Did you know that the average load time of a web page is 8.66 seconds, according to MachMetrics? However, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, suggests a load time of 2-3 seconds. I don’t know about you, but 8.66 seconds seems like an eternity in today’s world of instant results.
Page load time refers to the “speed index”, the time at which visible parts of a page are displayed. If a website does not load within a few seconds, the first impression won’t be its beautiful design and layout, but how long it’s taking to load instead. I think we’ve all been frustrated at slow page speeds at some point, making this element of development crucial to a user’s experience.
On the other hand, pages that load fast make a good impression and will make the user want to come back. With today’s competitive market and users impatient personalities, we have many options that offer similar products and services. If a page takes more than a few seconds to load, it’s not difficult to find alternatives. This will clearly affect conversions rates and ultimately a site’s revenue.
The idea of site speed is not new, but it will continuously be an important factor in search algorithms. In 2010, Google posted a blog stating that search queries are indeed affected by site speed, and encouraged readers to consider site speed to improve ranking in search engines.
Here’s are some steps you can take and tools you can use to improve page speed:
- Test your page speed
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): This is a network of distributed servers that provide quick delivery of resources.
- Dedicated hosting to prevent slow-down when another site on the server receives heavy traffic.
- Reduce the number of HTTP Requests: the browser makes a request for each file on your website, the less files you need the faster your page will load.
- Minify Resources: removes unnecessary characters to reduce file size.
- Optimize Images: reduce file size without affecting image quality.
The steps mentioned above should help your page load within the suggested 2-3 second range, helping to increase your search results, which ultimately leads to happier customers. And we all know, customers are much more likely to invest their time and money into something that makes them happy!