Website Page Speed Optimization Guide

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Website page speed is a critical component of web performance. It can make or break a user’s experience on your website as well as impact conversion rates and sales. Page speed is so important that the first five seconds of a page’s load time has the highest impact on conversion rates! To learn more about page speed, why it’s important for your business and tips for page speed optimization, keep reading.

What Is Page Speed and Why Is It Important?

Page speed measures how long it takes for the content on a page to load. It is also referred to as “page load time” and “time to first byte.” Page speed is a foundational component of web infrastructure. Having excellent page speed can help drive conversions and aid in successful web performance. On the flip side, when a page takes too long to load, visitors are more likely to abandon the site and find information elsewhere, which can lead to higher bounce rates.

Aside from impacting user experience, page speed also affects how search engines crawl, rank and index a website. If a site or page loads slowly, then search engines may not have the crawl budget to crawl all of the content, which can also affect indexation. 

What is the Best Page Response Time?

If you’re wondering how long a page should take to fully load, the simple answer is the faster the better (or under four seconds). According to Moz:

  • 0-4 seconds is best for conversion rates
  • Pages that load under one second convert approximately 2.5 times higher than pages loading slower than five seconds
  • Conversion rates double for sites that load under one second compared to sites with a two-second loading time

As you can see, seconds and even fractions of seconds can affect page speed. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to improve your website page speed, drive more conversions and provide a positive user experience. 

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How to Improve Website Speed in 7 Steps 

First, to analyze your current page speed, you can perform a free website speed test by utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. From there, we recommend the following best practices to improve website speed and web performance: 

1. Enable compression – Compressing files to reduce the sizing of CSS, HTML and JavaScript files larger than 150 bytes improves page speed.

2. Reduce redirects – When a page redirects to another page on your site, visitors may wait longer while the HTTP request-response cycle completes. Steps to take:

  • Fix internal linking
  • Eliminate redirect chains

3. Remove render-blocking JavaScript – If your browser finds a script while rendering a page, it has to pause and fetch the script before continuing to load. Avoid using render-blocking JavaScript, especially above-the-fold. 

4. Minify JavaScript, CSS and HTML – Optimize your code by removing spaces, commas and other unnecessary characters to improve page speed.

5. Leverage browser caching – Browsers cache a lot of information so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the entire page doesn’t need to reload. 

6. Improve server response time – The optimal server response time is under 200 ms. Server response time is affected by several factors, including the amount of traffic on your site, the type of software your server uses and your hosting solution. 

  • Check for slow database requests, slow routing and lack of memory

7. Optimize images – Make sure that your images are in an appropriate format, no larger than they need to be and compressed for the web. 

  • PNGs are typically better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors
  • JPEGS are best for photographs

Want to Maximize Your Web Traffic? Contact LSM!

Page speed is crucial due to its impact on search ranking, user experience, and can impact overall website conversions. At LSM, we provide search engine optimization solutions, website design and development services, and more to help businesses boost rankings, increase traffic, drive revenue growth and increase conversions. To learn more about page speed optimization and how our digital marketing agency can help your business thrive online, contact us today!