How to Improve Page Speed for More Traffic & Conversions

One of the things that distinguishes good websites from bad websites is page speed. Page speed is more critical than ever. The modern consumer is impatient. They have better things to do than wait for several minutes for a page to load.

Page speed has a major impact on your website’s user experience.  Google’s recommended page load time is less than two seconds. A study revealed that 47 percent of users expect a web page to load in two seconds, 40percent of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

As you can see, every second count. Even a one second delay in page response can result in loss of traffic. Page speed is a critical factor when it comes to ranking a website. Page speed can have a significant impact on how long your visitors stay on your site, your conversion rate, and your organic page ranking.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to improve your page speed.

Get a Good Web hosting Plan

When opting for a web hosting plan, think long term. A cheap plan will save you money, but you need to realize that you get what you pay for. A cheap web hosting plan usually crams as many websites can be fitted onto a server. This can have a major impact on your website performance.

Though your website will be available, it will take several seconds to load, frustrating your visitors. You will end up losing visitors to your competitors-and that’s not even the worst part. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire. Your website visitors will spread the word about their experience and your brand’s reputation may take a hit in the long run.

How much of a difference does page speed really make? A study by Amazon found that a difference of just 100ms can reduce sale by a percent.

Opt for a web hosting plan optimized for speed. If you ask around, you will find a plan that fits your budget and needs.

Enable Compression

When you enable GZIP compression, your CSS, JavaScript files, and HTML are downloaded as compressed files. These files are decompressed once they get to the browser. Your website visitors won’t have to do anything extra as all modern browsers support  GZIP compression and automatically process it for all HTTP requests.

Optimize Media Files

Images and videos are often huge files that can slow down page load times. To improve page speed, optimize your media files Use JPG for photographic images and GIF or PNG for images with large areas of solid color. Designers usually use 8-bit PNG files for images without an alpha channel and 24-bit PNG files for images with an alpha channel.

Size your images properly. Compress them using Adobe Photoshop or free WordPress plugins such as TinyJPG, WWW Image Optimiser, and Imsanity. Serve the appropriately sized images based on the user’s screen size.

When optimizing images, choose the ideal format (MP4 in most cases). Get rid of audio tracks in videos that are used in the background as a design element. Compress all video files. Upload videos to specifically dedicated video hosting websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, rather than serving them locally.

Use Caching and CDNs

Caching is the process of storing static copies of files so they can be delivered swiftly to your visitors’ browser.

A CDN allows these copies to be distributed to servers around the world. When a website visitor (no matter their location) wants to access a file, their browser downloads it from the nearest server. CDNs help improve website performance and rendering speed by reducing latency.

Minify Resources

To get rid of unnecessary white space, and comments, minify your CSS and JavaScript files. This will also help reduce the file size and speed up downloads. The good news is that you do not have to do this manually and can use one of the several tools designed to minify files.

Consider using WordPress plugins to replace the links in your website head for your regular JavaScript and CSS files with a compact, minified version of them without altering the original files.

Once you have minified your files, remember to audit your website as minification more often than not breaks JavaScript and CSS.

Make Fewer HTTP Requests

Files needed for a webpage to render and function including CSS, JavaScript, fonts, images, and HTML require a separate HTTP request. Increasing the number of requests will affect page speed dramatically.

Here are some tips to reduce your website’s HTTP requests

  • Minify and combine JavaScripts, HTML, and CSS files
  • Some plugins load their own JavaScript and/or CSS files. Get rid of or disable (if the option is available) these plugins
  • Evaluate and reduce external scripts
  • Use a content delivery network
  • Use sprites for images that are used frequently

Enable Browser Caching

When you enable browser caching, the elements of a webpage are stored in your visitor’s browser. This enables the browser to load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server whenever the visitor visits your website the next time.

Once the first page has been loaded and the elements are stored in the user’s cache, only new elements are downloaded, reducing the number of files that need to be downloaded during a normal browsing session.

DiziExperts is a leading digital marketing agency in Ottawa.  Our team comprises self-driven professionals. Over the years, we have helped several businesses build and increase their brand’s online credibility. To discuss current digital marketing trends and get tips to increase website use engagement, call 1-905-448-2900.

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