Why Site Speed Still Matters 2020
Speed is very important for a website. It’s so important that Google has made it an actual ranking factor. Over time, Google has taken action to improve the loading speed of websites by providing a set of tools for developers and webmasters. One of these tools is Google Lighthouse.
Success in an earned media channel like organic search hinges on content. Specifically, on producing helpful content that has the ability to rank. Google has focused its recent algorithmic updates largely on promoting great content and natural links, and penalizing weak content with unscrupulous links (see also: Medic, BERT, and its legacy predecessors like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird).
Moz, of course, has a great guide on page speed best practices. From that list, you have the following recommendations, and further down we go into a more detail:
- Enable compression
- Reduce redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Improve server response time
- Use a content distribution network (CDN)
- Optimize images and video
Why Speed Became so Important?
As we enter into the third decade of the 21st century, the need for speed has risen. Speed is vital for several reasons that range from improved page ranking to a higher conversion rate. Listed below are the few reasons that highlight the importance of speed in 2020.
- Improved Ranking in Google Search: Google’s algorithm uses the site speed as one of the indicators to rank the pages. A high website speed guarantees a better ranking on google search.
- Enhanced User Experience: Speed is vital for enhanced user experience. A page that loads up easily manages to catch the interest of the user and amounts to repeat visits. Conversely, a slow loading website turns off the user and people would not consider visiting it again.
- Bounce Rate: A longer load time results in a higher bounce rate and lower average time on page.
- Conversions: The speed of a website is directly connected with the conversion rate. A fast loading website would have a higher conversion rate and vice versa.
How to Check Website Speed?
How to Improve Website Speed?
The website speed could be improved by a few of the following proven techniques.
Augment Server Response Time:
Traffic, hosting solution, software, and page resources impact your server response time. Hence, it’s essential to look for performance bottlenecks such as lack of sufficient memory, slow routing, and sluggish database queries and fix them. The ideal server response time should be under 200ms.
Redirects add waiting time to the page loading duration. Hence, keeping a minimal level of redirects is essential for a speedier website.
Detect 404 Error:
The “page not found” error is usually denoted by the 404 error message. You can detect and fix this error through error detection tools and plugins like Google Webmaster Tool and Xenu’s Link Sleuth. Once you can assess these pages, you can further check for the traffic they generate. If these pages do not bring any traffic then you can leave them to avoid your website resources.
A DOM tree has to be built by the browsers before rendering a page. Hence, if your browser comes across a script during this procedure, it has to stop all the work before it can continue.
Leverage Browser Caching:
A lot of information could be cached in the browser so that on the subsequent visits by a user, the page does not have to waste time in reloading the entire content. Tools like YSlow allows you to keep a tab on the expiration date of your cache. In the majority of instances, caches store data for almost a year.
Optimize your code by removing commas, spaces, and unwanted characters to instantly augment your page speed. You could also remove unused codes, formatting, and code comments for a dramatic speed experience. Google promotes UglifyJS and CSSNano for better speed.
Optimize Your Images:
Your images should be optimized to the right size and not bigger. Use PNGs for graphics and JPEGs for photographs. You could take the help of CSS sprites to create an image template for frequently used icons and buttons. The template joins the icons into one big image thereby saving time with fewer HTTP requests. You can use online compression tools like compressjpeg.com.
Pick a Better Host:
Among the four types of hosting shared hosting, Cloud Hosting, VPS, and dedicated server, you can choose the one which matches your budget. For Faster speed and performance, hosting other than shared hosting is good to go.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN):
A CDN constitutes a network of servers distributed across diverse geographical locations. Such servers are costlier than the single server, but, the service is faster and effectively speeds up the load time of a website. WordPress and other CMS offer amazing features and easy to manage websites for semi technical people. When you keep on adding content, website gets slow and user start abandoning it even though you had a great content.
Website speed does matter not only for SEO, but also for customer and visitors experiences which ultimately impacts your conversion rates. Ensure that it is optimized!