When you sit down to eat at a restaurant, how long will you wait to eat food that you have ordered? If the service takes longer than you anticipated, it can end frustrating you, resulting in poor reviews and even resulting in you not returning to that restaurant. Similarly, slow site speed can result in negative user experiences, lower overall site traffic, and poor search engine. If your website is slow, you’re losing money.
As the page load time goes from
- 1s to 3s – the probability of bounce increases by more than 30%
- 1 to 5s – the probability of bounce increase by 90%
- 1s to 10s – the probability of bounce increases by 103%
The main takeaway is this – the longer your page takes to load, the more likely a visitor will leave your site.
Why Page Speed Matters
Performance is a foundational aspect of good user experiences. Retaining users is crucial to improving conversions. 55% of online shoppers identify quick page loads as vital to their loyalty to a site. In a competitive landscape, loyalty matters. Every additional second it takes for your page to load increases the chance people will leave. Wal-Mart showed a 2% increase in conversions for every 1 second of improvement to their page speed.
SEO best practices:
In 2010, Google announced that it would be using page load times as a ranking factor. Seven years later, it announced it would be giving page speed even more consideration. As Google prioritizes getting relevant information to users as quickly as possible, site performance is a critical factor in Google search rankings. Therefore, having a faster site will improve your SEO rankings.
The bounce rate is referred to as the percentage of users who leave a website after viewing the first page. The audience are likely to click away if a page does not load within the first few seconds. From research, BBC discovered that for every additional second it takes for the page to load, the chance that people will leave the site increases by 10%.
The experiences offered by your website offers often determine whether a visitor stays to explore or bounces back to the results. Poor response times to user actions and long page load times create a negative user experience. Waiting for content to load becomes exasperating for the audience and may induce them to leave your site or application altogether.
Understanding the importance of speed performance, we identify areas for potential improvement.
Though most websites are now mobile-friendly, the mobile optimization score is low and this results in an average 55% bounce rate.
Cleaning up unused CSS and HTML templates
When images are large in size and not optimized, they use enormous service resources and bandwidth taking more time to load. We used image optimization techniques to reduce file size and still keep images attractive without impacting quality.
Enable Lazy Load for images
Images are often massive files making them the single most significant contributor to making page bloat. Even if the images are efficiently optimized, trying to fetch all the images takes time. Instead, we enabled lazy load for the images reducing the number of images that need to be loaded on a page upfront.
Replace active elements with static images if possible
Active elements like Google maps or review widgets have tons of JS files and CSS which take up time to load. Try to replace them with static content or images so the external resources can be avoided. This can often save 100s of KBs from the page loading size.
Enabled Lazy Load for YouTube & Vimeo videos
Combine and Minify JS & CSS
Use a CDN
CDN (content delivery network) can help combat the slow load times that frequently accompany websites due to the rapid growth of web page sizes. It works by providing alternative server nodes for users that spread throughout the world, therefore being geographically closer to your users. This ensures a faster response and downloads time of content due to reduced latency. Many CDNs also provide localized data centers that are closer to the user and result in faster downloads. In a nutshell, CDNs can distribute the load, save your bandwidth, and boost performance while reducing your existing hosting costs.
Case study: www.burtonlaw.com
The ongoing efforts resulted in an optimized site that made a high impact on the performance.
- Mobile speed score on Google increased to 60 from a very low score of 7
- Desktop speed score on Google increased to 90 from a meager score of 28
- 20% reduction in bounce-rate
- 3.5-second reduction in home-page load time
- 10% increase in the overall organic presence
- Noticeably faster site experience for new and especially returning users