What is Page Speed and why is it Important?

What is Page Speed and why is it Important?

Wondering what is page speed? Have you noticed the loading speed of your website page has been a bit slow lately? Even after you’ve checked the wifi speed countless times and nothing seems to be wrong with it? Chances are that your wifi isn’t actually to blame for your slow page speed. 

Page speed is basically the time it takes for your content to load on a specific web page. It’s also important to not confuse site speed with page speed. Anyone that works in marketing or advertising will tell you that the speed of your website is critical to its success. 

How do you determine whether your page speed is good enough or not? Open a page on your website and time how long it takes to load. If it takes longer than three seconds, you got some spring cleaning to do with your page! 

Studies show that 74% of users will not return to a website after waiting five seconds for a page to load. That’s a big chunk of visitors to lose and this can greatly affect the SEO of your website.

So exactly how many seconds is the prime page loading time? 3 is your magic number. Don’t worry though, most websites aren’t even close to having a 3 second loading time. In fact, a site page analysis showed 70% of mobile pages (across 126 countries) took 7 seconds or more to load. Many website owners don’t realize how big of a role page loading time plays in their SEO and it can ultimately affect their business in the age of digital marketing. 

The amount of time it takes for a page to load also plays a huge role in user experience. In other words, keywords are no longer only a determining factor for how your website is ranked on Google search results. Therefore, you need to make sure that user experience for your site is top notch in order to improve site ranking on Google search. 

improving your page speed

Ways to improve your page speed

There’s quite a lot that can go into speeding up a web page and it can be a bit of a stressful task to take on yourself. That’s why many site and business owners actually opt for hiring professional help such as services that SEO Design Chicago offers. Although, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few tricks that the experts use in order to improve your page speed and SEO. Here are some simple but effective tips that can go a long way:

Do a proper SEO analysis

One of the advantages of hiring a professional team is that they do an in-depth analysis of your site page’s SEO, in order to examine the cause of your page load time slowing down. When analyzing your web page, these are a couple things to consider.

Internal and external links

Are all of your links up to date and working properly? If so, are they of good quality? An effective SEO page analysis includes examining the links you have on your page and getting rid of the bad ones. This can ultimately help improve search result rankings for your site.

Issues with your software

Because Google ranks a site’s search results based on user experience, issues with your software could be the main factor of a slow site especially on mobile devices. This means you will have to look internally for issues that are causing a slow page speed and fixing them.

Remove redundant and inactive plugins

Inactive plugins can be another reason why your page speed is slow. The reason why plugins become inactive is because a lot of people will sometimes keep them in order to determine whether it will be needed in the future or not. Many don’t realize that actually deleting these inactive plugins will improve site speed by a lot. 

Make sure to always check that your plugins are up to date and if a plugin hasn’t been used for 3 months, remove it. Bad plugins can also compromise your website security, leaving it vulnerable to hackers which will affect traffic, site ranking on Google, and revenue streams.

Clean your codes

Even though this task is best left to professionals, examining your web site code can go a long way into improving page and site speed. Things to consider when going through your code is to look at your JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and theme files. Ultimately, improving your code structure can help gain speed. 

Use a Content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network is a server that holds your site page’s content in a cloud and delivers it to your users from the nearest geographical location in the network. 

Because proximity is a factor in the speed of content delivery, CDNs take care of this task rather than having your website load content from a distant location. CDNs also reduce the amount of bandwidth that content loading can use. Thus, providing speedier and smoother delivery of page content. 

Optimize images

It’s no secret that having images on your site can increase its attractiveness and quality, but images that aren’t properly optimized can be a huge culprit in making your page speed slow. 

Because images can make up to 65% of a website’s content, compressing them can hugely impact its speed. Luckily, Google provides image optimization guidelines in order to help you get your site’s images at the right size and improve its speed. 

site speed vs page speed

What about site speed?

So we just discussed the importance of page speed but what about the overall site speed? You guessed it. Site speed is just as, if not more, important as page speed and heavily influences your site’s SEO.

A good first impression is vital to users and that starts with site speed. 

Findings by Amazon showed that there is a 1% increase in revenue for every 100 milliseconds a website speeds up. As a matter of fact, 40% of users will leave a page if it takes 3 or more seconds for a site to load.  

If your speed isn’t fast enough for site users, then a faster competitor is only a click away. 

This is why actively maintaining site speed and keeping tabs on it is important. Not only will it help improve user experience, but also keep your SEO up to par and Google search ranking on top. 

Once again, it’s best to hire professionals when trying to improve your site speed because a task such as this can get pretty technical and take up a lot of time. 

Otherwise, it can definitely help business owners like you to learn and know the basics of site speed improvement with these few tricks:

Use analysis tools

There are many tools that you can use to diagnose what is slowing down your site speed. Google provides a free tool that not only analyzes the content on your site, but also offers tips on how to improve it so that you can increase site speed.

Use external hosting platforms (i.e. Youtube, Vimeo)

Another free tool you could use is an external hosting platform. It’s a proven fact that images can provide high-quality content but what about videos?

An example would be adding a video tutorial to your site. You upload and add the video to your hosting server but notice that it pauses every few seconds to load.

This can be frustrating to your users.

The reason why it’s a lot slower to use your hosting server for big files such as videos is because videos take up a large amount of space. This is why it’s best to use platforms like Youtube and Vimeo when adding videos to your site.

Reduce redirect links

Although redirects can be used when adding and deleting pages from your site, having too many can actually slow down a site due to a high number of HTTP requests.

Even though redirects can serve as a solution to broken links, Google pointed out that most site owners prefer to have zero redirects at all. Unfortunately, this isn’t realistic. 

The best way to solve this issue is to do a site scan and examine your redirects. Go through each one to see what purpose they serve and determine which are necessary to keep. 

If using WordPress, choose a good theme

Another contributing factor to site speed is having a well-designed theme that is minimalistic and clean. It can be frustrating to users when site owners use a theme with too much frill, making it almost impossible to navigate.

Despite having high-quality content as a must, less is actually better for user experience. Thus, improving your SEO and site ranking.

page speed wordpress

It’s clear there is a lot that goes into improving your site speed whereas these are just the basics of it. 

A lot of site/business owners believe that they would be able to save a lot of money on website maintenance if they just handled it themselves when in reality, they sacrifice a lot of the time that could be used to focus on other important things such as finances. 

Ultimately, it’s in the best interest of you, as a business owner, and your customers to leave the responsibility to experts who are trained and have the time to make sure your needs are met.