Speed kills – if your website doesn’t have it
So, why is speed so important and, specifically, page load times on your website? The answer is simple – we are an impatient society and if your website takes a few seconds to load, you will increase your bounce rate and decrease conversions. It’s that simple. Google and other search engines also penalize websites that load slowly so it should be high on the priority list when you are working to start or improve you online presence.
The good news is that there are loads of tools, tutorials, and tips to help you tweak your site so it loads faster. Sometimes websites using WordPress free themes and tons of plugins can be hard to recover but if you work to eliminate unnecessary plugins, learn about what’s loading behind the scenes by using the tools in this article, and test that your servers/hosting provider is capable of even delivering the performance your (and more importantly your customers) expect. Do this and see your site improve in traffic and search engine rankings.
According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.Neil Patel 2020 on page load speed
To get started on this journey of improving page load speeds to give your users a better experience and improve your Google rankings, first start with running you speed test with the following tools. These each have different features that can tell you what needs to be fixed or what the major causes are for slow loading pages. The most popular causes are images that are not optimized, unnecessary scripts and files being loaded from plugins that most the time aren’t necessary to load on your main pages. Let’s get started by starting at the foundation – your web hosting.
Truth behind many webhosting companies & basic free SEO strategies to implement today
- #1 They enable full bowser cache on your devices so your page loads appear fast because unlike a potential customer, you have visited your site countless times which stores it locally on your system (and home networking equipment). Why is that a problem? The majority of mobile users jump ship when your 2MB homepage still hasn’t loaded after over 10 seconds of nothing.
- Problem #2 – Data visibility such as demographics, user behavior, and important metrics like bounce rate or even how many visitors you’re getting! Many hosting services limit basic services or structure subscriptions so additional services need to be added to do simple things like adding a Google tracking code. This is very common to there is a constant stream of upsells when working with certain firms and also sometimes getting the facts are hard as companies fear that other configurations may be uncovered, exposing how the pseudo speeds were actually only experienced by you.
- Problem #3 – Some very aesthetically impressive websites are loaded with large files and generic content. Fancy sliders, stock photos that haven’t been optimized for a website, and duplicate content is guaranteed to be passed over by Google. Duplicate content is problematic as search engines are unable to determine what content is the original and the algorithms quickly classify you as non-value added. (contact us if you need a site audit to check duplicate content – no charge). More importantly, it’s estimated that 30% of the entire internet is duplicate content (copied and recycled content). When you make original content, you are already better than 1/3 of the websites out there!
- #4 – Missing focus keywords, no structured content, missing integration with Google My Business & local SEO, unaware of what your competitors are ranking for, and most receive little guidance from their hosting companies on how to optimize this vital step. not to mention, a lack of local SEO strategy including FAQ Schemas, rich snippets in serps, and how to get your local google business listing.
Tool #1 – GTmetrix speed test
The solution? The free speedtest tools like (GTmetrix and pingdom are good for identifying obvious issues but their results are inconsistent. The best option is to get your baseline with
using an incognito browser, and performing your own test. You can also visit google page speed test to learn about not just how fast or slow your site is but also how accessibility best practices and other Metrix impact your search rankings and more.
For a free page audit, feel free to send your domain in a message and you will get a private report with action items to improve.
For the best managed cloud services, contact me to find a custom solution for your needs. We have a variety of packages including AWS, Cludways, Linode, and our Litespeed Cloud Server Hosting with Litespeed Cache, Premium CDN, and hero service that will help you succeed.
Tool #2: Google Chrome Dev Tools (Local)
This method is performed best using an Incognito (Private) Google Chrome browser prior to loading up your iste.
- Next, Right Click -> Inspect:
2. This will bring up Chrome’s dev tools and you should Click on the Network tab:
3. Now, go up to the top where the refresh button is, and hold down your left mouse click until a menu pops that allows you to select Empty Cache and Hard Reload. This is going to force your website to clear your local cache and pull a fresh copy of your website.
This will generate a waterfall load chart and show you the total time it took for your website to load:
As you can see, initial page loaded is 2 seconds. Once, you get your baseline, feel free to contact me for further optimization.
Tool(s) #3: Pingdom Speedtest and Useful Links:
- https://gtmetrix.com/GT Metrix Speed Text GTmetrix
- Pingdom Speed Test: pingdomspeedtest
- **#1 Google Speed Test: googlespeedtest
After completing these test, run a site audit with our free tool and get started building your online presence. Your site audit will help build a SEO strategy and provide a road map to achieve your online goals whether it’s to get more customers or raise awareness for a cause. BJ Blackburn maintains the knowledgebase and services at SiteLead.net and for a full integrated digital marketing and e-commerce shop at digitalappeal.io