Wondering how speed affects conversion rates? Well, here’s a quick info for you. 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less and if not 40% out of them simply ditch the website to never come back. What does that mean? It means you have lost a significant amount of customers already if you have not a problem with your website loading speed.
Not only that but apparently a lack of website page speed can lower customer satisfaction, decrease page views, lower your ranking in various search engines and affect your conversions drastically.
Losing customers is not something that any business aims at when starting up a website. Website speed optimization is, therefore, an extremely necessary task in order to not lose your consumers and thereby kill your conversion rates.
What is website speed optimization?
It is not very difficult to decipher what website speed or performance optimization means. It is simply the speed with which a website’s page loads when a consumer clicks on its URL. A website speed test is extremely necessary to reach website speed optimization.
If you are a business who is aiming to increase conversions and rankings in search engines like Google, a Google website speed test is mandatory.
How to Improve Website Speed?
The experience of any user when they visit your website is very important when considering conversion rates. Improvement of website speed is one such criterion which needs to be dealt with when we talk about website performance and user experience. Without user satisfaction, one cannot run their website and the performance of a website is of utmost importance here. Although there are 100 different ways to identify and check website speed to enhance a website’s performance, here are a few quick tips to guide you through this process:
Most businesses make the mistake of jazzing up their website by putting unnecessary high-quality HD images which make the website speed suffer. For users, the website page either load taking more than 3 seconds, or some images are not even displayed. This ultimately ruins the look and feel that the website initially tried to achieve. Therefore, it is wise to use the right image format and resize images directly rather than use HTML scaling.
Use minimum HTTP requests
It has been observed that most websites using different scripts, pictures, and other such parts have a separate HTTP request for each one of them. This is not acceptable if you want to achieve a good website performance with high speed. For Google Chrome users, the Google website speed test is not merely the way to optimize your speed. You need to check the number of HTTP requests used through the developer tools and finally try to minimize them as much as possible.
Optimum HTML usage
Making sure of certain aspects such as the use of white space can take up overall page size, using simple structures and not copying word processors can come to great use when optimizing your HTML. In simple terms, code smart, not hard.
One of the biggest problems that users of a website face are due to the high level of traffic, the server network becomes slow as higher the requests to be processed, lower is the loading time. Another issue is when users are at a significant distance away from the server and therefore, the request has to travel a long way taking further time to initiate loading up of the web pages. This is where the Content Delivery Network or CDN plays a huge role by eliminating all these changes by the operation as a global network of servers.
What disappoints a user more than a slow loading website? 404 errors. Yes, that is right. “Page Not Found” or HTTP 404 errors can be a real disappointment and make you lose traffic drastically. To avoid such potential loss of audience, make sure re-directs on certain resources can be avoided, errors are regularly monitored and addressed by the developers.
If you can successfully enable gzip compression, it helps your page content to reduce to a certain size and transmit faster.
Reducing DNS Lookup
Domain Name System (DNS) is like a server with a number of IP addresses with various hostnames. If your website is taking time to upload it means that your DNS is taking time to search for the exact host. Reducing DNS search time can largely affect your website performance in a positive manner.
Browser Caching Benefits
By enabling browser caching the next time a consumer visits your website all initial information is already stored in the user’s browsing database and therefore, takes much lesser time to load.
Correct Infrastructure through Hosting
Choosing the best hosting option can be a difficult task especially for new businesses which typically opt for cheaper hosts. But this in future can affect your potential returns by slowing speed. When traffic levels for website increase, it is advisable to transfer from a cheaper shared hosting infrastructure to VPS or a dedicated server. It may be pricey, but it is worth the investment.
Knowing all the probable tips to increase speed for your website, you might already see conversion rates flying off the roof for you.
Also published on Medium.