A Roundup Of Tips To Speed Up Your Site And Boost Conversion In 2022

A Roundup Of Tips To Speed Up Your Site And Boost Conversion In 2022

Updated on: 10 May 2022

A Roundup Of Tips To Speed Up Your Site And Boost Conversion In 2022

Today’s marketplace is a cut-throat world. While the internet and social media have leveled the playing field for everyone, there’s no denying that the competition has become tougher than ever before. This is why it’s important for any organization to do everything they can and not leave any stone unturned to ensure that they can keep up with the stiff competition.

One of the most crucial factors that can affect website performance and a company’s ability to rake in as many revenues as possible is the loading speed. It’s something that’s often overlooked but is extremely important in ensuring your website’s optimal performance.

What website speed matters

Think of it this way: your website serves as your store on the internet. The speed at which your website loads every time a user accesses it can be compared to how quickly your staff serves whatever your customers need. When your employees take longer to cater to customers, people can get frustrated and leave. The same goes for your website. Online users have a very short attention span. If they can’t find what they’re looking for on your site, they’ll leave in a matter of seconds.

1. The first impression is the last

This is often true. When new visitors find out that your site takes more than three seconds to load, they’ll get the impression that your site is too slow and won’t think about accessing it again. They won’t come back to a site that doesn’t care enough about user experience (UX) and that first impression will be their last impression of you.

2. Delays in page load time have a negative impact

Even a one-second delay can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. Aside from that, 79% of the respondents in one survey said they are not likely to return to a site with poor performance. In short, longer page load times can result in fewer sales and lesser revenues for your business. Unfortunately, there’s no getting around it.

3. Slow load times affect online visibility

No search engine optimization (SEO) strategy plan is ever complete without taking into account your site’s load time. This is because Google and other search engines consider load time as an important ranking factor since it can influence how easily users can find you online in the first place. UX has always been a crucial ranking factor and has since been emphasized no matter the size of the browser.

4. Longer load times will drive customers and sales away

Online users are always on the go. They want everything almost instantaneously. To be able to drive more traffic to your site and boost your sales, you need to make sure that users will be able to find what they’re looking for in less than 3 seconds. Note that an estimated 40% of your visitors will abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This means that you’ll lose all of those potential customers.

What is a good load time then?

According to Google, the perfect speed at which a page loads is 3 seconds. However, according to their report, most sites are nowhere near that benchmark.

After an analysis of 900,000 mobile ad landing pages across 126 countries, Google discovered that 70% of the pages took almost 7 seconds to display visual content. None of the industries they included in the analysis even came close to the recommended best practice of 3 seconds.

Google also found out that as page load time exceeds three seconds, the bounce rate increases.

  • 1 to 3 seconds – bounce rate increases to 32%
  • 1 to 5 seconds – bounce rate increases to 90%
  • 1 to 6 seconds – bounce rate increases to 106%
  • 1 to 10 seconds – bounce rate increases to 123%

This goes to show that website owners have a lot of work to do to ensure that their site’s load time is acceptable in Google’s eyes. While bringing down page load times to 3 seconds may seem like an impossible feat, ensuring that it’s at an acceptable level can still get you well ahead of the competition in terms of user experience.

How to speed up website load time

While all the tips listed below can help speed up your site’s load time, you won’t need to do all of them in one day. If you’ve made an effort to increase your site speed in the past, you’re already on the right track.

·      Minimize HTTP requests

When a user opens a website, 80% of the time that it’s taking that site to load is spent downloading different parts of the page, such as scripts, stylesheets, and images. This means the more components it has, the longer a page will take to render as it makes a lot of HTTP requests.

To minimize HTTP requests, you need to determine how many elements your site currently has. Use Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to check how many HTTP requests your site makes every time it loads. There, you will find the total number of requests. Scan through your files and see if there are any unnecessary elements there. If there are files that can be combined, then the next most sensible thing to do is to combine them.

·      Minify and combine files

Check your JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files and determine which can be minified and combined to reduce the size of each file, as well as the total number of files your site has. By minifying files, you’ll be able to remove any unnecessary whitespace, codes, and formatting, freeing up space and speeding up your site load time.

·      Load CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously

After minifying and combining files, consider loading them asynchronously, which means loading them simultaneously. This speeds up page load time since a browser loads different elements while another file is loading in the background. You can do this by using the “Static Files” tab on the WordPress Rocket plugin and checking all the boxes under “Render-blocking CSS/JS.”

·      Defer larger files from loading

Larger files, like JavaScript files, can take longer to load. But if you defer a file, you’re preventing it from loading until other elements have been loaded, ensuring that the rest of the content will display after a few seconds.

If you’re using WordPress, use the Rocket plugin and check the box next to “Load JS files deferred” to defer larger files.

·      Reduce DNS lookup time

Server response time or DNS lookup time is one of the biggest factors that can affect load time.

Domain name system or DNS is a server that stores IP addresses and their hostnames. Every time a user types a URL, the DNS server translates that URL into an IP address that indicates a site’s location online. The amount of time this takes depends on how fast your DNS provider is. If your page takes longer to load, then it may be time to switch to another DNS provider.

·      Reduce image sizes

Images are often large files that can slow down load times. Because you can’t remove all of them, as this will affect your site’s aesthetics, you need to compress them all. Resize images to kilobytes to reduce load time by 70%.

One of the most effective ways to reduce image size is to crop them to the correct size. Another way is to compress image files using online tools, like JPEG Optimizer, Optimizilla, Optimole, ImageRecycle, and CompressNow, to name a few.

·      Choose a hosting service that suits your needs perfectly

It’s not unusual for new site owners to go for the cheapest hosting service offered to them. While this may be okay in the beginning, you’ll need to upgrade eventually, especially when your site gets more traffic. Skimping on your hosting service can be bad for website performance, especially in terms of speed.

The best hosting option to choose once your site has taken off and is starting to get more traffic is dedicated hosting where you have much more space and control over your hosting.

·      Run a compression audit

To make your website load faster, your files need to be the smallest they can be without sacrificing quality. This is where a compression audit comes in, which tells you how much you can compress to reduce your page’s size.

Once you find out how many files you can compress, you should enable compression with Gzip, which is considered standard practice nowadays. Gzip is a file format and software application that identifies similar codes in your files and then replaces them to reduce their size, which works best with HTML and CSS since they usually have repeated codes and whitespaces.

·      Enable browser caching

Every time a user visits your site, the elements of your site, including HTML, stylesheets, images, and JavaScript files, are stored as cache or temporary files in the user’s hard drive. So, when that same user visits your site again, their browser will load the page without needing to make another HTTP request to the server, which can take around 2.4 seconds. This is why it’s important to enable caching.

If you run your site on WordPress, use a plugin like W3 Total Cache to enable caching. Then, go to “Page Cache” under “General Settings” and tick the box next to “Enable.” This should improve your site performance.

·      Optimize CSS delivery

CSS holds your site’s style requirements, which can be accessed in an external file that loads before the page loads, or inline using the HTML document itself. Experts recommend not including CSS in your HTML code as code can be unnecessarily repeated. You’ll get a cleaner code and faster load time if you put your CSS in an external stylesheet. Also, it’s best to use only one external stylesheet since adding more could send more HTTP requests.

·      Make above-the-fold content load faster

This is referred to as lazy loading and is quite helpful for sites with lots of content below the fold. With lazy loading, all the content within view is displayed first while the rest of the page is still loading. This way users don’t need to wait to access the page, significantly reducing load times.

·      Minimize the number of plugins your site uses

Although plugins can be extremely helpful in optimizing your WordPress site, having too many can cause issues in the long run. Because they’re incredibly easy to install and use, site owners can get carried away and add more and more plugins. This can cause your site to crash or have other technical issues.

It’s best to evaluate the ones you have already installed and check which ones are outdated, incorrectly configured, or inefficient to improve site performance.

Final tips

In addition to all the tips mentioned above, it’s also important to monitor everything that you will be doing. Pay attention to the changes to ensure that you’re doing the right thing. Also, be sure to monitor load times on mobile devices because mobile user experience is all the rage right now. Google puts a lot of emphasis on a mobile-first approach to ensure a fast and user-friendly experience for mobile users.