Importance of Website Speed and Its Effect on Search Rankings
While companies and individuals build and launch websites for many reasons, website speed is one of the most important aspects of a website’s success. Website speed can be described as the time for the website to load when a user clicks from the search engine or social media links. A fast website that loads quickly should be a high priority. We at Vanqor Web Design take website speed seriously and it is one of the continuous improvements throughout the website design for us.
Google famously introduced a major update in 2010 for the ranking algorithm for their search engine which took a website’s load speed into consideration. It still remains one of the most important ranking factors in respect to competing websites. Ranking high on search engine result pages (SERPs) is only possible by having a fast website that provides performance to the users.
Research shows that almost half the internet users expect a website to load in 3 seconds at the least. Search engines like Google puts an emphasis on this fact and consider websites that offer slow load times to be weak websites that offer poor user experience, hence ranking these websites lower on search engines. Slow websites tend to have higher bounce rates, meaning that the users get frustrated and leave the website quickly. In a fast paced world, users expect speed and when they don’t get it, they bounce at an alarming rate.
Additionally, in 2019 Google announced a new update that made mobile website speed is a major ranking factor as well. Considering that majority of users use their mobile devices to browse these days, it was no surprise that the mobile website speed became crucial.
Every company needs its website to provide great user experience and that starts with website speed. A website that offers a fast website speed with excellent user experience will beat the ones that do not offer these qualities. Search engines know this, so they crawl each and every website to understand what they offer and rank accordingly. In today’s world, with many apps and websites are offering fast speeds, the buyers and users are impatient. Most people do not wait on a loading website and leave in frustration.
First impressions are important, because they are also the lasting impressions. When a browser lands on your website, they form an image of your brand immediately. Usually, what happens is, once a user forms an image of your brand in their mind, this impression tends to stay with them. And we want your visitors to form great impressions. Setting the standards high in a positive way always pay out in the end.
Physiologically, a slow website that loads under 3 seconds will form a bad impression and brand image. Your users will get impatient, frustrated and disappointed, solely due to website loading slowly. In a fast paced world and environment like today, speed matters.
If the website is slow, this creates a blockage between your potential customers and you. How can they contact you or buy your services / products if they get frustrated and leave after all?
All the big brands know this simple fact and do their best to improve website speed. And since many users are accustomed to fast loading apps or big brand websites, they would expect the same from your website. A slow website means a lack of professionalism and this is crucial for success of your online presence.
Once your website is fast and have speedy load times, users probably will not even notice. This is a good sign, then they can focus on design, user interface and experience to form an image of your brand. A fast website lets your users to learn more about your company, products or services without blockages.
With the importance of web speed and optimization in websites, it is crucial that we pay attention to speed to achieve the best possible user experience so that the first impression of your brand is in positive light.
How to Make the Website Faster?
There are couple of important improvement options to make your website faster. Here are some of the best practices on how to make a website faster.
- Minimizing the http requests will greatly help with your website’s performance. Large files and more than necessary files will lead to larger amounts of http requests, resulting in speed decrease. Reducing file size, compressing and optimizing images, removing unnecessary files will do the trick in most cases.
- Optimizing and compressing images will greatly reduce the bloating that the website encounters. Prior optimization works well, but including third party plugins that work flawlessly on website that offers additional web image compression helps as well.
- First byte speed should be minimized. Meaning that the search engine crawl bots crawl the website and initial web response should be higher. Unlike web design, this can be handled by having strong website servers that are fast and durable.
- File compression with Gzip is crucial for many websites. In today’s world where the design elements are complex and bloated, compression files and shrinking them into smaller sizes without the loss of quality is important.
- Website host speed is an additional factor that should not be overlooked. The hosting company you choose to work with should have fast servers that can support the website all the time.
To summarize, website speed plays a very important role in a page’s success. Instead of trying to optimize the website after its done, it’s always better to take the necessary steps during the development phase.