Posted by Vikram Rathore
November 05, 2016
Table of Contents
Created a stellar website with a delightful hero image and an impactful headline, built great social proof credibility – but peeps ain’t converting……
Probably, because the biggest conversion killer is lurking behind the scenes. Often, page speed has a huge impact on your website’s conversion rates than any other stuff.
Can your website speed really have that much of an effect on your sales?
Impact of Page Speed
Website speed matters…
Fast loading websites look and perform better on all fronts: good user experience, better engagement, higher conversions, and even higher search rankings. While some people believe that page loading time is not the only strong ranking signal, but it is a metric that has a massive effect on other important factors including sales and revenue.
Some years back, Google experienced a drop in traffic because of a 0.5-second delay. Today, if an e-commerce page fails to load in under 3 seconds, it can lose about half of its traffic. That’s the reason why some of the most popular online brands now load in less than a second.
Today, mobile internet usage is outpacing the desktop, and conversion is not limited to one particular page. Though you have a very good headline, value propositions are clear enough, you have a beautiful web page with social credibility – but if the page doesn’t have good loading times, then you’ll not have the landing page conversions.
Here are 10 simple ways you can use to accelerate your website’s page loading time and save your prospects from bouncing:
Tidy and well-documented code is not only the developer’s priority, it makes pages load faster too. Minimizing the sizes of site files and small issues like indentations, line breaks, excess spaces, and excess tags can hurt your page load time drastically.
By minimizing the HTML and CSS codes and reducing the requests bandwagon, you will be able to deliver the web page data in the most streamlined way possible. The best way to check out the files, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights and simply drop in your URL and send the results to a reliable developer.
GZip compression is related to content encoding and minimizing the server requests made by your browser. It helps you reduce your file sizes to enable faster loading times. You can use GIDNetwork to check the current compression on your site and get some ideas to improve it.
Standard SEO practice is 301 redirects which are used to tell both visitors and the search engines that the page has been removed permanently. This is a common practice used when the sites make changes over time, and which can help you cut down on 404 errors and the broken links.
But, too many redirects can also negatively impact the page speed.
Script placement plays a big role in affecting load times. For instance, if your tracking scripts are located in the head section or above the fold of your landing page, your browser will need to download and deal with those scripts before getting to the page content people have actually come to see.
Having duplicate scripts is very common when various people are working on the same page. This can slow down things a bit.
The bottom line is that simplify and minimize the files to reduce the back and forth between the servers and browsers.
Yes, this seems very easy! If you think so, simply open up WordPress and see how many WordPress plugins your team members have installed for common things like social sharing and tracking.
If you can diagnose correctly which plugins are worth keeping and which need to be removed, you’ll come to know whether which plugins to add. There’s a plugin P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to measure your site’s plugin performance and measure their impact on the page load times.
By using this plugin, you can easily get to know how it will be useful to you if you install that plugin.
Allowing browsers to resize your original 1200px image down to 600px every time the page is loaded multiplied by all the visits for all the posts and pages, creates a lot of extra work which is not at all necessary. This really affects mobile devices which have poor connectivity and limited processing power.
The ideal practice is to resize the images before uploading them to the server. And, if it seems to be too much work, there’s a built-in WordPress tool that helps you resize the images. By doing this, you’ll be able to limit the potential errors in browsers like Internet Explorer.
Once you’ve resized the images, the next step should be compressing them again to reduce the file size. This is often an overlooked step, but optimizing your images can quickly speed up the page loading times, so use this low-hanging fruit to reduce the amount of space and work they require.
There are many free tools available like compressor.io or TinyJPG which have the capability to significantly reduce the file size.
Popular Content Delivery Networks like CloudFare and MaxCDN can drastically improve the performance on highly visual sites. Moreover, delivering your images with a CDN is just like calling the reinforcements from the remote servers which are located closer to your website’s visitors. This actually means that it will try to use the nearest one first, and ultimately cut down a lot of time and effort required to deliver the content from the server to a user’s web browser.
This is another important option to move the bigger files like audio and video, images away from your servers, and use an external hosting platform like Wistia or Imgur for videos. This is critical because people are adopting rich media immensely and in 2017, almost 70% of the web traffic will be video.
As we’ve already seen the impact of image sizes, bigger files like audio and video should be hosted externally. External hosting providers not only solve your performance issues, they also provide additional benefits like improved audience reach, engagement, and conversions.
We all know that the visitors would leave your website if it doesn’t load within 5 seconds. This means, no matter the best practice you’re leveraging to get those conversions, people will not stick around for long enough to actually see any of your efforts.
There are some basic page speed improvements like removing unwanted plugins and upgrading your hosting. The advanced technique includes minifying the files. But something is better than nothing.
It may be a time-consuming process while implementing all these changes, but it’s the best way to give your landing pages a better chance to convert prospects into customers.