How Fast Is Fast Enough For Your Site?
Site speed has been a hot topic for a number of years, but since Google’s switch to mobile first, the pressure for sites to be faster than ever has been ramped up even higher. With Facebook’s Instant Articles, the importance of site speed when it comes to search ranking has increased the demand for faster sites from consumers. So how fast is fast enough? Here we’re taking a look at just that.
How Fast Should Your Website Be?
Quite simply, your website should be fast enough for your visitors. They should be able to enjoy a streamlined experience on your site, without having to wait too long to get to where they want to be. Monitor your bounce rate closely and also track your Page Load Time. You can then make the relevant adjustments in order to ensure that your site is fast enough for your visitors.
It is said that the faster the site’s speed, the better the quality of the site and the same is to be said for mobile optimisation. With mobile search overtaking desktop in October of 2016 with a percentage of 51.3% overtaking desktop’s 48.7%, now is the ideal time to really focus on user experience and most importantly, site speed. Within the Google developer guidelines, it lists a number of ways that you can improve your overall user experience.
So how do you know when your site is indeed, fast enough? There are a number of different figures that you should work towards and be aiming for. While these consistently improve and change, here are a few stats from a study conducted by Geoff Kenyon on site speed:
- If your site takes 5 seconds to load, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- If your site takes 2.9 seconds to load, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- If your site loads in 1.7 seconds then it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- If your site loads in 0.8 seconds, then your site is faster than around 94% of the web
In this case, the faster the better, but that still may not be enough for Google. In fact, Google’s Maile Ohye commented that: “two seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.” This was 8 years ago, so you can imagine what the expectations are in 2018!
Why Do You Need A Fast Site?
You simply need to ensure that your customers are happy. A survey carried out by Akamai and Gomez.com states that half of the web users will expect a site to load in two seconds or less. In addition to this, 79% of web shoppers who struggle with a site’s performance will not return to purchase from that site again. Not only are you going to be losing these shoppers, but a whopping 44% of these shoppers will also share their bad experiences with their friends and family. Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing for brands, but if you’re not receiving good comments, it can also be your business’ downfall, therefore it is important to ensure that the speed is as quick as possible to boost the number of potential sales.
How To Decrease Page Load Time
There are a number of different ways that you can decrease load time. These include:
- GZIP Compression– you should ask your web host if their servers use GZIP compression and deflation, which can help to reduce file size by up to 70%. Reducing the file size in this way can also ensure that the quality of the site, including videos and images, is not impacted in any way.
- Optimising Images – Drastically reducing your image size is a simple as clicking ‘Save for Web’ in Photoshop or Fireworks. This will allow you to see the graphics file size and how clear the image is depending on how you optimise it. There are multiple compression sites that help you to compress images without losing any quality.
- Redirects – If you’re implementing a large number of redirects, it’s important to ensure that you are not piling lots of them together. This can confuse the user, and can drastically reduce load speed time. If you must redirect, then ensure that you implement 301s. Make sure you’re only redirecting pages which genuinely require redirects as this can affect overall SEO.
- Consider A Content Delivery Network– If your site is very popular, but you’re struggling to meet the speed requirements which Google have put in place, then you may want to consider implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These can work by providing pages to users, depending on their location. This way they can access a server closer to their geographical location, meaning they are able to access the site much more quickly.
How Will This Help My Site?
When you optimise your site it will help you to achieve the best possible results without compromise. When your site is optimised, this has the potential to boost the clientele that you are reaching as well as improve Google SERP’s ranking of your site. Although this may not seem like much, rankings are crucial to ensuring that the content you are creating is being seen by your desired audience. With rankings constantly on the rise, high-quality content being generated and a faster site speed will help to further optimise your site and increase rankings.
If your site is struggling with slow page loading times, and you want to optimise your site in the most effective way possible, then get in touch with an expert member of our team today. We have an in-house technical team who can implement numerous fixes and strategies to ensure your site reaches the fastest speed, as well as implement conversion rate optimisation to ensure you’re getting the most from your site whilst offering an outstanding level of customer experience. Call us today on 0800 088 6000.