In this article, you will learn about the importance of fast page speeds on your website. Then you will learn how you can improve your page speeds.
You can implement these tactics yourself, have your web developer do them for you, or reach out to us. Do what is best for you. Just don’t ignore them.
Let’s talk about the importance of pagespeeds.
In his international bestselling book, Blink, Malcom Gladwell cites a study where different groups of students were asked to rate various professors’ teaching ability based on various levels of exposure to the professor.
The researchers polled the students who took these professors for a full semester.
Then they polled students who watched videotapes of the professor teaching for 30 seconds.
They polled students who watched videotapes of the professors teach for 15 seconds.
Another group for 10 seconds.
A group for 5 seconds.
A group for 2 seconds.
The researchers found that the students who watched the professors teach for 30 seconds had essentially the same opinion of that professor as the students who had taken the professor for a full semester.
That is fascinating enough in its own right. That professor has prepared for countless hours for this semester, and his/her ability in the eyes of his/her students is essentially decided in the first 30 seconds with that student.
But it gets better.
The researchers found that the same was true for the students who had only 15 seconds of exposure to the professor.
The same could be said for the 10-second group.
The same for the 5-second group.
Same for the 2-second group!
The group of students who watched the professor teach for only two seconds had virtually the same opinion of his or her abilities as the students that took the professor for a full semester!
Of course, you cannot have much empirical proof to back your opinion of somebody in two seconds with them. This is all based on judgements made in your subconscious mind. But the incredible thing is how well your subconscious mind is able to asses a situation in so little time.
In two seconds of exposure to a professor, the students would have virtually the same opinion of the professor’s capabilities as students who took the professor for a full semester.
If you were a professor, would this change the way that you prepared for a class?
If you are not a professor, how does this apply to marketing your business online?
Take those first two seconds. Then insert them in the place that most people will first come in contact with your business online… your website.
Those first two seconds are your page load time.
47% of consumers expect a page load time of two seconds or less. In the first, two seconds of exposure to your business online, they are forming an opinion of your business based on how fast your website appears in front of their face.
In fact, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of your mobile visitors will leave your website completely.
Ultimately, a one-second delay in load time causes a 7% loss in conversion for your website. Do the math. If your website is earning you $50,000 per day, that is over $1 million lost in sales every year!
You can figure out your annual loss by multiplying your website traffic, website conversion rate, and your annual customer value, by 7%.
(Web Traffic x Conversion Rate x Annual Customer Value) x 7% = Revenue lost from one second delay in pagespeeds.
This is powerful. A faster pagespeeds drastically improve your customer experience. The end result is an immediate increase in your revenue.
This is the first reason to improve your pagespeeds.
The second reason has the same end result as the first reason.
A search engine can crawl fewer pages on your website if you have a slow pagespeed. This could negatively affect how a search engine indexes your website.
Pagespeed is not as important as page relevance when it comes to ranking. But it is a factor none the less.
By far the biggest benefit of improving your pagespeed is improving your user experience, which directly improves your sales.
Ok, you understand the importance of fast pagespeeds.
Now, let’s look at how you can improve your pagespeeds.
Two tools will scan your website and set you in the right direction in terms of how to improve your load speed.
With these tools you can get a pagespeed grade and get specific ways that you can improve them
Here’s a snapshot of the Google pagespeed report for a website that could use some work.
The website gets an overall grade,
you are shown some key metrics,
and then you see the best steps that can be taken to improve the pagespeed of your site.
GTMetrix is very similar.
GTMetrix also provides a Yahoo score for your website with its YSlow score.
Once you know how to improve your website speed you can take those necessary steps, or have your web developer do so.
These are some of the most common ways you can improve your pagespeed.
- Improve Your Server Response Time
This is square one. If you have a slow server, your website will be “served” up slow. To improve this you need to look for and optimize slow database queries, slow routing, or a lack of adequate memory. The optimal server response time is under 200ms. Make sure you are hosted on a quality server.
- Enable Compression
You can do this with Gzip. It is a software application for file compression.Make sure that you do NOT compress images with this software! For images, use a tool like Photoshop where you can maintain the quality of your images.
- Reduce Redirects
Everytimeone page redirects to another page that is additional time waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete.
- Optimize Images
Make sure that your images are the right file format and are no longer than they need to be. For graphics with 16 colors or fewer, use a PNG format. For photographs, JPEGs are usually the best choice.
By running these tests, you will have a great start into improving your website speed. If you implement the changes, you will improve your customer experience and reap the profits.