Apparently, today is Race Your Mouse Around the Icons day, a day dedicated to whizzing your desktop mouse around in a Usain Bolt like fashion (just because you can!). Here at Giant Towers, we know the pain of waiting for a page to load; it is frustrating, extremely off-putting, and very bad for SEO.
Why is Page Speed important in SEO?
Pages that have a poor loading time result in impatient users clicking off, and who can blame them? Pages with a slow load time have high bounce rates and unsurprisingly, a low average time spent on the page.
Statistics show that a slow page load time of 10 seconds sees around a 40% increase in page abandonment, meaning you’re losing out on conversions. When surveyed, 30% of users stated that they would wait for a site to load for 6-10 seconds, and 20% would wait 20+ seconds. On top of this, 79% of web shoppers said they won’t return to a site if they experience difficulties with the page loading. Time really is money.
Not only this, but having a poor load speed means less of your pages can get crawled by search engines, negatively impacting your indexation. It’s been estimated that if your e-commerce site is making $100,000 (£76,160) a day, a one second delay in your page speed can cost you $2.5 million (£1.9 million) every year.
How can I get a better Page Speed?
Although Page Speed is one of Google’s 200 ranking signals, it’s still extremely important that you reduce slow pages across the whole of your site in order to rank well. In order to rank more effectively and encourage more conversions, you should:
- Optimise and save images for web – Save/export photographs as JPEGs via the Save For Web option on Photoshop. This compresses them into a small file size. Save graphics as PNGs and do the same.
- Cut out redirects – having too many redirects mean a user is waiting that little bit longer to get to the page they want.
- Cache refresh – Browsers store a multitude of information from their caches, so find a way of reducing the information that’s stored for a faster page load time e.g. only storing a user’s information for a year before it resets.
- Test it! – Test your site’s page speed with various plug-ins, Google’s Page Speed is a good one to start with.