Besides creating attractive and functional websites that have enough SEO friendly features, you must pay most attention to website speed. It means that the website pages must open speedily on clicking the link, but unfortunately, this does not happen always and it can be bad for SEO. Marketers must be ready to overcome the problem by identifying the reasons for slow speed. Several factors ranging from the selection of themes and plugins as well as other integrations done on the website can affect the page opening speed, and it requires close investigation to know the reasons for it so that you can take some actions for correcting the situation.
Website speed and SEO
Website speed is a ranking factor and influences SEO performance. Users like speedy websites because fast page opening helps to grow their interest in browsing websites. Marketers must provide the best user experience, and they cannot care less for creating speedy websites that ensure smooth and seamless browsing experience. The website speed is also important for search engines because ultimately, it leads to better user experience, which is also their top objective. Google has admitted that website speed is now a ranking factor. Therefore, website speed must be a top agenda for marketers, too, when developing SEO strategies.
Website speed and conversion rate
You cannot take website speed lightly because it influences conversion rates. Users want pages to open within 2-3 seconds to retain their interest on the website, and when it does not happen, they move to other websites. Ignoring page speed means that you are trying to test the patience of the audience that can turn costly for your campaign because slower websites increase the bounce rate. The higher is the bounce rate, which is a measure of how soon visitors quit the website, poor will be its ranking because search engines consider bounce rate as a signal about uninteresting and poor-quality website. Users are too much happy with the faster opening of web pages and spend more time on the website, which helps to increase conversions. Search engines consider website speed as a factor to compute the quality score of websites.
Revenue generated from advertisements on the website depends on website speed because studies have shown that the earning from ads for websites that load within 5 seconds on mobile devices is double than that of websites that take about 19 seconds to load.
Now, let us look at some ways of improving website speed.
Set a target speed
The web design contributes the most in determining the page opening speed, but some other factors too like the quality of hosting service and server speed influence the time it takes for a page to open. Now, the question is, what should the optimal speed of the website that you must aim for. Going by the features of WordPress themes, theoretically, it should be possible to ensure that pages open within 2 seconds. But this might not be true for all themes which must also have SEO friendly qualities. You must choose the right themes that support the creation of high-speed websites. Any website that loads in 2 seconds would work with the hearts of users across the SEO landscape and can be the target of any local SEO Company aiming for improved SEO performance.
What constitutes page loading time?
Page loading is the time taken for opening a web page from the time someone clicks on the link. Whenever someone taps on the smartphone screen or clicks on a link or on the computer screen, it generates a request to the server for some specific action. As soon as the request reaches the server, instantly it processes the information and transmits it back to the user by showing the web page that contains the information. While the input devices like mobile phones, computers, and mouse are all visible, the server remains far away from our eyes while performing a series of actions right from the time users put in the request until the time the web page becomes visible. The total time is taken at the front end, and back end makes up the time it takes for the website to show a page.
Pay attention to the server
The server not only supports the built-in website speed but can also play an important role to improve it. Depending on the choice of server, your website could perform faster than the speed it possesses by virtue of its design. If you know the optimization process of servers, you should be able to plan optimization of the elements that contribute to the server speed. Setting a target to keep the server speed under a second would ensure that it serves the web page to users within that time. Adding the other time elements, the total time taken to open a web page could be very close to the target of 2 seconds.
Reasons for slow server speed
Among various reasons that slow down servers, the bottleneck in the delivery system and poor coding are the main reasons. Paying attention to these areas can ensure that the server operates at the desired speed that besides supporting the website speed also improves it. The role of proper coding is very important to ensure satisfactory server speed. If you find that server optimization is not enough to increase the speed, then server replacement is another option.
More speed with page caching
Servers extract information or data from the database and then place it on templates before presenting it to users. Every query goes through a chain of events to accomplish the task, and repeating the actions for every query could result in longer response time. To speed up the process, page caching is a better way as it retains the page created once and serves it whenever there is a request for it. It prevents a repetition of the long chain of events in presenting a page that result in faster page loading time.
Optimizing the website elements first to achieve better speed, followed by improvements to the server should be the right approach in improving website speed.