It’s likely you’ve seen articles or listened to podcasts about the importance of page speed. You may have even tested your site and found it to be lacking; especially for mobile page speed. You know that you need to address these issues, but other priorities keep cropping up. Google has been telling site owners that 2018 is when the Speed Update will occur; and by July of this year page speed will be a Google ranking factor.
Page Speed Now a ‘Front Burner’ Issue
So it is now vital to push page speed fixes up from the back burner; they need to be addressed right away. Even with superior SEO applied to a website, neglecting page speed can cause a poor user experience; and Google attributes a lot of attention to user experience in our mobile-focused world.
We have gathered some quick tips that can help you get a handle on page speed. Included are testing tools and some plugins and tweaks that can get you started on the road to screaming fast pages users will love.
But first note this statistic – it will bring the page speed discussion into focus.
40% of users will abandon a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
With this key point in mind, it’s vital that site owners address page speed. Try these tools to test your site and fix page speed issues:
Test Your Website:
If your site is on WordPress; there are many plugins that deal with minifying and image caching. Some of these include:
WPRocket:This plugin says it will make WordPress load fast and only needs a few seconds to install. It can improve the user experience with no coding, via page caching and minification.
WP Super Cache: It creates static HTML files and serves those to most users. Use the plugin’s simple mode for a quick way to speed up your site.
If your site is not on WordPress, you can work with your developer to make some tweaks that can speed up the page loading process.
You can leverage browser caching to speed up your site. Learn about this with insights from Google’s PageSpeed tools:
With browser caching the user doesn’t have to re-download a page every time she visits it. It stays in memory and will then load faster when the user returns to it. Basically parts of a page that don’t often change get stored in the browser, so that way when a user revisits a page, the browser can quickly render it, and wait times are reduced.
BigCommerce offers an excellent discussion on browser caching.
Bonus Tip #1: You definitely will want to look into gZip compression for your site. Here’s a straightforward discussion on what it is, and how your development team can deploy it. The upshot is that gZip can compress the interactions between the browser and the server, thereby speeding up your site’s load time.
The announcement that Google made in late March is the main reason site owners need to pay attention to page speed. With the change to a mobile-first index, sites that deliver the best mobile experience (and a big part of that is page speed) will have the best opportunities to rank well in Google search results.
Bonus Tip #2: In addition to building up page speed, it is important to review your entire approach to mobile.
Today sites that work on every device, and deliver a similar experience across devices, will receive more favor from users (and Google). This is preferred to deploying mobile websites that are basically stripped down versions of the main site.
Need help understanding page speed in relation to your website? Talk to the experts at Engine-ius Marketing! We can help you stand out in this mobile-first world!