Here’s a question we’d like to ask: when you log on to a website, do you take note of how long it usually loads?
The answer is probably no… but only when you don’t have to wait!
But make us wait even just a few seconds, and we instantly become frustrated and agitated at the website, the company, and our phone!
In fact, it’s estimated that even a 1-second delay could result in a 7% drop in conversions!
Website speed comes into play for businesses and their digital marketing initiatives. Google directly acknowledges the significance of site speed when it comes to page ranking.
And with the advent of mobile-first indexing, it looks set to become even more important.
Referred to as the “Speed Update”, this would negatively affect pages with slow loading speeds.
As one of Melbourne’s most reputable SEO agencies, iformat has looked into website speed to help you understand its importance and impact on your overall SEO strategy.
Speed + SEO
Nowadays, most businesses, regardless of their industry or niche have a website.
When tweaking your site for SEO, speed is one of the signals which affects search ranking algorithms. It should be considered when building, developing or updating a website.
Why? Well, it’s simple – Google wants to give searchers what they want.
In the past, that meant the best answers for their questions and the most relevant results. Most of us will agree that Google’s pretty good at that.
However, searches are increasingly going mobile. In fact, mobile and tablet searches have exceeded desktop searches since 2016.
We don’t know about you, but when we’re on the move, we’re less forgiving of slow loading speeds. And with the gap between mobile and desktop search widening even further, the number of impatient people like us visiting your site looks set to grow.
Google’s taken note – that’s why it’s starting to punish slow websites!
If you want to maximise the speed of your website, you’ll need to know what’s dragging it down. If your website is a laggard, what can you do to light a fire under it?
Find a good web host
Not all web hosts are made equal!
There are plenty of offers out there, but not all of them offer the speed you need. If their servers are hosted overseas, you may have to compromise with longer load times.
That’s also why we advise against using free website builders – sure, they’re free but you’ll be sharing servers with hundreds or thousands of other sites, resulting in a slowwwww load time.
Are 4K pictures really necessary?
A great image speaks a thousand words – we all know the importance of good quality images throughout a website.
However, images that are simply too large can also lead to slow load times and an overall slower site.
A website’s speed is directly affected by the volume and size of images. While it’s natural to only want the highest-quality photos, you’ll need to strike the perfect balance if you don’t want speed to suffer.
Choose a website theme that doesn’t drag your site down
A great-looking website is a powerful tool for inspiring trust and credibility.
However, some site themes come with components that affect the website’s speed. Some premade themes are packed with unnecessary code that slows the site down.
Are you hosting media?
Videos and interactive media are great at attracting a visitor’s attention. But if you implement them poorly, you can end up slowing your website down to a crawl!
Our advice? Instead of uploading videos and interactive media to your site directly, put them up on a 3rd-party site like YouTube whenever possible and embed them in your site.
And if you’re still using Flash, we have one piece of advice: dump it, ASAP!
Unoptimised browsers, apps and plugins
While Google Chrome dominates, there are still plenty of different browsers fighting for your attention.
You’ll want to cover your bases and ensure your website can run efficiently on all of them. As the loading times can differ, it’s best to find out the speeds of each so you can make the necessary adjustments if needed.
The more widgets and plugins you have on the site, the more “stuff” your site needs to load.
While these widgets may have features that are useful to the site, too many can stop the site from loading in a timely manner.
It’s not just SEO that is impacted, either!
There’s a lot of talk about how our attention spans are shrinking. Is it true? We’re not 100% sure, but when it comes to optimising your site for conversions, it definitely is!
Like we mentioned above, a 1-second delay could result in a 7% drop in conversions.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, here are some more stats, courtesy of CDNify:
- 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds
- 52% of online shoppers say that loading times are important for building loyalty
- 73% of users said they’ve encountered a site that was “too slow” to load
- A 1-second delay can also lead to a 16% drop in satisfaction, while 54% of those unhappy customers will go elsewhere next time
The key takeaway is that a slow-loading site doesn’t only affect search engine optimisation. It plain and simply frustrates users, affecting your ability to convert.
Improve your website speed and your SEO ranking
Choose iformat as your SEO agency and marketing partner
A website’s speed is crucial, not just for SEO but also for a good customer experience. When a user logs on to your website, they expect it to load in 2-3 seconds. Google expects the very same.
If yours isn’t, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
At iformat, we’re experts in all things search engine optimisation. We don’t just do content and strategy – our talented developers also help you with optimising your website for speed, resulting in a light and fast website.
Alternatively, tell us a little about your business and we’ll get back to you.