“Higher, farther, faster, baby.”
Carol Danvers’ famous quote in the 2019 blockbuster film Captain Marvel can be applied and used as inspiration to just about anything, in general, even to digital marketing. How so?
Well, for one thing, the quote can be used to describe page load speed. The faster the website, the further the reach; consequently, the higher the conversion. Even if you read this backwards, the value will still hold true.
Website page speed is a heavyweight ranking factor that affects your website insight and Google search results. Also, Google introduced a mobile page speed update that officially made page load speed a vital ranking factor, even for mobile devices. Additionally, page speed is a core user experience metric that can cost you not only your rankings but also your money and loyal customers.
The ideal and recommended page load speed is 2 seconds or less. That’s because research shows that 50% of website visitors expect a website to load within or less than 2 seconds. Once your website loads longer than that, chances for conversion decrease by 62%.
Another research study by Kissmetrics shows that 40% of consumers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. In 2014, the company Portent compared page values and concluded that a website can increase dollars per page view by 20%, reducing page load time from 8 to 5 seconds. Once you go from a 2 to 1-second load time, your value doubles; a real win. This just goes to show how having a faster page load speed can make your website much more valuable.
If you want to make more money and improve your Web insights for page speed, here’s how to optimise page speed to achieve a less-than-2-second page speed.
Optimise Your Website Images
One of the biggest contributors to slow loading speed is large and high-quality website photos. Yes, having good visuals is an important factor that contributes to the overall website design. But sacrificing speed over visuals? A big no-no for your website insight.
You can choose to manually optimise and compress images for your website’s speed optimisation. Good thing, there are new ways to make your life easier. If you’re using WordPress as your CMS, there are plugins available like WP Smush Image Compression and Optimisation. If you’re not using WordPress or you’re not used to third-party plugins, there are free tools like TinyPNG and Optimizilla that can compress up to 20 images in a single upload. The file size is reduced, but the quality is still the same.
Minify Your Website Code
Just like your images, making your website source code more compact can effectively increase your page load speed and improve your user experience issues. Minification is crucial because it creates a small and compact, yet fast version of your file. Minimising the space that your code takes up is a vital factor in getting that perfect score from the Google Speed Test.
Minification is the process of removing or fixing unnecessary or duplicated data without impacting how a browser will process the code. It involves fixing code, formatting, removing unused code and shortening code, when possible. To minify your source code, remove all the codes that are not needed such as white spaces, new lines, redundant formatting, and comments that are all deemed as unnecessary and unused codes.
Utilise the Power of an AMP
Gone are the days when you had to wait for at least 15 to 20 seconds for a site to load. With AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages, websites can now load on mobile pages almost instantly. By stripping away unnecessary content, AMP helps websites load quickly and deliver content that the user instantly wants to see.
AMP seamlessly streamlines the user’s mobile experience of your website. It’s extremely effective at optimising your website page speed by eliminating or narrowing down the chances of someone leaving your site. Implementing this feature can help your mobile Web pages and Web insights by pulling up your pages, almost instantly, in a decluttered manner.
Use a CDN for Your Website
If you’re thinking of investing in a Content Distribution Network or CDN to optimise page speed, you’ve made a sound decision. A CDN is a system of interconnected servers located around the world that distributes Web content in different geographical locations.
When you implement and use a CDN provider, the load of your data can be distributed across different geographical locations through their strategically located servers. This means that it will not only reduce the workload of your server; it could also help your content reach a wider audience without sacrificing your site’s page load speed.
Avoid Multiple Redirects
Did you know that every additional redirect in your website slows down your page load speed? Time to get rid of all unnecessary redirects to help improve your website, speed-wise. While the best practice is to not use redirects altogether, but if you desperately need to use one, then it’s better to use a permanent 301 Redirect a temporary 302 Redirect.
To avoid redirects, Google recommends switching to a responsive design. This way, you and your website can avoid unnecessary redirects among devices, like desktops, tablets, and mobile versions of your website. This can also provide great multi-device experience for your users.
Enable Text Compression
Content is another thing that can increase the byte size of your network; and, thus, an increase in your page load speed. The fewer the bytes downloaded, the faster your page loads. To optimise your website, Google recommends gzipping all the compressible data. Gzip compresses your webpages and style sheets before sending them over to the browser. This drastically reduces transfer time since the files are much smaller.
By enabling text compression, you will minimise your website’s rendering and reduce data usage for the client.
Enable Browser Caching
To optimise page speed, use cache control to automatically control how and how long the individual response can be cached by the browser.
Continuously Measure Performance
Once you’ve implemented all 7 of these under-the-radar secrets to achieve a 2-second page load speed, it’s important to keep tracking the progress of your website with tools like Google Analytics and Pingdom speed test. Don’t assume that these changes will last forever. There will always be new ways and tricks to speed up your website’s loading speed. You just have to keep an eye out and implement them as much as you can.
There you have it: 8 under-the-radar secrets that are sure to improve your Google ranking and pass your Google Speed Test with flying colours. Remember what Carol Danvers always says, “Higher, farther, faster, baby.”