect website speed adversely. Identifying the cause and arranging to rectify the problem without losing any time is one of the best SEO practices that you must follow.
Faster websites facilitate better SEO
There cannot be any compromise on user experience. Any marketing company must work for keeping users happy by ensuring speedy opening of web pages. When the website speed is satisfactory, it will ensure a smooth and seamless browsing experience for viewers because the pages would open almost instantly on clicking. Search engines are also working continuously to ensure that users derive the best experience. They keep raising the bar to encourage speedier websites that can preferably open pages under 2 seconds. Since page speed plays a vital role in enhancing the experience of users, which is the top priority of search engines, it is natural that Google now considers website speed as a ranking factor.
Page speed impacts conversion and revenue
Website speed which is the same as page speed that directly impacts conversion rates which is another reason why you cannot afford to take it lightly. Users want any page to open immediately on clicking and the longer it takes more frustrated they become. Ultimately, they may move on to other websites, never to come back again. Although it is very hard to meet the ultimate expectation of users that pages would open in 2-3 seconds, you must try to keep them happy by being as close as possible to it. When pages take longer time to load, it increases the bounce rate as visitors would leave the website in the shortest time. Higher bounce rate sends negative signals to Google that affects search rankings. Faster opening pages enhance the attraction of sites as users stay engaged for a longer time and increase the possibilities of conversions.
The impact of website speed on revenue-earning will be clear from the results of a study. It claims that mobile sites that load under 5 seconds earn double revenue from the ads that appear on it as compared to mobile sites that take 19 seconds to open.
How to proceed in increasing website speed is what you can learn about from this article.
How to set a target speed
Before you decide to improve website speed, you must set a target first. But it can be challenging to set a goal unless you know the current speed and compare it with the SEO performance which if you find unsatisfactory then should think about improvement. The speed of the website does not only depend on the site itself but also several extraneous factors. For example, the server speed of the hosting service can affect the website speed, and the selection of WordPress theme can also impact it. Choosing WordPress themes that support faster page opening is one of the ways to improve speed because all themes do not have the same ability. Targeting page opening time of 2 seconds can be the starting point provided you are not far away from it. Google wishes that pages should open in 200 milliseconds.
Elements of page loading time
Page loading time is the time it takes from clicking on a link until the page opens completely. The modality of opening a web page consists of clicking a link on the computer or tapping on it in a mobile device like a smartphone that sends a request to the server for opening the page. On receipt of the command, the server processes the request and arranges to present the requested page. While the input devices like mouse or smartphone are visible, the hosting server remains invisible at the back end. A series of operations take place from the time of clicking till the time the page appears on the user’s screen. And all these time components add together to give the page opening time.
Pay attention to the server
A practical approach to page speed improvement is to focus on the server that not only supports the in-built speed of the website but can also help to increase it. Examining the optimization methods deployed for the server should provide insights about the areas of improvement so that you can devise a plan for optimizing the resources in a better way. The server time is the time it takes to display an HTML page, and it should preferably be less than a second.
Reasons for slow server speed
Server speed can be low for many reasons, but the most critical factor that affects server speed is the coding. Incompetent coding, together with other bottlenecks in the delivery system, make servers sluggish. Look closely at the two areas to identify if it causes problems. Then correcting it is the only way to ensure superior server performance in terms of speed. This would ensure that even if the server does not improve upon the inherent website speed, it will at least be able to maintain it. But if these measures of optimization do not give results, then replacing the server with a speedier one is the only option.
Focus on page caching
Page caching is the technique of serving pages stored in the cache memory instead of sending a request to the server every time. This saves considerable time in opening pages, and it results in a speedy website.
Do everything you can to optimize the website for speed improvement and only when you hit a wall that you must think about doing something with the server.