4 Things You Can Do To Speed Up Your Website
The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business.
By signing up, you’re subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, The
Wire. You may unsubscribe at any time.
The amount of time your website takes to load is important to your business – because even a wait of a few seconds on your mobile site can mean a loss of customers.
Most sites will lose half their visitors while loading, according to Google. “And 46 percent of people say that the most frustrating thing about browsing on their phone is waiting for slow pages to load,” says one Google blog.
Consider this information and helpful tips to help improve the loading speed of your websites.
Do Some Testing
You can start by measuring your loading time to see where your business stands. Find a tool that will test and give you insights into the speed of your site.
“For each additional second it takes a mobile page to load, conversions can drop by up to 20 percent,” says a Google blog about testing load times.
There are several tools out there to test your download speed and some offer analysis and advice for improvement.
Google’s Test Your Site gives you a report that also compares your speed to the prior month and the impact your load has on your revenues. WhichLoadsFaster will show you how your speed compares to competitors.
Understand The Impact
If you’re running a retail site, your load speed is even more important. Nearly 70 percent of consumers say page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer, says a survey by Unbounce, a Canada-based landing page platform company.
Unbounce said almost three-quarters of the shoppers it surveyed say they’ll wait 4 or more seconds before abandoning a page.
But the real number could be less – because a Google survey showed 53 percent of mobile site visitors leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
The Unbounce report said almost half of consumers say they’ll try to refresh a page at least once when it takes 3 seconds to load.
“But 22 percent say they’ll close the tab, and 14 percent say they’ll visit a competitor’s site,” the company says in its 2019 Page Speed Report.
Assess Use of Video, Animation
Even though videos, high-resolution images and other multimedia content can make your website more appealing to consumers, they may be contributing to your slower load times.
“You need to understand the entire user experience and the impact videos and animations can have on the speed of a web page,” says Ryan Engley, vice president of product marketing at Unbounce, in a Small Business Trends blog.
“There’s a cost to everything and in the case of including video in our marketing, sometimes the cost is speed,” says Engley.
Almost half of the Unbounce survey participants said they would be willing to give up animation and video for faster load times. And, a quarter of those surveyed said they would give up images for faster load times.
The report says 57 percent of consumers said they’d do without video if it meant faster pages.
“We’re not suggesting that online retailers avoid video altogether — there’s plenty of evidence supporting its use — but in some cases, it could be doing more harm than good,” says Engley in the Small Business Trends post.
One thing you can do is use CSS to load images – load them as background images and use media queries to hide them conditionally. Amazon reportedly uses a variation of this technique, to conditionally load device-specific images.
Minimizing the number of website redirects can also boost your mobile page speed. Redirects are basically the instructions that automatically take website visitors from one page to another – it can eat up valuable milliseconds.
One thing a business can do toward fixing the issue is to survey – use one of the many available tools out there that can check the number of redirections on your site. Then work to minimize that number – ideally, you’ll want none.